miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Dear Nick,

I realise that coalition government is not the same as a party governing on its own. I realise that when one signs up to a coalition agreement, one has to make compromises. But when one has signed a pledge giving a cast iron guarantee one ought to stick to it.

When you signed the pledge to vote against tuition fee increases, lets be honest, you could not have known the circumstances you would be asked to do so in. But that does not alter the fact that you signed the pledge. Perhaps by doing this you have learned a valuable lesson not to sign such an open-ended pledge, and you've certainly learned a lesson to make damn sure that when you negotiate coalition agreements you should bear in mind what pledges you have signed. But none of that alters the fact that you, personally, signed the pledge.

There is no point in whining and misdirecting by saying that other parties have broken pledges too. We are not other parties. You were supposed to be countering the bloody politicians, they're all the bloody same meme, not feeding it.

There's no point in saying that we have to cut higher education funding if we're cutting everything else, because we're not cutting Trident, and if we can afford to spend money on stuff to blow up half the planet, we can afford to educate our children.

There is also no point in wittering on about how this and that safeguard is being put in to make sure that poor people will not suffer. Poor people won't suffer because the idea of spending that amount of money on university will put them off going in the first place, because they can't imagine possibly earning enough to pay it back. It'd put me off going. That's a HUGE amount of money to me. I know it's small change to you, but it's not to me, or millions more like me.

At the end of the day, though, it doesn't matter that I think the tuition fee increase is unjustified and unjustifiable. It matters that you made a pledge, and you made it in the hopes that you would never get called on it, in order to tout for votes. Well, you are being called on it. And if you don't answer that call, you are no better than the Labour politicians you lambast for their broken promises, and if someone asserts that to me on the doorstep I don't know how I will answer them, because I will think that they are correct in their assertion.

I voted for the coalition because on balance I thought it was the lesser of a number of evils. I still think that. But my patience and tolerance are wearing thin. Very thin indeed. I thought we were an honourable party, and striking an honourable course, for the good of all. There is nothing honourable about signing a pledge to grub for votes, and then going back on it the second it becomes a bit uncomfortable.

I thought we were better than that.

yours in disappointment


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Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
bagfish: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bagfish
*stands and applauds*

I totally and utterly agree with this post, 100% wholeheartedly. I also have patience that is wearing very, very thin with the coalition and I'm wondering how many straws this camel's back can take before it breaks.

Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
staceyuk: Funny Sherlock icon (Default)
From: [personal profile] staceyuk
Well written. I certainly wouldn't go to University now... The student debt I have been left with is bad enough since I'm finding it tough finding a suitable job.

People on low incomes just won't go. I wonder how this will effect the Open University, does anybody know?

That might be the only option left for those on low incomes.

I'm also worried about how disability benefits are going to be affected by CSR.

Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
shishmish: (Doctor Who - Not Amused)
From: [personal profile] shishmish
I feel exactly the same. Seeing all those Lib Dems signing that pledge saying that they would not deny those from a poorer background from getting the education they want gave me hope that some day the system would be fair for all.

Now? I can't even see myself ever returning to University and if I was to be one of those poor students stuck with an uncapped amount of tuition fees, I would not bother with a University education.

I helped students apply for a Student Loan last year at my old work place, and seeing students who had the grades & passion for University coming undone because of the funding (one student's mother was abandoning her by going back to her home country so she wouldn't have the family support, and even though she would be an independant the SFE rules would say she wouldn't be and she'd be living on pennies for three years) really got me down.

Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
wildthyme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wildthyme
This. Every single word of it.

I'm having to research universities abroad for my daughter to go to. It's cheaper to send her off to France or Germany for university than it is to send her to uni here as the fees stand now, let alone when/if the new fees kick in.

Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
nanila: (manning: uberbitch)
From: [personal profile] nanila
Every time I hear about this issue, my mental self lights a cigarette, slumps down the wall and thinks, "Welcome to America".

I went to a private university in America that cost $25,000+ per year in the mid-1990s. I was able to go there partly because I was bright, female, interested in science and hence won scholarships that covered my tuition fees and books. But even those wouldn't have come close to covering the required expenditure (room and board in Los Angeles, flights to and from home) without the government grants that I qualified for because my parents were juuuust poor enough. Ironically, they were much better off when I was born. If they had still been so when I went to university, I might not have been able to attend.

This is going to punish the middle class as well as the poor.

Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
almostwitty: (Default)
From: [personal profile] almostwitty
Alas, you're right. He's just another politician, faced with a choice he'd rather not make. And he's made the easy choice.

Date: Thursday, October 14th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hear, hear. I think you've absolutely hit the nail on the head there. Would that this reaches Nick Clegg and he sees sense.

- Baphomet

Date: Friday, October 15th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
el_staplador: (Default)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
My grandpa, right. Illegitimate kid of a servant, taken to a children's home, fostered by Granny Gush, working-class widow. Went to Bristol, got a degree, became a teacher - would probably have made Oxbridge if it hadn't been for all the guys returning from the war. Do you see that happening now? How are we sixty years further back than we were when we started?

Date: Friday, October 15th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
ginasketch: (lady skellie)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
Yup. No point in applying for that masters now.

Date: Friday, October 15th, 2010 09:32 am (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
I totally agree - he signed the pledge, he should not have signed an agreement that contradicted it.

On the "They'll be put off, because they can't see themselves earning enough to pay it back." front - isn't that covered by raising the lower limit to £21k?

Date: Friday, October 15th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Depends if that 21k rises as the median wage does or not...

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