Our orange erstwhile chums have a NEW POLICY! They will fight to reduce tuition fees:
Do they get a kick out of being this weird? Before the election the Libdems rightly bemoaned disconnect. Since the election they are a major cause of it. Students and educationalists are a long standing and strong demographic for liberal votes.
Here’s a great cut and paste of a post on NottheTalk message board * about why their blag for the last betrayal was bogus:
It was a promise to oppose tution fees. Not “reduce”, “not implement” or “not increase”, but “oppose”. The whole implication behind the word is that it is policy to be taken when the Lib Dems aren’t setting the agenda. If they were the main party then there would be no tuition fee policy for them to oppose. The promise was clearly then that if someone else wins then the Lib Dems would argue against and vote against a policy of raising fees.
I’d add that it wasn’t just a party pledge, but a personal pledge signed by many would be MPs. It’s fair to assume they would go against the party whip, as most didn’t.
Something that annoys me most deeply about all this is never mentioned : It’s one thing to leave Uni with £50,000+ worth of debt (after living expenses). It’s quite another to face it later in life.
For generations, many working class people went to Uni as mature students. It may be too involved for some tories and Libdems to grasp what a “working class person” is, but these fees have put a major hurdle in front of a certain type of person they are meant to champion – aspirational folk, looking to make better for themselves in often tough circumstances.
It gets worse. Before long, fees will have to be paid for any course of A Level Equivalent (Level 3) if you are over 24. As usual, paying for banking crime is more important.
And finally : It gets worser – Student debt is likely to turn into another humongous bubble that first impedes the economy and then goes horribly wrong because the value of many degrees may well not match the costs plus interest, and full repayments are often far from likely. Still, the taxpayer can write it all off and we can just blame the disabled again if it goes wrong.
* NottheTalk is an independent message forum started by former members of The Guardian talkboards that got closed down. It’s highly recommended 🙂