This Week… Judgement Day For Tim Farron


"I think you should take your job seriously, but not yourself – that is the best combination" – Judi Dench

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional" – Hunter S. Thompson

“Religion is like a pair of shoes… Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes" – George Carlin

"In Heaven, all the interesting people are missing" – Friedrich Nietzsche

So Tim Farron quit as leader of the Liberal Democrats this week, citing the impossibility as he saw it of being both a committed Christian and the leader of a progressive, liberal political party in 2017. In which case, the question arises, how did it take him this long to realise it wasn't really going to work? He didn't seem to have any problem juggling politics and religion before all the increased media scrutiny. His definitive "no" to the question of whether or not he thought gay sex was a sin came only after endless excruciating sessions of wriggling around the topic, and even after that he continued to further complicate his position. For me, as I assume for many, it completely killed any slim chance that I might be voting Lib Dem last week. Lots of people – including Farron – claimed that his religious beliefs did not filter through to his political life. But this is a man who voted against a 2007 Act that made it illegal for public services to be denied to people on the grounds of their sexuality. His LGBT voting record is far from perfect, and littered with abstentions. So his argument doesn't really wash.

After the party's dire election results in 2015, and Nick Clegg's resignation, was Tim Farron really the best this lot could come up with? OK fine, he was one of the few MPs who wasn't tarred with the coalition brush. But surely, unless we are to attribute a staggering degree of naivety to him, he knew that these questions about his religious views were going to come up? And clearly he knew what people's reaction was going to be, otherwise he wouldn't have fudged his answer so many times. So off he goes, and now he can remain faithful to Christ without reporters shoving a camera in his face and asking him inconvenient questions when all he really wanted was to just get on with the job. The Lib Dems now face an interesting choice – do they go with a leader who'll double down on the second referendum position? Do they choose someone who'll make a bold pitch for the centre ground, or do they start looking at the possibility of a so-called progressive alliance at the next election? Whatever happens, their next leader will be inheriting a political party that need to find an identity and a purpose again.

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone, especially if you're kicking it at Sonar. I'm probably gonna spend it listening to my favourite new genre Naughty Tech-House. It's so naughty that Tim Farron probably thinks I'm going to Hell for listening to it.


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