I was confident he would be a good counterweight to the Orange Bookers in the leadership and would keep them honest. And on that point he's been moderately successful. Unfortunately on other matters that disquiet some expressed about him has begun to erode my confidence in him as a person.
First up was his use of interns from CARE and his subsequent defence of them. This worried me because it seems quite clear that they 1) vigorously oppose Lib Dem policies on marriage equality and 2) there are rather serious concerns about their treatment of Labour MP, Ben Bradshaw (no friend of this blog!). I'm not saying he shouldn't have interns from CARE, I'm a great believer in freedom of belief religiously or politically, but I do have grave concerns about someone who takes CARE interns being Lib Dem President! But I kept my mouth shut, thinking everyone has their little quirks. Some MPs support Stonewall after all...
But then comes today's news. Tim Farron, along with Tory and Labour MPs, wants the ASA to allow organisations to state that people can be healed by prayer in their adverts. Again perhaps people should have this right, and they certainly should have the right to practice their rather optimistic beliefs. But if the ASA allows that, then what exactly is the point of the ASA? I thought one of their main tasks was to ensure false claims weren't made in advertising, but if prayer is accepted as healing people then what right does the ASA have to tell ANYONE that what they state in their adverts is false?
Is Tim Farron really suggesting we should do away with the ASA? And Daniel Furr makes an excellent point too:
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and spiritual intervention in medical cases are a fine example. People who are sick and require medical treatment should see a doctor, not God.Again, if Tim Farron wants to propose we allow anyone to claim anything that they believe to be true in advertising then that's his prerogative but it's left me unable to support him and I will actively support opposition to him. His attempts to amend the way the ASA deals with advertisement claims brings his beliefs, unfortunately, into conflict with rationality and reason. And I stand on the side of rationality and reason.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist