If there’s one thing that Tim Farron knows how to do, it’s making you believe that his party is still politically relevant.
The Liberal Democrat leader has claimed that his party could become the new Blairites, as they are the occupiers of the centre ground.
Speaking at his Lib Dem’s annual conference in Brighton, and as a seemingly new convert to Blairism, Farron said:
“Tony Blair’s government gave us the National Minimum Wage, gave us working tax credits. It gave us NHS investment and a massive school building programme”.
Even if Farron had ‘few disagreements’ with Blair, he still confessed that he admires him a lot:
“I admire him for those things. I respect him for believing that the point of being in politics is to get stuff done, and you can only get stuff done if you win”.
As a true ‘Blue or Yellow Labourite’ he then went on to say he couldn’t work with the current leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn because “Corbyn would never work with me”; as if both men were in the same party and that Farron was asked to join the Shadow Cabinet.
Echoing sentiment that Owen Smith has implied many times during the Labour leadership election, he claimed that Labour could not take seats from the Conservatives in 2020. This would leave the Lib Dems as the only party who could prevent another Conservative majority.
But here is the hard truth for Farron: his party has nothing to offer apart from eight MPs – and there is a reason why his party is no longer popular with the electorate. The Lib Dems have no principles other than getting themselves elected, and then probably building a coalition government with the Tories.
Farron should not forget that it was his party that helped David Cameron to become PM. It was them, with the Tories, that have imposed five long years of austerity and cuts in UK. It was the last government that has destroyed communities up and down the country.
Farron may be proud to say that Blair, as a Labour PM, introduced the minimum wage and invested in the NHS. But his party has defended the bedroom tax and helped the rich get away with murder, while working families in UK were forced onto zero-hours contracts and had to use food banks to feed their children.
This is what the Lib Dems have supported, and Farron has never said anything against it.
But Farron was right to suggest that the UK deserved a “decent, united opposition” and not one that was “going for each other”, adding that:
“There is a hole in the centre of British politics right now that is crying out to be filled by a real opposition”.
But his party can’t be the real opposition to PM Theresa May. His party are as irrelevant as Blairism is today for Labour. Farron may be the last Blairite in UK; he is also the only one to believe that he has a political future.