Tim Farron was the victim of prejudice against Christians

Tim Farron was the victim of prejudice against Christians June 15, 2017

The Catholic Cardinal of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, above, left, has added his voice to those claiming that Tim Farron was forced to resign as leader of the Liberal Democrat party this week because of prejudice against Christians in the world of UK politics.
According to the Catholic Herald, Nichols said he was:

Sorry to read Mr Farron’s statement and I recognise the hurt it expresses. Undoubtedly he has been given a hard time.
This country has a long and continuing history of very committed Christians making major and sustained contributions to our political life. Our current Prime Minister is just one example.

Canon Pat Brown, the Catholic chaplain to Parliament also expressed his sorrow, saying that he was:

Very saddened by the resignation of Mr Farron and alarmed if it is true that there is no place in Parliament for a committed Christian. It’s a judgement on the way we do politics in this country.

Crossbench peer Lord Alton of Liverpool, a former Liberal Democrat MP, also released a statement appearing to lay the blame at the door of the party, noting that millions of British people share Tim Farron’s Christian beliefs.

It is ironic that a Party, which I joined as a teenager, because of its belief in conscience, human rights and free speech, has morphed into something so narrow and intolerant…that its leader has been forced to choose between his Faith and his Party.

While Tim Farron should never have been forced to make this choice, said Lord Alton, he has nonetheless made the right call and should be admired for doing so.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, Farron said:

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.

He said he had found himself “torn” between:

Living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader. I seem to be the subject of what I believe and who my faith in is. In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.

Farron, who is on the evangelical wing of the Church of England, was repeatedly dogged by questions over his views on homosexuality during his time as leader, especially during the election campaign.
After winning the party leadership in 2015, he was repeatedly asked whether his Christian faith meant he believed homosexuality was a sin. The questions then arose again in the recent election campaign, with Farron first prevaricating before eventually saying he did not think it was sinful.
The Guardian then dug up a 2007 interview in which Farron said abortion was “wrong”. He recanted that view during the campaign.

Earlier on Wednesday, Lord Paddick, above, who is Britain’s most senior openly gay police officer, resigned as the party’s home affair’s spokesman over “concerns about the leader’s views on various issues that were highlighted” during the election campaign.
Farron narrowly held his Westmoreland and Lonsdale seat in last week’s election, but saw his party’s representation increase from nine seats to 12.

Farron’s departure has further diminished the influence of Christians in British politics

After the General Election Dan Hitchens, Deputy Editor of the Catholic Herald lamented the fact that voters had chosen to oust:

Some outstanding examples of Christians in public life. The Conservatives’ David Burrowes, an Evangelical who opposed his party on gay marriage and campaigned for refugees and the homeless, lost his seat. So did Labour’s Rob Flello, a Catholic convert who once said: ‘I could no more leave my faith at the door of the House of Commons than I could my name or my gender or my arms and legs.’

Some of the Christian MPs who were ousted in the General Election: From left, David Burrowes, Rob Flello, Julian Brazier and Nicola Blackwood
Flello was a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group; two other former members – Julian Brazier (Conservative) and Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem) were also ousted. A fourth member of the group, the Lib Dems’ John Pugh, stood down at this election. Meanwhile, Ben Gummer, a Tory minister who was opposed to abortion and said he would vote for a reduction in time limits, lost Ipswich. In Oxford West, Nicola Blackwood, a Christian Tory who voted against assisted suicide, was defeated by Layla Moran, a Lib Dem who supports it.
Hitchens said:

For all I know, the next generation of Flellos and Burrowses will be found among the new crop of MPs.
But it looks as though Parliament’s Christian contingent has been seriously damaged, which is worrying given the issues which could come up in the next five years. Pro-choice MPs are seeking the decriminalisation of abortion; the Tories want to introduce four-year-olds to ‘relationships education’; promoters of assisted suicide never give up; and that is only to mention the more obvious areas.
Christians have other reasons to be disappointed. Within both main parties, the movements which are explicitly inspired by Catholic social teaching – Red Toryism, Blue Labour – now seem on the back foot.

He concluded:

The hounding of Tim Farron suggested that British politics was an increasingly hostile environment for Christians, an impression which these election results have reinforced. Then again, the DUP – whose MPs tend to support the lives of unborn babies and oppose the redefinition of marriage – are now being welcomed into the corridors of power, so who knows? Perhaps we should all swear off predictions for a while. Perhaps Christians should especially.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • Dave

    I quite liked the man until I learned about his beliefs which I can’t believe anyone can believe 🙂

  • Johan

    Thursday, 15 June, 2017, 09:18 AM
    Yes … and didn’t he pick a good day for his hastily cobbled together toe curling snivelling exhibitionist resignation?
    But what can one expect from a man like Farron who’s reason for being in politics is not to serve the public but to evangelise and force christian agenda upon everyone including the vast majority of the electorate who have gotten past the point of poking their noses into the private lives of others. Farron is a spineless whimpering emotionally imature intellectually stunted bigot. He would be much better off as a man if he studied to become a lame duck country parish vicar sipping tea with anyone who can tolerate his presence.
    And it didn’t take long for the christians to get onto the telly this morning. I was watching BBC News this morning when the Dean of Somewhere, with the 24 storey people incinerator still smouldering behind him, went off on an evangelical christian sales pitch. A sickening display of how the pious use the misfortune and grief of others as raw material for the agrandisment of their nasty controlling cult. Soon we will be getting the memorial services led by the pious ratcheting up the grief levels and the disgusting claims that “the victims are now mercifully in a better place in heaven with god”. I heard those exact words a few weeks ago when I attended the funeral of a 15 year old boy in my local village church. The woman vicar, presumably fairly well educated and intelligent, showed no embarrassment at such knowingly specious and hurtfuls claims. Essentially she said that its better to be dead young than be with your family.

  • tonye

    Religion, the gift that keeps on giving……..
    To use the words – ‘It is ironic that a Party, which I joined as a teenager, because of its belief in conscience, human rights and free speech, has morphed into something so narrow and intolerant.’
    Is this the same party which booted out one leader (Kennedy) for having alcohol problems then drove his successor out (Campbell) for being old?
    Glad we got that clear.

  • Alan Crowe

    If his ‘faith’ is incompatible with Lib Dem policy, shouldn’t he give up both his seat and his membership of the party?
    He could join the Cons, he’d be right at home with their DUP bedmates.

  • Colin Davidson

    Polly Toynbee has a good piece in The Guardian today which suggests that Tim’s decision to resign was inevitable because of the LibDem’s performance.
    I just can’t help seeing the Christian persecution complex in action once again as a means of avoiding responsibility.

  • barriejohn

    Alan Crowe: Absolutely; there’s no logic in what he says at all, but I agree that “persecution” is just a convenient excuse for his resignation. The man has no personality and no vision, and is clearly no leader.

  • barriejohn

    Johan: If you were looking for manure for your garden there’s an enormous load of it in the following article.
    https://www.christiantoday.com/article/god.is.right.there.in.the.midst.of.disaster.christian.pastors.on.the.front.line.helping.distraught.survivors.of.the.grenfell.tower.fire/109971.htm
    They are like vultures circling their next meal. We’ve all had to sit through the toe-curling platitudes (“Our sister Eileen is now resting in the presence of Jesus”). There have, rightly, been complaints recently from people whose atheist relatives were credited with religious faith at memorial services, and there’s going to be a lot more of that over the next few weeks. If only more would speak out about it!

  • Angela_K

    Mr Farron only has himself to blame by not answering quickly when asked about equal marriage; if he had, the Press would have moved on. Also, many people cannot understand how Mr Farron could lead a party of egalitarian values yet hold religious views that are bordering on the extreme. I see the Press is full of whinging Christians, including the odious Andrea Williams, falsely claiming persecution and intolerance of those who are religious. We still have Mrs May, another Christian joining forcing with the vile DUP but I doubt she resign.
    Now that Farron has gone, I may rejoin the LIb-Dems.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    I seem to be the subject of what I believe and who my faith in is.
    OK, I’ve read that three times and still don’t understand it.
    Can anyone help me out?

  • Ian Sayne

    ‘God is right there, in the midst of disaster’: Christian pastors on the front line helping distraught survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
    No the Christian pastor are not on the front line. The front line is manned by the emergency services at the vanguard of which are the Fire Fighters who risk their lives and put up with enormous physical and mental strain. No the pastors are well behind the front lines, nearly at the back faffing about and humbly trumpeting the glory of Jesus and God. And all the time they are looking forward to the lucrative funerals at which they can dress in their finery and claim the victims are better off dead at gods side. Oh and of course we will get the memorial services which the pious clerics love. And do they care that they are using dead atheists as fodder for their Christian services. Yes bj they are like vultures. And like vultures they look forward to the next opportunity when deadly forces render unto them more corpses for exploitation.

  • Paul

    I have to agree with the statement “[sad it has]….. morphed into something so narrow and intolerant”.
    Problem is, that isn’t politics, that is religion in a nutshell.
    So don’t resign because the party is essentially total rubbish and a non-entity – resign and make up a story that god isn’t helping. Ironic.

  • tonye

    @barriejohn,
    ‘Atheist relatives were credited with religious faith ‘
    The vast majority of my family range from slightly religious to beyond parody religious.
    I have just one atheist relative and she will be in charge of my last wishes.
    Instead of readings from the bible I’ve asked for youtube clips of Dawkins, Hitchens and Sagan.
    For example:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC0P-WjneAs

  • StephenJP

    Farron is unbelievably mendacious. This man decided to become an evangelical Christian as an adult (which says a lot about his emotional and intellectual maturity in itself); he has said in so many words that people who do not accept the truth of the Resurrection are mad;he consistently voted against same-sex marriage in Parliament;he has relentlessly pushed his evangelical agenda at every opportunity; and he still thinks he is the one being persecuted!
    Alastair Campbell got at least one thing right: politicians who don’t want egg on their faces shouldn’t “do God”. Religion should be an activity for consenting adults in private.

  • Jedgardee

    Even as one of Hitchen’s anti theists I’ve a degree of simpathy with Tim Farron here. This is the thought police in action. He’s perfectly entitled to believe whatever he wants to about gay people, sin, etc. We should judge him on his actions. As far as I can tell he’s been perfectly liberal in every single vote on the issue, in favour of gay marriage etc., so he’s prioritised his liberal values over his christian values. What exactly has he done wrong?

  • Robster

    None of them ever seem to realise that the religion(s) representing their world view are perceived by the bulk, these days, of the population as complete, bigoted, hate filled nonsense. People are sick of the constant whinging when they fail to get their way, the fact that their beliefs are totally self focussed and that even six year olds are smart enough to leave the hole shady fraud alone.

  • Johan

    @Sjp …its a tragedy that Blair didn’t listen to Campbell. From faith schools to Iraq to a debate with Hitchens … Blair could have avoided all that.

  • Ian Sayne

    These arethe kind of nasty prejudices that infest the constipated brain of Cardinal Nichols.
    In 2012 Nichols condemned same-sex marriage proposals, calling it an “undemocratic, Orwellian shambles”.[37] Nichols also told teachers at Catholic schools that they could not marry divorced people, enter into civil unions or same-sex marriages and yet retain their jobs.[38] In 2013 Vincent Nicholas put an end to masses for LGBT people at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Warwick Street, Soho. The church would instead be used by conservative converts from Anglicanism.
    Archbishop Nichols said: “The moral teaching of the Church is that the proper use of our sexual faculty is within a marriage, between a man and a woman, open to the procreation and nurturing of new human life.”
    New human life being lots of new little catholic bigots to carry on the pox of catholicism and to provide the cute little bodies for priestly pleasures … a reward for the self sacrificing hardships of the priests.

  • barriejohn

    Our roses are doing famously this year, thanks in no small part to Paul Dacre and his plentiful supply of bullshit. There is so much wrong with this article that I wouldn’t even know where to begin!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4609414/Liberal-fascism-man-hounded-moral-pygmies.html

  • remigius

    ‘As far as I can tell he’s been perfectly liberal in every single vote on the issue, in favour of gay marriage etc., so he’s prioritised his liberal values over his christian values.’
    Jedgardee, quite the opposite. If he was perfectly liberal he would have voted for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill to become law. He didn’t – so he isn’t.
    Likewise, he voted against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, a law that bans discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. He actually prioritised his Christian values over his liberal values.

  • remigius

    Lord Paddick, who’s resignation over Farron’s bigotted views was the catalyst for Farron standing down, is himself a committed Christian.
    Nigel Evans MP, who grilled Farron in Parliament about whether gay sex was a sin, is himself a committed Christian. The list goes on.
    Question – ‘Who is being persecuted?’
    Christians – ‘We are!’
    Question – ‘Who is persecuting you?’
    Christians – ‘Er… We are!’

  • Jedgardee

    Not entirely fair remigious. Yes he voted against that in 2007 but ever since he’s been on the right side of the debate. I’m happy to forgive him for that, times change, minds change. If all committed christians were as liberal as he is we could all get on with something else. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/11923/tim_farron/westmorland_and_lonsdale/votes

  • Paul

    I find these reports disturbing and hilarious – ‘ooh I’m a christian and everyone won’t let me demand my religion takes preference over my duty to the ENTIRE electorate’. Not a section. But the entire electorate. How come his invisible (non existent) gawd can’t help him out.
    On another point about gawd not helping and OT. I listened to the BBC world service to a traumatised lady who got out of the Grenfell flats. Poor woman is homeless. Clearly a Muslim she said she had just finished praying (@ 0130 – it’s rama-nonsense) and she looked out the window and saw the fire and fled. Her gawd didn’t say look out of the window and get out – she did that herself, after prayers, yet she was supposedly on the line to allah at that time! What! was he not watching – why couldn’t he help. Unfortunately she’ll most likely be still religious and use some excuse of religion for her being able to escape.
    And it was heartbreaking to hear her, I did have great sympathy for her and her traumatic excerience. It must’ve been truly awful.

  • Paul

    @jedergee
    On gay rights 6 votes for, 1 against and 3 absences is hardly classified as a good record. I didn’t look into the abscences and if they were genuine, but a 6-4 vote record isn’t great is it.
    Being absent is almost as good as a vote against.
    As far as him being a committed Christian is concerned why do we have to hear this crap all the time – or ‘I’m a British Muslim’ or ‘I’m a Jew’ – I don’t think many care. I wish all these religions would Just shut up about it, it’s facile, pathetic, boring and meaningless. Labelling oneself a particular religion immediately means everyone else is not in that group.

  • remigius

    Jedgardee. Either you are being disingenuous, or you do not know how the legislative process works.
    You say – ‘times change, minds change’ but his stance on gay marriage in 2013 was the same as his stance on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in 2007.
    If he was in favour of gay marriage he would have voted for it to become law. But he didn’t – so he isn’t.

  • remigius

    ‘On gay rights 6 votes for, 1 against and 3 absences is hardly classified as a good record. I didn’t look into the abscences and if they were genuine, but a 6-4 vote record isn’t great is it.’
    Paul, those 6 votes ‘for’ were not in favour of gay rights. They were in favour of a debate on gay rights – not the same thing. It’s how the parliamentary process works.
    Supposing I was an MP, strongly against FGM. If someone proposed a motion to make FGM compulsory you would think I’d vote it down – but I wouldn’t. I would vote for it to proceed through Parliament so as to force a number of debates on the issue. I would then use these Parliamentary debates to voice my objection.
    In the end the only vote that counts is the vote on the Third Reading. This is where MPs decide whether the proposal becomes law. All previous votes are on whether to proceed/debate etc.
    In the above example it would ‘appear’ from my voting record that I was in favour of FGM, whereas I would actually be against it.
    Tim Farron voted to have the debates on gay marriage, but he did not vote for it to become law.

  • Jedgardee

    Sorry remigious I clearly don’t share your knowledge of the parliamentary process. But I can count. He voted against ONCE in 2007 and has not done so since. Paul – don’t be daft, your claims that his absence clearly counts as a vote is ridiculous.
    Why should he be in favour of gay marriage exactly if it conflicts with his religious beliefs? He has every right to hold them and it is deeply illiberal to think he doesn’t. My point is he didn’t vote against, i.e. he was true to his liberal values. Our side are sometimes so damn keen to throw bigot around on anyone who doesn’t pass the purity test for everything they’ve said or done, ever. We’ll end up just talking to ourselves.

  • Paul

    Remiguis
    I didn’t go into the detail whether it was the Third Reading – thanks that you have – I understand fully the point. And I agree and side with you. I wanted to counter the first argument on simple arithmetic that somehow he was pro gay rights, 6-4 isn’t a good record and worse now you include no Third Readings. Moreover, his deeply commttted Christian outlook, and the facts you state, makes him exactly the opposite. But then I believe that you and I already were aware of that.

  • Paul

    Jedargee
    You need to read properly what I wrote. I wrote being absent is almost equalling a vote against. Hardly daft, because his abscence might well be tactical and he wouldn’t have to vote at all and therefore not ‘for’. And Rem is correct. Whilst We all make Mistakes, you ought to understand our parliamentary process and not take at face value anything s politician says. Simply relying on Farrons own web site is dangerous. He is a politician. Most of whom are deceitful, untruthful and incapable of real honesty. Working and moving in double speak and hardly ever saying what the rest of us would in clear English so the majority could understand.
    His vote was wasted either for or against. The point is he isn’t what he makes out he is.

  • Jedgardee

    Thanks ever so much for the patronising pat on the head Paul, very nice of you. Let’s get this clear then – despite what he says, which is backed up by his voting record (his actual one, not the one you’ve ‘reinterpreted’) I’m supposed to label him a bigot and sit smugly in my armchair knowing I’ve got put another Christian to the intellectual sword? Sorry but I’ve got a less cynical view of humanity than you.
    Yes he’s a politician, one of most self-serving, deceitful group of people on the planet, yes he’s almost certainly wrong about gods, devils, evolution, science, whatever. But he is entitled to think what he wants and we should vigorously defend that right. His actions do not demonstrate to me that he is a bigot, it just means he’s got some ideas we regard as bad ones.
    You guys on the other hand seem so keen to see bigotry and stupidity in every single religious person, always. That’s… well… bigoted, isn’t it?

  • barriejohn

    His actions do not demonstrate to me that he is a bigot, it just means he’s got some ideas we regard as bad ones.
    That’s a classic!
    Evidently, it is “not acceptable” to ask Christian politicians their views about homosexuality:
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/06/16/archbishop-of-york-claims-its-not-acceptable-to-ask-christian-politicians-about-gay-sex/
    Whatever next?

  • Paul

    Jedergee
    I See what you wrote as simple and rude. I hoped you would understand what’s been pointed out to you. But you can’t or won’t. His voting was explained by Rem. you clearly don’t want to accept/ understand that.
    I Do not infer or refer to him as a bigot (and no one introduced that save you) and it shows how shallow your argument is. No one has and I certainly haven’t. And importantly I haven’t patronised you. It was a clarification. You are way too sensitive over words. It’s a bit like the report the other day with muslims crying foul over a disgusting billboard yet they were the ones objecting and that it was referring to Mo when in fact the billboard mentioned no names at all.
    I have pointed out holes in your arguments and it’s clear you don’t like that.
    I envy that you are not cynical of people,you haven’t had the life nor experiences that I have.

  • Jedgardee

    Sigh, I knew I shouldn’t go below the fold. I thought maybe with a title like Freethinker it’d be different but nope, wrong again…
    Barriejohn – what do you disagree with in my statement you think is classic exactly? Does it follow that you’re always a bigot if you hold bad ideas? Help me out I’m struggling here.
    Paul – I really don’t see what you’re pointing out to me that I’m not understanding here. His voting record is good, he says he stands up for gay rights and his actions seem to bear that out. I’m pointing out to you that you don’t get to count absent votes to prop up your assertions. However you clearly don’t want to accept/ understand that. See what I did there..?
    I’m sorry you have had such a lousy life, I really am. It must be awful going round thinking everyone on the planet is mendacious. Or are they just the ones you don’t agree with? How do you function if you’re not able to take anyone at face value and see the best in them? And if you can function how do you filter them out? I’m genuinely interested.
    Anyways, sorry to have troubled you brave freethinking types with all my pesky liberalism and stuff. You guys get back to snorting derrision at the religious, between yourselves obviously cos no fucker else is actually listening. Ever thought of setting up on Freethought Blogs?

  • barriejohn

    Tim Farron, sadly, supports bigoted ideas. The trouble with “judging people by their actions” is that ideas are the precursors of action. When I first listened to his statement I had great sympathy for him, because I was in a similar position myself as a young, gay, evangelical Christian with liberal tendencies (and some intelligence!), who eventually suffered a “nervous breakdown” because of the impossibility of reconciling contradictory views, and of being true to myself. However, it is disingenuous of him to blame people for “hounding” him when he put himself in the position of being the leader of a progressive, liberal political party while thinking that he could, personally, stay true to reactionary ideas. What on earth was he thinking? Was he in total denial, or was he just crossing his fingers and hoping that everything would work out all right? He was the architect of his own downfall, and upon reflection I have less respect for him now than I did before he made that appalling resignation speech, which is very sad.

  • Paul

    Jedgarder
    I think you are quite pathetic if you cannot understand. Rem explained it and you still don’t understand – now that’s funny. But par for the course.
    What makes you think I’ve had a lousy life.
    At least I have one unlike you.

  • Jedgardee

    I agree with you about his typical Christian persecution complex. My point is that we cannot police people’s thoughts, we only have their actions to judge them by. And he was pretty good, not perfect, but fine. We have to tollerate his right to those views and beat them with better ideas and we have to defend everyone’s right to believe what they like and also say what they like unless and until they call for violence. And lets be right about it – the most effective way of turning people off religion is just to let the religious spout off.
    Just read a couple of articles on it you may be interested in and also came across what looks like a far more informative site for judging an MP’s voting record
    https://capx.co/tim-farron-was-true-to-his-faith-is-that-such-a-bad-thing/
    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/06/tim-farrons-tormentors-ashamed/
    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/in-defence-of-tim-farron/19964
    http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2017/06/15/the-illiberal-persecution-of-tim-farron
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Tim_Farron&mpc=Westmorland_and_Lonsdale&house=commons&dmp=6686

  • Jedgardee

    Paul. Sorry if I hit a nerve. Being cynical because of the life you’ve had and the experiences you’ve had are your words not mine. Sounds pretty lousy to me.

  • remigius

    ‘That’s a classic!’
    I see what you meme, barriejohn.
    http://www.memes.com/r/XwKg

  • remigius

    Jedgardee. The publicwhip.org website it misleading as in the overview it suggests that Farron was ‘for’ gay marriage (similar to other algorithm generated stats on MPs voting). Whereas his actual voting shows he favoured discriminating against same sex couples.
    It only shows him voting on the passage of the bill, and not the crucial Third Reading. If you want to know Farron’s stance on the issue of gay marriage from that site you have to look at his clause/amendment voting.
    For instance, he voted to allow registrars to discriminate against same sex couples…
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-20&number=6&mpn=Tim_Farron&mpc=Westmorland_and_Lonsdale&house=commons
    He also voted in favour of other clauses in the same bill to allow discrimination against same sex couples (unfortunately Barry won’t allow more that one link per comment without moderation – but you can look them up. New Clause 3, New Clause 8 etc.)

  • remigius

    Jedgardee. The publicwhip.org website it misleading as in the overview it suggests that Farron was ‘for’ gay marriage (similar to other algorithm generated stats on MPs voting). Whereas his actual voting shows he favoured discriminating against same sex couples.
    It only shows him voting on the passage of the bill, and not the crucial Third Reading. If you want to know Farron’s stance on the issue of gay marriage from that site you have to look at his clause/amendment voting.
    For instance, he voted to allow registrars to discriminate against same sex couples…
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-20&number=6&mpn=Tim_Farron&mpc=Westmorland_and_Lonsdale&house=commons
    He also voted in favour of other clauses in the same bill to allow discrimination against same sex couples (unfortunately Barry won’t allow more that one link per comment without moderation – but you can look them up. New Clause 3, New Clause 8 etc.)

  • Barry Duke

    @ Remigius I have no problem with allowing more than one link per post, but there’s a glitch in the system that’s causing all comments with links to go into the trash folder. I am constantly monitoring the trash and spam folders, so if your comment does not immediately appear just give it a while. We are trying to fix the problem.

  • barriejohn

    Remigius: Ha, ha, ha.
    More on Tim’s voting record here:
    https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/whats-tim-farrons-track-record-on-lgbt-rights
    Tim Farron has certainly supported LGBT causes on occasion, but there are also significant instances where he has not. His claim of a track record in consistently campaigning for equal LGBT rights over three decades doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny.

  • remigius

    Oops. That should be… New Clause 6, New Clause 8 etc.
    Never mind – here it is…
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-20&number=7&mpn=Tim_Farron&mpc=Westmorland_and_Lonsdale&house=commons

  • remigius

    My apologies, Barry. I wrongly assumed it was a policy, either yours or WordPress. I’ll try to be more patient in future.

  • Jedgardee

    Remigious, Barryjohn
    Huh, huh, piss funny. That’s shown me. The KKK’s ideas were never acted out so I’m bang to rights, you did me. And their actions are directly equivalent to the voting record of a Christian MP trying to reconcile his misguided faith with modernity, however we interpret that record without ploughing through Hansard line by line.
    Last effort. Can I change tack slightly and ask you whether the likes of Martin McGuiness & co didn’t deserve great credit for renouncing the horrific violence they acted out as younger men. I know there are compelling arguments that they should have been brought to book but it appears we never had sufficient evidence to convict them. So should they have remained as pariahs, even if that would in all likelyhood kept the violence going? Or is changing your mind a laudable thing that should be welcomed?
    It’s been a strange experience interacting with you here as I suspect we agree totally on the harms that religion causes. I very rarely comment on any website and you’ve reminded me why.
    Luckily you guys have clearly got everything all sussed out without me so you carry on sorting out all these religious losers. What is there, a couple of dozen you on here, putting them to the sword, day in day out, just like they do to ‘liberals’ below the fold in the Daily Mail. It makes fuck all difference to anyone else but gives you all a lovely warm, smug feeling of superiority. Enjoy.
    But Freethinkers? Ha ha ha!!!

  • John

    Everyone here seems to have missed THE key point.
    Which is that no one forced Farron to quit.
    He made that decision all by himself.
    Someone mentioned a Toynbee article in which she said he had no other political option following his campaign but to resign as Leader of the Lib Dems.
    My guess is that that is the real reason he has resigned.
    For him, so-called religious persecution is just a handy excuse to cover up his failure as a political leader.
    He is a revolting little pip-squeak of a man.

  • barriejohn

    John: You’re right, but Colin Davidson did mention that article, and I replied, “I agree that “persecution” is just a convenient excuse for his resignation. The man has no personality and no vision, and is clearly no leader.” Can’t say I’m overjoyed at the prospect of Jo Swinson leading the party, but, like Angela, I might rejoin the party now that Farron has gone.

  • barriejohn

    John: You’re right, but Colin Davidson did mention that article, and I replied, “I agree that “persecution” is just a convenient excuse for his resignation. The man has no personality and no vision, and is clearly no leader.” Can’t say I’m overjoyed at the prospect of Jo Swinson leading the party, but, like Angela, I might rejoin the party now that Farron has gone.

  • John

    Re-join the Liberal Democrats?
    The party that got into bed with the Tories for five years, supporting the Tory austerity measures and welfare cuts in full, while ditching their own pre-election commitments?
    The party that sold the younger generation down the river by promising to cut education fees – and then increasing them?
    My whole life experience is they are a party who say one thing to one group then something completely different to another, whatever is best for them.
    Farron fitted right in with their whole ethos of utter hypocrisy.
    Their next leader will do so too.
    The Labour Party has still some way to go to become the kind of party that puts the interests of the many before the few but at least they are moving that way.
    Forget the Lib Dems – I have!

  • barriejohn

    And my whole life experience has been of the Labour Party having grand ideas but never a clue how to pay for any of them!

  • John

    And yet the objective record shows that Labour governments pay off more public debt than Tory ones.
    There has never been a Lib Dem government, so it is impossible to know how they might behave.
    If their record in coalition government is anything to go by, they would participate in a doubling of the public debt, just as they did between 2010 and 2015.
    The next general election – as soon as possible, please – will be a straight choice between Labour and Tory.
    Voting for anyone else will be a wasted vote, except where there are sitting Lib Dem MPs.

  • John

    Grand ideas – like the NHS and the welfare state?
    Would you rather they did not exist?

  • remigius

    John, I think you may be confused. Both the NHS and the Welfare State are Liberal/Conservative reforms rather than Labour.
    The NHS and the Welfare State arose from the Beveridge Report commissioned by the Conservative led coalition government in 1941, and published in 1942. The author of the report, William Beveridge, was a member of the Liberal Party.
    On March 21st 1943 the Conservative Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, announced a four year plan for the establishment of a national health service and an expanded welfare stare – paid for by a mandatory national insurance contribution scheme.
    Churchill lost the election in 1945, however the Atlee Labour government continued with the plans for health and welfare.
    The Labour government were certainly in power when the NHS began operating in 1948 – but they were not in power when the reforms began in the early 1940s.

  • barriejohn

    And don’t forget Lloyd George, who introduced the Old Age Pension, although Labour was only a fledgling party at the time:
    http://spartacus-educational.com/Lold.htm
    All opposed by the religious and Northcliffe’s newspapers, of course (plus ca change!):
    “pure socialism… and the end of all, the negation of faith, of family, of property, of Monarchy, of Empire.”

  • John

    Labour were in government from 1940 onwards.
    Attlee served as Deputy Prime Minister along with a number of other Labour colleagues in government.
    Yes, Churchill was involved in the early attempts to introduce some sort of welfare state along with Lloyd George after Churchill had observed the Bismark reforms in Germany in the early 19th Century but he only did so as a result of wanting to have a fit and healthy workforce and a fit and healthy bank of recruits for armed service.
    The individual welfare of individuals did not come into it.
    From memory, the first 1911 state pension payment was five shillings for a single person over 70 or seven-and-sixpence a week for a married couple. Hardly generous!
    Yes, Beveridge and Butler both had their names on the reforms that were introduced by the 1945-1950 Labour Government, as well as the introduction of another Liberal set of ideas known as Keynesianism but it was a Labour Government that introduced these measures as the UK electorate knew that the traditional parties of power – Tories and Liberals – would only have tried to take the UK back to the earlier era of the 1920s and 1930s.
    The reforms were grudgingly accepted by Churchill during the early 1940s as a “price” for maintaining a united front in the struggle against Nazism.
    Turning to today, there is virtually no difference between the present-day Liberals and Tories. The Lib Dem record in coalition government contrasts sharply with Labour when in coalition government between 1940 and 1945.
    Labour extracted commitments to a modern welfare state, an improved education system and an NHS from the Tories as part of the deal to stay in coalition.
    The Lib Dems – between 2010 and 2015 – junked everything they had pledged themselves to just to get in to and stay in power. How can anyone trust them?

  • remigius

    ‘The reforms were grudgingly accepted by Churchill during the early 1940s as a “price” for maintaining a united front in the struggle against Nazism.’
    John, that’s bollocks.If it were the case that Churchill only ‘grudgingly accepted’ a proposed national health service in order to defeat Hitler he could have reversed that decision in 1945, after defeating Hitler.
    However, as the 1945 Conservative election manifesto shows, he was fully committed to the national health service. See here (about halfway down)…
    http://www.conservativemanifesto.com/1945/1945-conservative-manifesto.shtml
    If you have any evidence that Churchill was not in favour of the creation of the NHS I would be both eager, and surprised, to see it,

  • remigius

    Even the British Medical Journal credits Churchill, rather than Bevan, with the creation of the NHS…
    http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/31/without-winston-churchill-nhs-would-not-exist
    But please don’t let facts,or an article in a peer reviewed publication (published by the relevant professional body), get in the way of your sincerely held beliefs.

  • John

    What you are citing is a response to an 11-year old article, the content of which is hidden behind a paywall.
    The response – from a GP in Singapore – reads like something out of Tory Tall Tales.
    You should try to address yourself to the reality of the history of the 1940s and not the retrograde musings of some colonial practitioner.
    Churchill played a significant role in keeping the UK free in the 1940s – of that there is no doubt.
    But he also has much to answer for even in today’s world.
    His contribution to the zionist rape of Palestine being just one.

  • John

    Labour’s 1945 General Election was less wordy that the Tory one.
    See http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/man/lab45.htm.
    It kept the language simple, did not enshrine ‘voluntary’ hospitals (as did the Tory manifesto) and pledged ‘Labour will work specially for the care of Britain’s mothers and their children.’, whereas the Tories main concern seemed to be ‘the life of Britain and her enduring glory.’
    See the difference?
    I am sorry if this does not fit in with your perception of Tory paternalism. I think Macmillan was like that but he was just about the only in recent times, except possibly Heath, who was in office too short a time to be known.
    Coming back to today, I don’t trust the Tories or the Liberals of today to be any different to their counterparts from the 1980s onwards.
    They were – and are – all advocates of neo-liberalism – as were Blair and Brown.
    It is time for a change.
    It is time for Corbyn and McDonnell.

  • remigius

    ‘You should try to address yourself to the reality of the history of the 1940s…’
    I did, hence my inclusion of the 1945 Conservative election manifesto pledge on the NHS, which you somehow forgot to read – or maybe you did read it, and recognising that it did not fit your narrative decided to change the subject from the NHS to Palestine!

  • remigius

    Sorry, I started typing my comment about you not reading the manifesto before your second comment appeared. (Still an impressive change of subject, though).
    However, the fact still remains that Churchill was in favour of the NHS. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

  • John

    No – I read the entire section relating to health, ending with the words ‘the life of Britain and her enduring glory.’
    The usual humbug phrases associated with Churchill.
    Did you not read the entire section?
    I already referred to it once before above.
    I am just pragmatic about Churchill, whereas you seem to have some sort of hero-worship complex.
    In many ways – not good ways – I can see Boris Johnson emerging as a present-day Churchill figure.
    Watching him on TV recently, I noticed he is now cultivating a Churchillian-style walk.
    I am sure the Liberal Democrats would be happy to get into bed with Boris in Parliament.
    An “unholy” “marriage” of Bo and Jo, maybe?
    She could always say she is doing it for England.
    What do you say to that?

  • John

    Something has happened to this web site in the form of it taking some time before posted comments appear.
    This is causing unnecessary extra comments, as commenters are having to respond to earlier comments they had not previously seen.
    Barry has admitted the problem.
    Maybe we should all give him time and space to get it sorted?

  • remigius

    ‘What do you say to that?’
    I say bollocks to the lot of ’em. I cannot stand the Conservatives – they put the wants of the rich above the needs of the poor. I have never/could never vote for them unless they had a serious change of direction. As a centre-left/socialist I should support the Labour Party – but I simply don’t trust them with the economy. The Lib-Dems are a mess at the moment.
    I was strongly against Cameron’s Brexit referendum, and think Theresa May and her government are a complete joke. The last few years have been politically disastrous – but utterly fascinating.

  • John

    For me, the choice is simple.
    You can either support neo-liberal austerity or you can support the anti-austerity policies of Labour.
    In some ways, a direct reverse of what happened in the 1950s, when Labour – arguably – was the party of austerity and the Tories became the party of “free” choice.
    Austerity just drags our economy down and down and down.
    Look at the national debt, which has doubled since the Tories came to power in 2010, and shows no sign of decreasing.
    That is because the UK economy is being steadily whittled away by austerity measures.
    Based on Keynesian notions, this means that effective demand continues to fall, which benefits only the very richest in society who are feather-bedded from the effects of austerity.
    This is what has been happening since Thatcher gained power in 1979.
    The system must change and it can only change if investment in the UK economy is made.
    The Tories / Lib Dems have no policies to achieve this.
    Only Labour has a plan of investment in the UK people and economy.
    Either stay in a steady downward spiral with the Tories and Lib Dems or support Labour’s pro-investment plans.
    I know which I prefer.
    Not just for me but for all future generations.

  • remigius

    ‘That is because the UK economy is being steadily whittled away by austerity measures.’
    I totally agree. If I had been prime minister from 2010 onward I would have wanted to borrow money (at historic low interest rates) to invest in infrastructure and public sector / capital projects – thus stimulating the economy. Unfortunately I would not have been allowed to do that – and neither was David Cameron.
    The EU placed the UK into special emergency measures called EDP – the Excessive Deficit Procedure, effectively taking control of the budget. When an EU nation’s deficit exceeds 3% of GDP Brussels takes over. See here (from 2015)…
    http://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/uk-finland-scolded-by-eu-over-budget-deficits/
    “The UK budget will remain under Brussels oversight for a further two years after it breached deficit targets. Despite widespread spending cuts Britain failed to reduce its deficit to below 3% – the maximum allowed under EU law.”
    The Chancellor delivered the budget address, but the amount of spending/cuts was overseen by the EU.
    If Labour had won the election in 2010 Gordon Brown’s government would have been under the same EU budgetary oversight.

  • John

    Did you read ‘The EU cannot impose fines or sanctions on the UK because it is not a member of the eurozone.’ ?
    Effectively, the EDP does not apply to the UK.
    No excuse – therefore – for the unnecessary austerity measures of the Tories and Liberals 2010 to 2015.
    As Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly pointed out, austerity is a political choice and not an economic necessity.
    You keep bringing up points – that I then knock down.
    Can’t you just stop being a Blue/Yellow Tory apologist?
    They can’t get this country out of trouble.
    Only visionary Labour policies will do that.

  • remigius

    ‘Effectively, the EDP does not apply to the UK.’
    And yet both the EU and the UK think it does. Just because the UK cannot be fined doesn’t mean it isn’t in breach of EU law. Why was the UK placed under EDP by the EU if the EDP doesn’t apply to the UK? And why did the UK comply with it if it didn’t have to?
    ‘You keep bringing up points – that I then knock down.’
    Nope. You keep arguing the toss rather than addressing the points.

  • remigius

    ‘Can’t you just stop being a Blue/Yellow Tory apologist?’
    I have already made it clear that I am neither.
    ‘Only visionary Labour policies will do that.’
    I think we’ve found our apologist!

  • John

    Swinson has ruled herself out as a possible Lib Den Leader.
    Now what are you going to do?
    As for the EDP, it is meaningless, especially for the UK.
    Finally, on the question of the degree of authenticity of Churchill in supporting the establishment of the NHS, let the then people of the UK have the final word on that matter.
    They voted him out of Number 10 by a landslide.
    Clearly, they were just not persuaded by him at all.

  • John

    I am no apologist for Labour policies.
    I am an absolute 100% supporter of them.

  • remigius

    So you don’t defend/champion/advocate/etc Labour policies, but you do support Labour policies. Yeah, that makes sense.
    Any indication of when you’ll be addressing my questions at 6:49pm above? I’d love to know why the UK government complied with a law it didn’t have to (at a cost of billions to public services and irreparable damage to the its own reputation, as well as loss of control over its own budget) – and why the EU applied the same law to a country it shouldn’t have.
    I do realise you are still busy looking for evidence that Churchill was not in favour of the NHS (and believe me – I’ve looked myself but couldn’t find any!), though I am getting a little impatient.
    You can always admit defeat (we won’t think any less of you, quite the contrary) – or failing that you could have another go at criticising Churchill’s ‘humbug’ language and claim it as another ‘knock down’ victory.

  • remigius

    As per usual your 12:36am comment hadn’t appeared when I wrote my 2:44am comment. In fact my 2:44am comment has only just appeared.
    ‘Swinson has ruled herself out as a possible Lib Den Leader.
    Now what are you going to do?’

    I don’t understand the question. Do about what?
    I don’t believe I have ever mentioned Swinson. I haven’t given any indication that I am interested in, or support, the Lib Dems – quite the opposite, my comments about them have been negative. Have you finally realised that I don’t actually support the Conservatives so automatically assumed I was a Lib Dem – in spite of the evidence that I clearly am not?
    The rest of your guff about the EDP and the 1945 general election is so laughable it doesn’t even warrant a rebuttal.
    You are either very stupid, or someone pretending to be very stupid. I’m not sure which. Either way I think I am wasting my time trying to engage with you – so I’m finished here.