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On the student tuition fee rise

Yesterday, more than half of Liberal Democrat MPs voted in favour of a rise in tuition fees.

Here is a picture of Nick Clegg taken during the Lib Dems’ election campaign.

“I pledge to vote against any increase in fees,” those papers read. All 57 Lib Dem MPs signed this pledge. Yesterday, more than half of them broke their promise. Mr. Clegg was among this number.

Broken promises, eh? Where have we heard that phrase used before?

Oh yes: it was used by Nick Clegg, repeatedly, during the election campaign. “I believe it’s time for promises to be kept,” specifically.

See for yourself.

Clegg sold the Liberal Party primarily on trust, and with this move – and several others over the past months – he has completely and resolutely betrayed that trust for every person who voted for them.

The Labour Party have proven themselves rash in their decision making and incapable of dealing with the economy. The Conservative Party have a history of catering to specific demographics at the expense of others. The Liberal Democrats may never have had majority support, but they’ve always been an important third voice for the country. Being this third voice hasĀ always been a key component of how they’ve promoted themselves.

I’d be surprised if a single person has been converted to the Lib Dems since they gained a position of power: their hysterical weakness in the face of Conservative pressure is not at all impressive. But that will have lost them an enormous percentage of their support base. They’re imploding, spectacularly, and it’s no one’s fault but their own. Those who suffer the most are the seven million people who voted for them.

Personally, I won’t suffer at the hands of the tuition fee increase. But I know several people who will. Regardless, though, I I now feel there is no party to represent me. I disagree with the Conservative manifesto, and I was disappointed by Labour’s inconsistency and pandering to mass panic. The obvious first default, the Greens, are idealistic to the point of naivety, and have no solid policies outside their environmental ones. I agree with most things in the Liberal manifesto, but they’ve demonstrated themselves to be barefaced liars. Who’s left? It’s a serious concern of mine.

Anyway. Today, this video emerged, of the riots last night. I’m against rioting, generally. I think you lose your moral ground if you resort to violence. However, historically, it is the way change is ensured at times when the government has completely betrayed a portion of the population. And I think yesterday qualifies as one of those times. That isn’t to say I condone the rioting; merely that I completely understand it.

That has very little to do with how I felt upon seeing what happened at 1.25 of the video, though. No, this can’t be blamed directly on the Liberal Democrats. But it’s another thing that’s made my Friday seem very bleak indeed.

Try to have a good weekend, everyone. Perhaps, if your Lib Dem MP voted in favour of the tuition fees, you might like to write to them demanding their resignation. They signed a pledge to say they’d vote ‘no’, after all.


5 responses »

  1. Good post, sir. I Australia, the Greens are the viable third option, so I always vote for them. Don’t know where my vote would go if they did something on this level.

  2. Due to qualms I have over the potential level of debt that future students may endure, when I have kids I’m going to ensure that they learn French plus one other European language so that they don’t necessarily have to study in the UK. This plan will only work, of course, if the UK doesn’t pull out of the EU before then and therefore ruin any chances of UK people studying in far more reasonably priced EU institutions.

    I am now also finding that no political party represents my ideals. I’m thinking that if there’s an independent running in my constituency come the next election, and their ideals don’t sound horrid, I may back them just because it seems that the concept of political parties is a broken form of representation in this country.

    Or, come the next election, I may run as an independent MP where I live. I’m certainly tempted to try and become an independent councillor or parish councillor the next time we get to vote them in.

  3. Pingback: On the student tuition fee rise (via Lewis Denby) | My Not So Fictional Life

  4. A great post, Lewis. I’m incensed – education is a right, not a priviledge, and the Lib Dems have prostituted themselves into power. This will affect both of my children – one who’ll have an even higher debt to repay and the other, who is now adamant that he won’t go on to higher education, because the debt scares him.


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