This is a tough day for Lib Dems…but we’ll take no lessons from the hypocritical Labour Party!

December 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

THE day begins.

Probably the toughest day for our great party since the formation of the Liberal Democrats back in 1988.

It looks highly likely that Lib Dem MP’s will vote in at least three separate ways on the issue of raising tuition fees.

In my first campaign video (see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7rQRrHE3Fk) I’ve called for as many Lib Dem MP’s to vote against this as possible and for those who feel they can’t do that because they are Government Ministers, to at least abstain.

However, I understand that some Ministers, whose legislation this is, feel that they can do no other than to vote with the Government and for the raising of fees.

Though I profoundly disagree with the raising of fees-indeed tuition fees full stop-I also know that the influence of Lib Dem Ministers has helped to make the rest of the higher education package much fairer than it might otherwise have been.

More help for part-time students, help for the poorest undergraduates to pay very little if any fees at all, etc.

It’s also worth remembering that the Liberal Democrat party policy-as opposed to current Coalition Government policy-remains to oppose tution fees.

That having been said, I believe Lib Dem MP’s should stick by the very clear pledge they made before the General Election to oppose any proposal for the raising of tuition fees.

However, we’ll take no lessons whatsoever from the hypocritical, opportunistic Labour Party.

Labour, with massive majorities, voted in tuition fees and then top-up fees having said they’d do neither…that was when they had the mandate, power and money to have taken whatever decision they wanted to.

We, now, are in a totally different position.

The fact is the Liberal Democrats didn’t win the election.

If we had have done we could have put all of our manifesto pledges into action.

Instead, we joined a Coalition and have managed to get 65% of our manifesto commitments through, but not 100%.

Of course Coalition Government means compromise, we understand.

But, for many Liberal Democrats including myself, this is a compromise too far.

Our MP’s will certainly think more deeply before making a similar pledge before the next election.

However ours is a more honest position than that of ‘Red’ Ed, his opportunistic party and his student lapdogs, the leadership of the National Union of Students.

So, our MP’s will vote how they feel they have to vote and then we need to re-double our efforts to do all we can to help make Britain better, fairer and greener.

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