Why Lib Dem MPs MUST use power to show their pledges mean something

Over 500 Lib Dem candidates at the General Election signed a pledge to the NUS to vote against any increase in fees for students. Now, in power, surely the Lib Dems will have no greater opportunity to show that having Lib Dems in power really means something.

It is easy for the Nick Clegg to argue that those of us who oppose the coalition deal with the Tories to claim we are oppositionalists, scared of power, but the reverse argument is true also. It can be argued that there is little point in holding power if you vote against your own pledges made in opposition.

How many students voted Lib Dem because they felt they could trust us ? How many of them will abandon us if we abandon our pledge to them ? Remember what Nick Clegg said to the NUS about increased student fees.
“We will resist, vote against, campaign against, a rise in tuition fees."
That's pretty unequivocal and cannot be misconstrued.

If it is the case that the coalition agreement does not allow for Lib Dem MPs to keep their pledges, then it is a very poor negotiated agreement. If the agreement does allow for Lib Dem MPs to keep their pledges to students, then now is the time for out MPs to show that we do not make shallow promises to the electorate that we have no intention of keeping.


Anonymous said...

I note that Liberal Vision has stated with regard to old Vince's decision to ditch the graduate tax that: 'important signals have been sent that shift the Liberal Democrat’s language away from equating fairness purely with income distribution, and university education with universal public services.'

I hadn't realised just how ideologically close some LibDems were getting to the Tories and I'm sure mant ordinary LibDem members might feel some concern about the Liberal Vision position.

With regard to the tuition fees pledge and Nick Clegg stating: “We will resist, vote against, campaign against, a rise in tuition fees" I think these will turn out to be be weasel words from a very weak reed.

LibDem MPs holding coalition posts will slide off the hook by claiming that the differential tax rate that looks like being imposed to collect the increased fees makes it a 'progressive' move as those on higher incomes will pay more after graduation and those on less might even have a 0 percent interest rate charged.

I doubt if this cop-out will wash with students and middle-income parents will see it as another attack on them. How this anger will be translated into falling electoral support for the coaltion parties will become apparent soon enough.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Liberal Vision have always been to the right of the Lib Dems

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely sure that my local LibDem MP, Simon Wright, will vote against any rise in tuition fees. He said so at the election. Mr Wright will oppose, not just abstain, without any doubt.

None of the above said...

ha ha ha
dream on

Simon Wright, the snivelling little shit is already backtracking:

The MP, a former teacher himself, went on record opposing a rise in tuition fees. Now part of the coalition government, he’s carefully re-positioning himself. This week he had meetings with Vince Cable, the National Union of Students and on Saturday will meet with representatives from UEA’s Students’ Union: “I’m determined to do all that I can to influence the government. We need a system in place which is progressive but which also puts universities on a sound financial footing.”


Johnny Norfolk said...

So what would you cut instead or are you a money printer.

Anonymous said...

None of the Above - I know you are wrong because a lot of us UEA students voted for Mr Wright because the Union advised us to because he signed a pledge. He promised and I know he won't let us down. If he does then why would any UEA student vote LibDem again and why should anybody in Norwich believe a word he says again? He will vote against a rise in fees. I am absolutely sure.

None of the above said...

a) don't vote for someone cos the SU tell you to

b) pledges mean nothing to politicians

c) neither do promises

d) not sure why anyone in Norwich would believe a word a careerist clone like Wright would say in the first place. It's career first, party second, and you come a very poor last

e) have you not noticed his comments in the my previous post? There are a direct quote from him.

I can see the Lib Dems being in shocking trouble soon...

Anonymous said...

Hopefully a few people saw the simpering clown on TV today.

The most odious thing is that he's hedging his bets and is waiting to see what the best thing for Simon Wright is.