Just a Form of Income Tax?
June 12, 2010

Five weeks in and the first telling cracks have appeared in the fragile coalition government. The fantasy that the Lib Dems would stick to their principles, drive a hard bargain and keep the Conservatives ‘honest’ is fading fast.  

One of the key electoral pledges, which attracted many young voters to the Lib Dems, was a commitment to abolish university fees by 2016. Now we hear from David Willett’s (there’s a name from the past) ahead of the findings by the Browne Commission, announcing that university tuition fees could rise to as much as £7000 a year and students should just view the increase as “an obligation to pay higher income tax”.

So surprise, surprise! If you’re bright and from a low-income family forget higher education, you’re being priced out of the market and your place can be readily taken by a less able kid from a family that has the means to pay, and has probably already been put through the private education system anyway! Whatever happened to the meritocratic society?    

Cleggy, speaking in his home constituency at Sheffield Hallam University, says he’s not going to be made to feel guilty by the difficult compromises that have to be made in a coalition government! Well, he should be ashamed!

It’s okay because the Lib Dems are being ‘allowed’ to abstain in any Commons vote to increase fees. No! If he and his party are to have any shred of credibility, once the ‘love-in’ is over and we are on our way back to the polls, Clegg should be speaking out loud and clear againt the proposed aspects of Conservative policy his party has campaigned against, and encouraging his MPs to vote against it! Amidst this gross act of betrayal I’m pleased to hear a voice of sanity from, stalwart former Party leader, Menzies Campbell who has already come out and said he will keep his word and vote against any increase.

Cleggy (The Man With The Golden Tie!) should enjoy his fleeting moment in the sun because in the cold reality of day when the coalition founders, which it surely will, the voters he has so readily let down will jump ship and the Lib Dems will find themselves returning for another long stretch in the political wilderness.