In response to the news that Emily Thornberry described the Lib Dems as “like the Taliban” over their new revoke Article 50 Brexit policy, the former Lib Dem leader responded:
“Come on Emily, if we really were like a Middle East terrorist group, don’t you think Jeremy would’ve invited us to a conference fringe meeting before now?”
What is the point of the LibDems? Last night Vince Cable and Tim Farron missed the vote on the key Brexit amendment. Cable was at a “confidential meeting” elsewhere and Farron was giving a talk in Dorset about evangelism. If they’d bothered to turn up the government’s majority would have been just one. Vince is briefing out that his absence was “cleared by the party chief whip”, while Faz has told the Guardian “I was authorised to be absent”. Both rather cruelly dumping on Alistair Carmichael for the cock up rather than take responsibility for themselves. Carmichael says sorry:
“Last night I messed up. The government squeaked home by just 3 votes in a key amendment. It should have been 1. I was not expecting a close vote – up until 8pm Labour were planning to abstain which would have meant the vote would be lost by hundreds. In fact several Labour MPs voted with the government- which is why they won. By the time it became apparent that the vote was going to be close – it was too late to get two of our MPs back in time to vote. I’m taking responsibility and redoubling my efforts to stop Brexit.”
Is there any party in Westminster that isn’t a total shambles?
Tim Farron, still the leader of the Liberal Democrats remember, has gone full Westboro Baptist Church and compared himself to a North Korean dissident, mocking other faiths with “funky garb” with “interesting buildings”. He’s basically saying he’s a modern day Jesus, the victim of religious persecution. Get out the tiny violin…
“Christians do feel marginalised, and they are meant to… the Bible tells us regularly that our faith will go against the grain, that we’ll suffer for being a Christian. Being Christian is not meant to be easy. The writer of Philippians says “it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him”.
Now, being harangued by journalists or slagged off by political opponents for my faith, hardly compares with the struggles of being a Christian in North Korea, where you have a one in four chance of being imprisoned for your faith. But the point is that Christian faith will go against the grain, if you aren’t struggling at least a bit against the expectations and assumptions of the world- then well, you should be!…
My own experience during the election tells me that people don’t mind people of faith in politics – so long as their faith is only of the cultural variety. So, if you wear funky garb, have nice colourful festivals, have interesting buildings and ceremonies, then we are absolutely fine about your faith – in fact your religious culture makes us more diverse and allows me to define myself as very liberal and tolerant by demonstrating how cool I am with your religion. However the moment you show any signs of actually believing in this creed, of thinking that this stuff about Jesus might even be true or that this faith might in any way impact on your conscience or your life choices… well, we don’t like that one bit.”
Tim, you had to deal with a few questions about thinking gays are sinners, not Judas and Pontius Pilate. If your faith and politics are incompatible you are not a persecuted Christian. You are in the wrong party.
Tim Farron is resigning as LibDem leader, “I have found myself torn, living as a faithful Christian and leading a political party in the current environment…” Seems a private commitment to Christian values is incompatible with modern liberal values. How intolerant.
Expect it to be Swinson versus Cable or Davey for next leader…
There have been murmurings of a leadership challenge against Tim Farron being mooted over the last few days. Now Brian Paddick has resigned citing concerns “about the leader’s views on various issues that were highlighted during GE17”. It ain’t his views on spaniels that’s the problem…
I’ve resigned as @LibDems Shadow Home Secretary over concerns about the leader’s views on various issues that were highlighted during GE17.
— Brian Paddick (@brianpaddick) 14 June 2017
Jo Swinson, who won back East Dunbartonshire last week, is the name doing the rounds as a potential challenger. Will Farron survive the summer?
Guido understands Tim Farron’s top spinner Paul Butters is leaving. This will be a major loss to the LibDem leader, Butters is a page lead wizard with a journalist’s mind who was single-handedly responsible for getting his boss’ name in the paper over the last couple of years. His instantly recognisable catchphrase “mate” will be missed by Lobby hacks struggling for stories in the Red Lion. This election really was the massacre of the contacts…