This week we saw the NUS protest against tuition fees, which was portrayed as a farce on the media, not because of the message they were trying to send, but because of the mindless few that tainted the march.
I do not question any-ones right to protest, obviously that is a right that should exist. I do however question the validity of the reasons for the march.
As I understand it the students were marching to protest against tuition fees, all the reports stating it was because the Lib Dems signed a pledge before the General Election.
This doesn’t add up and yet again Liberal Democrats are being used as an Aunt Sally to all and sundry. I disagree for the following reasons:
- It is impossible for all the students on the march and everyone commenting to have voted Lib Dem, if they had we probably would have been in Government. Surely the argument about the pledge is then a Lib Dem problem?
- Tuition rises is a Coalition policy, so why should Nick Clegg be hounded out?
- Tuition fees were introduced by Labour (as I understand it, even though they promised NO tuition fees) did NUS react the same then?
- Browne report was commissioned by Labour (and before I get comments on it, I know that they didn’t have to implement its findings)
- The pledge was signed and policies were Lib Dem policy, yes and if we were in sole Government would have been adopted. We are not, we are part of a Coalition Government and are a junior partner at that.
- An intelligent guess, may I suggest that without LD influence there may have not been a cap put in place, as I was told yesterday though, I can’t prove it.
- The majority of the students on that march will not be affected by the tuition fees rise as they will have left before they are brought in. A noble gesture or a chance for NUS to ‘have a go’?
I don’t deny Liberal Democrat members the right to challenge the leadership, on any issue, that is healthy, but calling for resignations etc. is a bit strong in my opinion.
As I eluded on Twitter yesterday, what are we supposed to do?
Sack Nick Clegg, quit the Coalition and rot in Opposition just so that we can moan and whinge about what the Govt is doing to the Country, rising tuition fees, housing benefit changes… ? What good would that achieve?
or, do we want to roll our sleeves up and make sure our Tory partners implement ‘some’ of our manifesto within the Coalition Agreement?
How the Liberal Democrat MP’s vote on tuition fees is a matter for their conscience.
In my view something is still better than nothing!!!