The Wrong Time, The Wrong Place For Lamb
I think that I have been a little unfair by underestimating Norman Lamb. After hearing him speak at a recent hustings hosted by EMLD, Norman, not only passionately but also very honestly, spoke about his current understanding of racial inequalities. He clearly said that he wanted to listen more. I guess this is as a means to further understanding, but surely any potential leader should not need to listen as they would already grasp the issues at hand and have a clear plan as to what needs to happen next.
Norman certainly has a lot of experience to offer. He also has a lot of leadership qualities about him. He talks like a leader, he looks like a leader but the question is, is he ready to lead? To be fair, Lamb probably deserves far more credit than he has currently been given. Tim Farron has always been the favourite, and it takes a lot of balls to step up to a giant.
I definitely do see Norman as a key player to the future of our party, and perhaps one day even leading the party, as his liberal values are strong and he articulates them so well, but I do think his leadership bid right now is a little premature. However, experience may be the best thing that he can take from all this in order to help him grow. It reminds me when Simon Hughes once spoke about how many times he lost before he finally won.
Tim Farron has always been the favourite to win the leadership. Competing with Farron was always going to be difficult for any candidate, as Tim has worked his socks off over the years to build up an excellent rapport with members as well as with local parties.
If I could give Norman any advice, or point out anything that he lacks in leadership quality, it is that he needs to spend more time engaging with members and to build more so on personal and meaningful relationships with them . It was more so evident when Norman left quite quickly after the EMLD hustings where Tim stayed much longer afterwards to speak and listen to members.
Although to Norman’s credit, he did make the effort to shake hands and say his farewells, he still needs to put more time into the members that he seeks support from.
Both candidates are without doubt passionate to lead, but it’s just not Norman’s time. It’s time for Tim. But all credit to him. It would be dreadful to have a king crowned without competition.