Dear Lib Dems, this is a joke? Right?

January 17, 2013 8:36 am

From today’s Independent:

“The Liberal Democrats are considering whether to promise to reduce the £9,000 cap on university tuition fees in their manifesto at the next general election.

Senior Liberal Democrats sources told The Independent that the idea is among options being looked at by a working party on higher education policy.”

Is this how the Lib Dems plan to regain credibility in 2015? “We want to cut tuition fees…and this time we mean it…”

  • Monkey_Bach

    “… there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not …”

    (Luke 15:10)

    Would that the Labour Party repented its sins as far as Atos and similar atrocities go.

    • AlanGiles

      I was just trying to remember who introduced tuition fees in the first place?.

      Of course, LABOUR!

      • AlanGiles

        Are the two lickspittles voting that comment down, denying that it was Labour which introduced tuition fees?. Perhaps you re not old enough to remember.

        • Redshift1

          a) Loads of Labour MPs voted against it.
          b) It was highly controversial in the party.
          c) However much I don’t like tuition fees, that doesn’t blind me to the fact that there is a big difference between 3k and 9k.

          • aracataca

            This is correct Redshift. In addition this issue is also about making promises that are not kept. Labour did not promise not to introduce student fees at the 2001 general election ( they were introduced in the subsequent Parliament). At the 1997 general election it did promise not to introduce tuition fees and kept its promise during the subsequent 1997-2001 Parliament.
            Of course the Fib Dems made a big deal of their opposition to tuition fees at the last election and took a few seats with high student populations on the basis of that promise.
            Labour was committed to expanding Higher Education in order to include more working class people in it and tuition fees had to be introduced in order to fund that expansion. I am not a fanatical class warrior but when I went to University in the 1970s the overwhelming majority of people there were from middle class backgrounds – that was neither a fair, equitable or sustainable state of affairs. Like you I don’t like tuition fees but there is a clear difference between what Labour did and what the Fibs did in relation to this issue.

          • MonkeyBot5000

            The only difference between £3k and £9k is time.

            As soon as the idea of tuition fees was put forward, we knew they would just increase over time and unless Labour were expecting to be in power forever, they should have seen something like this happening when the Tories eventually got in.

          • aracataca

            ‘The future is unwritten’ – Joe Strummer.

          • AlanGiles

            Exactly. Once you set a precedent it is easier for somebody else to come along and enlarge on it. This is what angers me about Labour, pretending great outrage about issues like this and welfare reform courtesy of ATOS when it was they who started it. It is no good them pretending to be shocked like a Mother Superior outraged at being approached by a kerb-crawler.

            Had the New Labour shower not instigated tuiton fees (or Freud for that matter) the Tories/Coalition would have had to start from square one, and then Labour could be holier-than-thou.

          • Redshift1

            Well frankly I did argue at the time that introducing fees would run the risk of eye-watering fee hikes (like the 9k) by a future Tory government (didn’t envisage LibDem complicity at that stage of course), regardless of whether 3k was suitable or not, once the precedent of user-payment fees was set. So I agree with you there.

            Nevertheless, that doesn’t make the Labour position ‘the same’ or only ‘a matter of time’ different from the coalition position. Whether or not the Labour position was right, it was both qualitatively and quantitatively different from the Tories and Lib Dems who have basically transferred higher education funding almost entirely onto the user from the state (by making the move simultaneous with an 80% cut).

          • aracataca

            You are completely right Redshift the 2 positions of the Fib Dems and Labour on this issue are not interchangeable.

        • aracataca

          How does calling people lickspittles help the debate on this issue?

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