Thursday, June 15, 2017

"We must have names": Who were the men in sandals?

We Liberal Democrats are quick to boast that our leader is elected by one member, one vote.

Trouble is, it seems the same leader can be removed by a self-elected cabal.

Rumour has it that the group that did for Tim Farron consisted mainly of Lib Dem peers, but we don't know that for sure.

So I am happy to endorse this Liberal Democrat Voice comment by Bill le Breton:
We must have names. I have therefore emailed the Chair and Chief Executive of the ALDC – the body that represents the front line campaigners in this Party thus; 
"On behalf of the Party’s Councillors and Campaigners will you both please insist on being told the names of those who visited our former Leader and gave him the ultimatum to resign and publish these to the members of the Association." 
May I urge you to do something similar – the email address is 
You do not have to be a member of the Party or of the Association or a Councillor to reach out to them. They have the authority to speak for the activists and the passionate.
A comment by Martin Bennett on the same post, incidentally, lends support to my suggestion that it was not Tim's Christianity that caused him problems so much as his rather idiosyncratic interpretation of it:
"To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me." 
It is the Biblical stuff that is the problem, more specifically Tim Farron’s personal interpretation of an evangelical modern translation of the Bible. Here Tim admits to a problem. It is clear that there was a problem, otherwise the questions could have been easily brushed aside, but it is a problem that is very personal to Tim Farron. 
No translation of the Bible prior to the 20th century interpreted the Hebrew or Greek explicitly as homosexuality, but in evangelistic translations eunuchs and gentle or feminine mannered men emerge as homosexuals.


Tristan Ward said...

I am not sure this is true: see the following passages from the king James Version:

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)"


"If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)"

Leaving that aside, the issue is how Lib Dems reconcile a religiously held believe that homosexuality is wrong, held by a person whose actions demonstrate tolerance and indeed positive advancement of the LGBT agenda, with those who may feel repressed by such views. How do we fit that into the constitution that says:

"....Upholding these values of individual and social justice, we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation."

This is not the moment to have such a debate. Our enemies will welcome it. We have an isolationist/nationalist Tory party, a resurgent Labour party moving toward the democratic socialist end of its spectrum. Both those parties are committed to leaving the single market or worse. The next election may be six months away, or less. We need to get a new leader in place and campaigning as quickly as possible without distraction.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that evangelical sects tend to take their chosen version of the Bible literally and tolerate little deviation. They appear not to realise it is a composite document written in different parts several thousand years ago, with all sorts of obvious inconsistencies and anomalies. Sensible people treat is as a document to be revered and studied, not a single dogma to be followed.

There is one part of the old Testament that instructs you on how to discipline your slaves. Does Tim struggle with this too?

Phil Beesley said...

I don't know how Tim Farron interpreted the Bible for himself. As a Liberal Democrat, he acted as a liberal in public. He voted as a liberal. He wants to create a liberal world.

He had to put up with "progressives" quoting Old Testament rites whilst talking cobblers.

I am sure that he gave up because he was fed up.

wolfi said...

I was really suurprised when I heard about Farron's resignation - hadn't even known that he was an outspoken Christian. Unbelievable that this "Christian problem" is still a point of concern in Britain - especially in a Liberal party.

Just an example from Germany:
Our former chancellor Mr Kohl who just died was also a Christian - his party has it even in its name - but some years ago he was best man for one of his advisors who married his long time male friend. Though I never was a CDU voter - this kind of tolerance impressed me! RIP Mr Kohl ...