Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Liberals loathe conformity, we are awkward for the sake of being awkward, it’s in our blood.  We question everything, we dissent on anything and we are definitely not going to all agree on anything.  That is why I know that one Wednesday afternoon in Bournemouth something new happened.

A working class lad from an ordinary working class estate in Preston, Lancashire, stood on a stage and did something new.  He explained in terms that everyone in this country; now every english speaker on this planet can understand not what Liberals think or what Liberal do, but what Liberals are.

You can read Tim Farron’s speech in full here.
Or you can watch it on video here.

So, what is this something new that happened you may ask.

Someone like me is now leading a british political party.  An ordinary lad from an ordinary working class background; his father was a builder whereas mine was a fitter in an engineering factory; his mother worked part time on checkout, my mother worked in the canteen of a local college, and then got her shorthand and typing qualifications and became a secretary.

He’s right too about good parenting, you didn’t feel you were poor, though in my case I guess I always knew it.

Unlike Tim I never went to University, though I work there now and I guess having authorship on reports, acknowledgements in academic papers and even authorship (okay well down the list but still there) on one is not bad for an ordinary working class lad from Gorton, but this isn’t about me (well it’s my blog so it’s a bit about me or rather where I’m from) this is about a political party having a leader who is from where I am from.

The leader of the Tory party was born into wealth and privelidge, and is not somebody anyone from the working classes could claim affinity to, but the Labour leader was born neither to the wealth and privilege that all-too often lends a sense of entitlement, nor to the poverty and despair that can drive ambition and a thirst for revenge, but to the world of the modestly aspiring, but politically conscious, middle-class.   He too does not have a real affinity with the ordinary working class folk.

Whilst you can understand Cameron’s desire to make things even better for the rich, and you can understand Corbyn’s disconnect from the lives of the poor, Tim Farron is a man who has come from a background of poverty.  It is not for Tim an academic study or a study of the needs of others, it is a passion born out of his own life experience.

When Farron says he wants to end housing poverty, its because he has been there, lived that life, and he aspires to change that.

The chattering classes may comment about his accent (when they do call them racist), they may comment about his faith (when they do call them christophobes) they may even comment about his looks (positive body image is something they do not yet understand) but lets be clear about this.  We finally have a party leader who is from where I am and that is new.

We finally have a party leader who speaks from where I stand, and that is new.

We finally have a party leader from the people, of the people for the people, and when he made that speech, that Wednesday afternoon in Bournemouth, something new happened.

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