On fees

One of the advantages of the size of the Lib Dem blogosophere is that very often someone else will say just what you’ve been thinking, which saves you the trouble in having to write it all out yourself. So, thanks to Neil Fawcett for summing up my views of today’s fees vote:

For me the lead up to this vote, and the implications for the party I have campaigned for for 23 years, are profoundly depressing.

I do accept that in a coalition we will have to make compromises. We have 57 MPs in a House Commons where the two dominant political parties both believe that individual students should make a substantial contribution to the cost of their first degree. I understand and accept that.

But what I find depressing is the way in which our party leaders, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable in particular, appear to be more willing to argue that black is white rather than stand up for our party’s clear policy and the principles behind it.

As they still say (I believe) in blogging circles, read the rest.

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2 Comments to "On fees"

  1. December 10, 2010 - 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I think one of his commenters said it best:

    “The Lib dems have enjoyed the reputation as being … well … nicer and more principled than the other parties. We have been the honest brokers in the middle, and our leader could put out a party election broadcast of himself walking down a street littered with the broken promises of other parties.

    Well, those days are behind us now. When I knock on doors (if I do in the future) people will look at my yellow rosette and think “liars”. We will be seen as the party who would sell their own grandmothers and say anything for a vote.”

    That is honestly how I feel. And I voted Lib Dem in the last election (which was a departure for me – I’m usually a ballot-spoiler) even though I’d seen their ‘do anything for power’ behaviour at Wolverhampton City Council. Because they seemed to be the party that might actually have some principles or offer some kind of alternative. And we get this? You won’t catch me making that mistake again.

  2. December 13, 2010 - 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Nick,

    No disagreement here. Quoting my post in response to Tim Farron’s comments at the weekend,

    Nobody in the Lib Dem leadership ever said “there will have to be negotiation and in practice not all of this will get done”, because nobody needed to: Lib Dem voters were well aware that the best the party could hope for was to enter government as a junior member of a coalition. Everyone knew that what was implemented in practice would be a complex set of trade-offs, with only a few policies surviving unchanged and most being heavily watered down. But what Lib Dem voters did expect, quite reasonably, was that the party’s leaders would at least attempt to keep their promises and to implement a diluted version of their policies – not to shred their promises, implement the diametric opposite of their policies and then plead political realism.

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