Friday, 10 July 2015

Sorry, Tim

It's the kiss of death. I voted for Alan Beith (Paddy Ashdown won), Malcolm Bruce was my no. 1 choice when Charles Kennedy became LibDem leader and I voted twice for Chris Huhne (and I did not regret those decisions right up until the moment when his deception over speeding points was revealed). Now I am going to vote for you.

In many ways, this election is similar to the last one in that both candidates occupied similar political ground. Nick and Chris were both former MEPs and both had contributed to Paul Marshall's Orange Book. Both spoke well from the platform.  In the end, I chose the more forceful of the two candidates and the one who had practical City experience, at a time when it was clear that the next government had to sort out the economy. It was a pity that we were not given the choice of someone who would now be described as a "social liberal", but I would probably have voted for Chris anyway.

Both you and Norman occupy roughly the same space on the social-economic spectrum as each other. I am voting for you because from the first time I heard you speak at a fringe meeting at Brighton conference in 2006 it was obvious that you were passionate about the things you believed in and you had no trouble communicating that passion. It's that instant connection with people from all walks of life that we need now as we constantly remind them what a mistake they made in removing us from government in May. (The working poor will feel the pain imminently as a result of the budget; I predict that the economy will begin to suffer from Tory mismanagement in a year or so as the coalition policy flywheel runs down.)

Your religious convictions do not bother me. His Catholicism did not affect my regard for Charles Kennedy nor hers affect my admiration for Sarah Teather. His Catholicism is not my main bone of contention with IDS, though I suspect the current Pope would disagree violently with the way he applies it. Steve Webb and Sir Alan were both leading members of the parliamentary Christian group until May but it did not prevent them fulfilling leading roles at Westminster. It was noticeable that the subject of religion did not come up during tonight's Any Questions?, of which you were a panel member. It was your contributions tonight, and the response from the audience, which finally sealed it for me.

Good luck in the contest. If there's any chink of hope for your prospects, it is that I have a good record in Welsh leadership elections.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Responding to comments elsewhere that Tim's belonging to an evangelical branch of Christianity makes him a swivel-eyed homophobe, I am grateful to the Yorkshire Gob for the pointer to Tim's voting record on the issue of equal marriage. He arrived in parliament too late to vote on the Civil Partnerships Bill, but I'm sure he would have voted for that too.