Ten Questions Someone Should Ask The Lib Dem Leadership Contenders

1) Are you committed to leading the Liberal Democrats, or would you rather lead some rebranded “centre party” with a load of Blairite and Cameroon MPs who don’t even have the support of their own parties?

2) Are you committed to fighting to stay in the European Union?

3) Will you also fight to stay within the Single Market, or are you more interested in people’s “legitimate concerns” about immigrants?

4) Do you believe that gay-“cure”-like torture “treatments” for autism like the discredited ABA are in any way acceptable?

5) Do you believe that it is acceptable to write articles about autism which have the input of “autism parents” but not of actual autistic people?

6) Will you commit to keeping to the party’s proposals to reverse benefits cuts and get rid of the “bedroom tax”?

7) How will you deal with anonymous briefing from “senior Lib Dem sources” that you’re useless?

8) What are your thoughts on electoral pacts with other parties?

9) What would your single biggest campaign issue be were a General Election to be called tomorrow?

10) Can you answer uncomfortable questions like those above, ones that might make you horribly unpopular in the press, with the party, or both, with a simple, straightforward answer, or will you give a waffly evasive non-answer that will come back to bite us in two years and cause massive infighting?

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8 Responses to Ten Questions Someone Should Ask The Lib Dem Leadership Contenders

  1. glyncoch says:

    Good questions!
    As the parent of a young man with autism, who can neither read, write, or speak, he would have no representation if we did not fight for him. But he also has Downs Syndrome, and I know from more able friends with Downs (or Autism) that they are the best spokes-people for their condition. But when the condition is severe (as with my son) then cooperation between affected people and affected families is essential.
    I gather from question 10 that you think that Tim’s answers to the question on sin and homosexuality were waffly. But to me they were quite clear, and his put down to one silly interviewer that he was standing for parliament not the papacy, was brilliant. But his voting record on Gay rights and his high levels of approval from LGBT groups should have been more than enough. But in any case, even if homosexuality was considered a sin, then we are told to hate the sin, but love the sinner. Jesus was not above standing up to outdated or over harsh moral laws, such as in the case of the “woman taken in adultery”, who he saved from stoning to death by kneeling and drawing pictures in from of the mob until they calmed down, and then telling them that the person who was without sin should throw the first stone.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Tim’s answer in 2015 was perfectly decent. The fact that — two years after he saw the controversy it caused, and the bad impression it gave — he hadn’t come up with an answer that wouldn’t give the same bad impression, is a bad thing.
      Not because I believe he’s a homophobe — I don’t — or that the answers were wrong in themselves, but because he knew it was an appalling piece of media management that would *create the impression* that he’s a homophobe.
      I think this is literally the only misstep Tim has made as leader, and it’s *far* outweighed by the good he’s done — I think he literally saved this party from extinction — but it *is* a misstep, and one I wouldn’t like to see repeated by a future leader.

  2. Tony Harms says:

    I take it you don’t want us to have a leader Andrew. Well, maybe that;s an idea.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I want us to have a leader who is a liberal, pro-European, internationalist who won’t get absolutely monstered by the press.
      I *think* one of the potential candidates fits that bill, but I’m unsure of their answer to at least one of these questions and would like to be sure. The other potential candidates, I’m far less sure about.

  3. Clive Lindley says:

    You forgot: “Are you still beating your wife”? The questionaire reflects your own priorities, but if 100 party colleagues were invited to draw up their own lists, you would rapidly run out of leadership contenders. In short “Get Real!”

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Party leaders get “are you still beating your wife” style questions *all the time*. They have to be able to answer them. That’s kind of the point of this list — we should find out if they can *now* rather than after they’re elected.

  4. Nick says:

    For once, I can share your post and say you’ve saved me the trouble of writing my own :)
    But yes, how dare you expect someone who wants to lead a political party and will regularly get monstered by Neil, Humphreys, Paxman et al with ridiculous gotcha questions to answer a few questions in writing from a member of that party in a manner which means they can think over their answers carefully before responding?

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