We started Libdemfightback in June 2014 as a small group of party members and Lib Dem Voice contributors determined to get a change in the party to save the party from an electoral massacre which would wipe 40 years of political struggle. We tried to get a change of leader, so a new leader could reconnect with our millions of disgruntled voters. Sadly the party was prevented from having that choice until now after the electoral defeat. It has been a massacre which dwarfs even the 1924 Zinoviev Red Letter Scare election which saw 75% of Liberal MPs lost. This year saw 86% of Lib Dem MPs lost and the party put in peril. A silver lining has been the 15,000 and counting #Libdemfightback new party members who have joined the party under our 2014 Slogan.  We now urge the party to choose Tim Farron for Party Leader. Tim has the ability to make a passionate and simple call to enthuse voters and yet has the ability to make a convincing intellectual argument.

Tim made coded and not so coded calls for change whilst in coalition particularly over tuition fees. He shows loyalty to Nick Clegg and the positive record of our role in the Coalition government which does him credit. Yet we must face up not only to good we did, but also the harm. Never again should Liberal Democrats allow themselves to facilitate and provide cover for Conservative cuts and Austerity. Deficit reduction yes, austerity no. Great Liberal John Maynard Keynes did not fight classical laissez faire Tory economists in the 1930’s and enable Lloyd George to declare “We can conquer unemployment” to see our party roll-over to Austerity voodoo economics.  We support Tim but urge him to channel a mix of Economic Liberal and Social Liberal policies to regain our lost 4.9 million voters. Lower Taxes for Small businesses – perhaps a 10% rate for Soletraders and Microbusinesses and effective tax gathering policies to end millionaires and billionaire tax avoidance and evasion.  On transport – incentives for green and carbon neutral transport but a change in the anti-car attitude of the party. Is it right or Liberal for our party to be part of a system which taxes the poor off the road. The issue of transport poverty is as critical as energypoverty and housing poverty. Our party is commited to Rail expansion and the Expansion of the High Speed Rail 1 route from London to the North of England and Scotland. Yet via the Coalition Agreement ,we have a Labour Scheme, imposed with a Tory price tag which might run into £80 billion. HS2 Limited doesn’t know the final cost. Communities along the route are blighted by a scheme imposed on them by a Labour and Conservative conspiracy aided and abetted by our party. We have a suggested a cheaper, better and faster and more democratic alternative which runs direct from HS1 London via Leeds to Scotland.   Another policy our party has had a Tory/Labour idea put upon us in place of our better and fairer plans has been tuition fees. From 1997-2010 we opposed tuition fees from a principled objection to a US Style University system where the poor were priced out of higher education or saddled with debt. We broke our promise on tuition fees and the party has been rightly punished. Now we must reject Tory policy and return to our values and 1997-2010 policies.

Tim needs to launch a review of policies and reject Coalition Tory policy which has been imposed through the back door on the party. This doesn’t mean a lurch to the left as we need to adopt some centrist ideas which the public feel are right as well as reject ideas imposed on the public like HS2 and tuition fees they loathe. Our job is not just to take a moral lead but also to represent real people’s views and lives.We are confident that if we do this we can reconnect with the 16% of lost lib dem voters and win again.