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Tim Farron’s tribute to the Queen: New Elizabethans, casework and a maypole

September 10, 2015 4:32 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

QueenTributes to the Queen for becoming the longest serving monarch were made today in the House of Commons and provided the first big national occasion when Tim Farron spoke as Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

When you are as far down the pecking order as we find ourselves these days, you just can't say the usual stuff. Tim's tribute was slightly unconventional, quite funny and very fitting. It also makes us at LDV think he's overdue an encounter with a maypole. Here it is in full:

"It is a great honour to be able to pay tribute to Her Majesty on this very important day. I have only managed to meet Her Majesty on two occasions; obviously in the years to come I expect an audience more regularly. On the first occasion I met her, she gave me advice on how to cope with casework. On the second occasion, on her visit to Kendal in Westmoreland, there was very nearly an incident when a very well-meaning local councillor, Councillor Walker, decided to-I can only say-lunge across a crowd of 30 or 40 people carrying a bar of Kendal mint cake to offer to Her Majesty, which she accepted with great grace, looking forward, I am sure, to enjoying it. I have to say that the security services were less excited-or rather very excited-by that lunge. I also thank Her Majesty for the occasion of her silver jubilee in 1977, when she gave me my first, and so far only, experience of being able to dance around a maypole.

"We are, as a civilisation, very keen to categorise ourselves by our generations. Are we baby boomers; are we Thatcher's children; are we generation X? The fact is that all of us here are New Elizabethans. We have all have lived through that age-those 63 years and 216 days-when Queen Elizabeth II has reigned over us all. The values that she has embodied, which stand for all of us here, are about decency, about service, about civilisation, about stability, and about family. They are things that underpin our civilisation. It is all the more important that we recognise that Her Majesty occupies the most senior position in our society-indeed, the most privileged position in our society-but her conduct is marked by humility and service, not claiming the grandeur of office. On this great day, on behalf of my party and my county, I pay tribute to her service and her humility. Long live the Queen."