Tim Farron tells it straight: a disappointing, distressing, devastating first year… but Lib Dems remain determined

by Stephen Tall on September 10, 2011

It’s not often that forewords to the Lib Dem conference directory by the party president make media headlines. But Tim Farron’s honest appriasal of the past 500 days of the Lib Dems in Coalition has done just that — ‘Naive’ Liberal Democrats have suffered a loss of identity, says Tim Farron in The Guardian.

The article is very Tim: blunt, honest… but also optimistic. Here’s his unspun assessment:

The last 12 months has been a bit of a roller coaster for the party, with some fantastic highs reached as we entered into government, followed by some extreme lows in the wake of the disappointments in May. … But let’s be realistic. The consequences of being in power and of not getting our messages across to the public at large have been particularly distressing.

… it’s how you pick yourself up and move forward in the wake of great disappointment that defines you, and I fully believe that the best way to answer these losses is to use this conference as an opportunity to come back together, and address the issues and the problems we are facing together. …

It may have been naive of us not to realise the threat we faced as the smaller party in a coalition government, that does not have a single media outlet fighting our corner. But we absolutely cannot wallow in self pity; we must identify our threat, respect it and then show complete determination to overcome it.

You can read Tim’s article in full here (PDF) on page 4.