Tuition Fees

I’m disappointed to hear that Lib Dem ministers will be going through the government lobbies to vote in favour of raising tuition fees in England.

The policy itself isn’t something that I agree with but nor is it something I know how to solve easily either. I do think that making all the tertiary education institutions into universities was a mistake. As someone with a degree earned at a polytechnic as well as degrees from two ancient Scottish universities, I’d say that we should have resolved the binary divide in a different way than simply making every polytechnic or central institution into a university.

What just sticks in the craw is those photographs of Lib Dem ministers signing pledges just over six months ago saying that they would oppose rises in tuition fees. I can’t really see where any credibility can be found if you do the opposite of what you pledged to do when facing the voters just six months later. The claim that Nick Clegg made that he signed the pledge not expecting to be in government and might not have signed if he had thought he would be seems to me to be one of the most cynical things I’ve heard in the political arena. The idea in politics is to get into government to do what you said you would do.

Those photographs of ministers signing that pledge will be endlessly recycled by their opponents who will ask voters why they should ever be trusted again.

It seems to me to be a fair question.