Interviewing the Party President

by Harry Matthews

Four young bloggers interviewed Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron at Federal Conference last month. A Lib Dem member himself from the age of 16,  Tim has been a keen advocate of youth politics ever since. He hosted Liberal Youth’s training weekend last year in Kendal, as well as voting against the rise in tuition fees in 2010.

It was interesting to see that the four bloggers had their own angle for the interview. Here’s an excerpt from each:

Andrew Emmerson regularly challenges Tim on Twitter, to the extent that the President good-naturedly called him “my orange book advisor”. This time Andrew was keen to ask Tim about his stance on equal marriage:

On civil partnerships for heterosexual couples Tim seem open minded, stating it should definitely be part of the discussion and consultation and if anybody wanted to partake in such the they should be allowed! It was a good positive start from Tim, clutching his red bull, who seemed genuinely passionate about a choice that could happen!

Tim told Joshua Dixon why he chose the Liberal Democrats over parties that might have seemed more “fashionable and exciting”:

We are an idealistic movement that is deliberately awkward. Awkward in terms of the establishment and awkward with how we fit in with the popular view and that is still the case. If you’re in the North East being Labour is just something you are, whilst being Tory you wouldn’t even dream of it. Being a Liberal…it takes a bit of imagination and bit of character. Being a Liberal Democrat is being in a party with a bit of imagination and some character and  a party who are idealist, want to make a difference and don’t believe politics should be run by people who pay the most money.

Emma Revell learned that Tim values the assets that underpin the party’s policies and campaigns:

My second question to Tim asked what his proudest achievement as Party President had been so far. I expected him to name a policy he supported but was quite surprised that his first choices were the new HQ and the appointment of a new Chief Executive. These are, in his own words,“geeky” choices but they are clearly things he is proud of.

George W. Potter questioned Tim about his vote on time limiting contributory Employment and Support Allowance:

And when you know, that as a Member of Parliament, it comes to going through the lobby, that you are actually not going to change the outcome of the result, even if you wanted to, then you’ve got to think what are your motives for doing that. I’d have been able to appeal to the wider membership, and perhaps some of my constituents, and I wouldn’t have achieved anything and there were a lot of wins we had already won.

Thank you to Andrew, Josh, Emma & George for taking part – and of course Tim for being so candid with our interviewers.

Who do you think Liberal Youth bloggers should interview next? Tell us in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “Interviewing the Party President

  1. helenduffett says:

    Nice to see Tim get a grilling – well done for organising this, Harry!

    I’d like to read more interviews with our Parliamentarians, or how about other key campaigners from around the country, eg council group leaders?

  2. William Dyer says:

    I would like to see an interview with the spokesman for culture, media and sport. To find out what Lib Dem policy is on the arts.

  3. Harry Matthews says:

    That’s a great idea, Will! I’m sure we can persuade Don Foster to do that!

  4. [...] Interviewing the Party President by Harry Matthews on The Libertine. “4 young bloggers got the chance to interview Tim Farron [...]

  5. Apologies if I’ve missed it – have you interviewed the cabinet ministers?

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