“Britain needs us to win”

linking Lochcarron and Kyle of Lochalsh. Frequent rock-falls have closed the bypass for up to 3 months at a time, harming businesses and stopping day-to-day life in its tracks. Along with transport, job creation is as important in my constituency as everywhere else and I am working hard to reinvigorate the Kishorn manufacturing site which could create countless jobs in the green energy sector. It is early days, but I am looking forward to welcoming government ministers from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the site, and I hope they will recognise this ‘sleeping giant’s’ fantastic potential. I have been concentrating on national issues too; in the parliamentary party we have worked to create a fairer, greener and more equal economy and, together as a Lib Dem team, we really are making the difference. I agree with Tim Farron, who recently said: ‘We have done too much good work to turn back now Britain needs us to win.’ I have been President of our party and well understand the personal pressure; you have to be the strong advocate for our party, while being a critical friend to the leader. The President has to work tirelessly for the party in the media and campaign hard all over the country and all I can say, is that in the last two years Tim has done an amazing job. Paddy Ashdown said Tim reminded him of David Penhaligon. I see that in him too. He has done exactly what was needed in what must have been the most difficult two years a President has faced. This is why I am glad to support him again and I hope you will do the same.

@timfarron #farron4pres

Our Liberal Vision

I recently launched the ‘Fix Stromeferry Bypass’ petition to pressure the SNP to fund a replacement for the dangerous stretch of road

Contact Tim
If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask Tim, or if you want to support his bid for a second term as party president, it’s easy to get in touch. Write to: Tim Farron MP, Freepost LA310, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 8BR Email: tim@timfarron.co.uk Or find Tim on twitter @timfarron, on Facebook or on the web at: timfarronforpresident.org.uk
Printed by Park Communications, Alpine Way, London E6 6LA. Published and promoted by P Trollope on behalf of T Farron both at Acland House, Yard 2, Stricklandgate, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4ND

Tim Farron: Reflections back and a vision forward Nick Clegg: Tim Farron: “A top-notch campaigner” Charles Kennedy: “Britain needs us to win”
And more from Councillor Claire Thomas on membership recruitment, Councillor Daisy Cooper on the Leadership Programme

blurred. That’s why my job is to be a critical friend to the coalition. “Nick is extremely good at staking out our separate identity - as he did so effectively recently on wealth taxes, which we’ll now take forward at conference. But there are times when he can’t differentiate as much as he’d like, when we still need a voice on the television or in the papers setting out the Liberal Democrat view. But how does Tim himself see the role, and as he comes towards the end of his first term, what does he think he has achieved and what have been the highlights? “I suppose for most members it’s the appearances I make on the television or radio that’s the most visible. When I stood to be President in 2010 we’d just entered the first coalition Government since 1945. I still believe what I said then, we need to keep putting across a distinctive Liberal Democrat vision, otherwise we risk our identity getting
Tim is first and foremost a committed champion for his local community with a passion for grassroots campaigning As Party President Tim speaks to our liberal heart in his public speeches

im Farron
Oldham, to helping out during elections across the country as well as a fair number of peace time visits. “For our party to survive and thrive, it’s vital to keep that dialogue going. While I can’t knock on every door, I find it’s really important to keep in touch with what people think. And not just members, but ordinary voters too.”

‘Short Money’ passed away. There have been some bumps on the road, but it’s clear that two years in things have settled down again, and the party is ready for the challenges ahead.” Tim’s also been passionate about increasing the party’s membership. “If we’re going to thrive, we need a strong stable base of members. Going into Government wasn’t going to be easy, and we were always going to lose some support. But, that decline has now halted, and new members are joining every week. “Often though, people who would be members simply aren’t asked. That’s why I developed the Membership Challenge, rewarding individuals and local parties who sign up new members regularly in a co-ordinated fashion.” This autumn, the party will vote on who it wants to be President for the next two years. Tim has announced he’ll be standing again, and he’s the favourite to be given a second term. “Being our party’s President is a wonderful honour for me. I’m proud that our party is one of hope, freedom and liberty and we are fighting for our

values. This government is better, fairer and greener for having the Liberal Democrats in it. “Over the last few years together we have stood up and made our party one of government. It’s been tough, but it was the right decision. We are making our country a better place for our children, our families and our communities. “But there is more that can and must be done. If re-elected I will continue to be a

“As a result, the role of Party President within the coalition was always going to be different to what had gone before and I have tried to do everything I can to meet that challenge.” Tim remembers the first day of his presidency well. It was straight in at the deep end. “I was in Oldham,” he recalls. Just a couple of weeks before polling day, and there was no easing himself into it. Tim joined a team of campaigners hitting the streets of Saddleworth, knocking on doors and delivering leaflets. I ask him about the campaigning he does around the country. “It’s very important to me to be out and about, talking to voters across Great Britain. I’ve done a lot of it in the last couple of years from that first day in


Of course, being Party President is more than what’s seen in public. The President chairs the Federal Executive committee and plays a key role in keeping the party running. Here too, things have changed a lot in the last two years. “The biggest change was the move to Great George Street. Our old HQ at Cowley Street was a nice building, but wasn’t really fit for purpose. We’ve also had to restructure many of our staff teams as the old certainties about

Tim has travelled across the country as President speaking to local activists and supporting their campaigns

Tim is a committed campaigner, always keen to lend his support from Cardiff to Hull, Penzance to Dundee

Tim believes in honouring our committed members, celebrating their contribution and learning from their experience

Tim believes our party must nurture talent and ensure we are successful for generations to come

distinctive liberal voice, making sure Liberal Democrats are heard both on the ground and on the airwaves. I will do everything I can to make sure we get the credit we deserve. “I will spend the next two years working tirelessly to improve our campaigning capacity, working with the campaigns department to make sure our people on the ground have the tools they need to win in 2015 and in all the elections between now and then. “I will continue to be an unwavering supporter of Nick and our ministerial team, but to be a critical friend of the coalition. Most importantly I’ll get out there and make clear what the Liberal Democrats are for, why we are distinct from the coalition, why people should vote for us, why people should join us, and why we have the best ideas to make Britain even more green, fair and liberal.”

Tim has worked tirelessly to be a powerful voice in the media delivering the Liberal Democrat message

The big membership ask
join the party when asked. We just have to get out there and make that ask.” Immediately after the local elections in May, when she secured a stunning 16% swing from Labour to hold her seat, Claire wrote to everyone who had helped her who were not already members. She thanked them for their work and explained how they could get involved with the local team by joining the party. Claire swiftly followed up these letters with telephone calls and personal visits. The results were impressive - over half the people she asked in person joined! “If we can get 13 new members in one month in an inner-city ward in Hull, just think how many people there are across the country just waiting to be asked to join!”

“A local party needs an active membership base. We all know how much we rely on our members to keep campaigning going, but we have to work hard to build that base. “It seems simple to say, but asking people really does work,” says Claire Thomas. “There are a lot of people out there who want us to do well and they are willing to

Leadership Lights
leadership programme it sounded like too good an opportunity to miss. Lib Dems have always led the debate on equality but our MPs are the least diverse of the three major parties.” Daisy Cooper was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Suffolk Coastal at the 2010 General Election. “As a first-time candidate in 2010, taking part in the ALDC Kickstart Training Weekend was the best thing I did to help me through” said Daisy. “I was also very fortunate to work with a very generous, hardworking and ambitious local party.” For Daisy, applying for the Leadership programme seemed like a natural choice. “Nothing beats the practical experience of standing in a general election, but when I heard about the But what does being on the leadership programme actually entail? “Primarily, the programme provides intensive and personalised professional training and advice, from how to fight a selection campaign in a target seat, to raising the funds necessary to fight and win that seat. There's one residential weekend a year, training at conference and training days throughout the year, and advice from an MP 'mentor' and a 'business mentor'.” And what does the future hold?

“A top-notch campaigner”
“I think everyone on the programme is there for the same reason: to be selected for and help win Parliamentary seats at the next General Election. The diversity of the candidates - including their personal and political experiences - is really exciting. I hope we can all become ambassadors for the party - and in the long term MPs - of which all our members can be proud.”

E It is no secret that these haven’t always been the easiest years for us as a party,

so having a President who can articulate what we have done and why (and what we have stopped and why!) is hugely important. That’s the job of the Party President, being an unalloyed Liberal Democrat voice outside government, and that is the job Tim has been doing. At the same time Tim always tells it to me straight when giving me his view on what the right decisions for the party are, which is exactly what a good Party President should do for the Party Leader. And I know he, as I do, places a huge amount of importance on getting out and

listening to our members and activists; understanding what they want and expect from the Liberal Democrat parliamentarians they helped send to Westminster. Tim, working with great colleagues like Paddy Ashdown and Richard Kemp, has also been absolutely right to focus attention on how we rejuvenate localism and our community politics foundations. These matter so much for our party and as Party President Tim has been right to focus on our grassroots. I know that they are safe in his hands.

We must increase our funds and direct resources at winning our key seats.


iberal Vision
No one joins a movement without reason, so we must give people compelling reasons to join us. As Party President my role is to help reach out and do that. My aim is to be your independent voice, who sets out what the Liberal Democrats believe, what we are achieving, what we have prevented the Tories doing and why you should cast your vote for the Liberal Democrats next time. No one will be voting for the coalition at the next election, we will rightly stand alone. Our identity must be clear, simple, distinctive and memorable. I want our message to be distinctive but not destructive. We believe in coalition politics. We are principled, idealistic people and amongst our ideals is that people who disagree with each other in politics must be able to work together in a civilised manner. If we want people to vote Lib Dem next time, then in 2015 the idea of coalition government must not be one that people dread or dismiss. We have to make pluralistic politics work. know are those who own their own business. They have on their consciences the livelihoods of their employees and their families. They keep them in work while paying themselves less than the minimum wage, or perhaps drawing no wage at all. These people drive our economy - their creativity and independence is the essence of Liberalism. We must be the party of internationalism and peace. We resist hawkish, arrogant and unimaginative approaches to conflict. It was no accident that we led the opposition to the illegal Iraq war. But we should also be actively humane when it comes to tragedies and injustices that we can mitigate or avert, as we did over Kosovo and Libya. We must oppose the like for like replacement of Trident. It is a Cold War relic and renewal would send out a message that Britain is an aggressive and belligerent power, whilst leaving our military with an expensive and inflexible arsenal. We must be the party of strong public services. Whatever compromises we may have had to make in coalition, we remain resolute in our support for nonfragmented, highest quality state education, NHS and police services. We should look at our national infrastructure from a pragmatic point of view. There are not enough affordable homes in this country and the best and quickest way of solving that problem is to do it via the community, through the building of ‘council houses’. This is not a ‘preference for state intervention’. It’s an acceptance of the blinding reality that if we want certain goods to be provided then we need, as a community, to simply get on with it! We can’t just sit around hoping that the market or voluntary projects might fill the gap. In our economic approach we are Keynesians, not socialists. We are social we are economic liberals. liberals We believe in the market, but we don’t accept that unfettered market forces bring about the best results for our society. You only need to look at the banks, the supermarkets, the media corporations to know that the invisible force in the market can often act more like gravity, with more and more power gets sucked up by those who already have most power. So we believe in a market where the community (or the state) is the referee, the regulator and sometimes the provider. The community should provide schools and hospitals, but ideally we should also run vital infrastructure where competition cannot work properly, or would only produce poor service, no service or duplication.

All of the above in reverse! We’re in coalition with our opponents and so our identity has understandably become blurred. We have made a lot of tough and necessary decisions, (along with one or two unnecessary ones!), and the electoral impact we have experienced has been large. The impact on our membership and infrastructure has been large too. We’ve marched towards the sound of gunfire into the very midst of the battle and we’ve suffered some wounds. Our biggest opportunity/threat is the next election. By which I mean the

Let’s not mince words. In 2015 we face our biggest challenge for generations. We must defend fifty seven seats and seek to gain more. Recognising that challenge and building a plan to overcome it is something which excites me. It won’t happen by stroking our chins though. It will only happen by having a strategy, hitting the pavements and turning that strategy into action. Survival is the essential first phase of an ambitious strategy to become a major party of government and to change Britain for good. That means employing tactics to ensure that we defend our base over the next two and a half years. This must be the all-encompassing objective.

As we build our party, we must also achieve greater diversity. It is an outrage that our party, which best represents the diverse communities of Britain, looks least like them! That’s why the leadership programme is vital, and I will continue to support it because it gives us our best chance of ensuring that campaigners from underrepresented groups are elected as Liberal Democrats. This is about fairness, but it’s also about our party moving towards its strategic objective. I suggest it should be to become a ‘30% party’ by 2020. We should be a party whose average percentage of the national popular vote is 30%, thereby becoming a major party of government. We will only do that by expanding our appeal, and that includes expanding our appeal to minority communities.

We are competent at being in government, 1 in 4 people voted for us and we will fight for them. We punch above our weight, we are plucky, we are serious, we are in no one’s pocket; we are people who think for themselves and we are people who think for themselves. We are green and being green matters. Climate change will have - and is already having - a massive impact on our world. I want us to be the party of small business. Some of the poorest people I

We’re in power, we can change our country and show what social liberalism looks like in practice. There are tens of thousands of people out there who are willing to support us - they only need asking. We have exposure like never before - we must turn it to the positive.

So we are greens, internationalists, level headed friends of business and defenders of the best public services. We are committed to justice within society, to the freedom of the individual, to redistribution from the powerful and wealthy to the powerless and poor, to using evidence of what works instead of esoteric dogma. We are committed above all to the people of this country, who we serve. And we desire to serve them at every level, not merely as the junior partner in a coalition, but as a leading party of government that will change Britain for the good.

Serving as your President is an enormous privilege, particularly in such challenging times for us. We have taken power. We have immense opportunities now to create a country that is fairer, greener and free-er. But we face huge threats as a movement. We must respect the threats that we face and tackle them head on. Time is tight, let’s not waste it.

elections this autumn, next May, the May after that, pending by-elections... but mostly I mean the 2015 general election.

When we had our big leap forward in Parliament in 1997, we had five thousand councillors. They were the critical base upon which our party’s strength was founded. A strong, credible and vibrant local government base is therefore vital. Council groups – even the smallest ‘one person band’ must have support to ensure they have the same know how that our best key seats have developed, even if it’s only deployed in a single ward. In this phase, we will never succeed unless we build our infrastructure. We simply have to increase our membership and activist base. That’s why we’ve introduced a system of rewards and targets for members and constituency parties. We have to embed membership recruitment into our DNA.

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