Monday, December 13, 2010

Quit whining about Tuition Fees

If there's one thing I'm sick of hearing, it's people whining about Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats voting to increase student tuition fees.

Yes, it's true that Nick Clegg made student tuition fees one of the signature campaign promises of the General Election – but do you know what? The Liberal Democrats lost that election. The fact that they're in government now, instead of wallowing in political insignificance, is only because of the dynamic wheeling and dealing of party leader Nick Clegg.

To steal a phrase from Pandora Blake, Nick Clegg is 'topping from the bottom' as minority leader of the LibCon coalition.

But as part of a coalition, the Liberal Democrats can't deliver all of their campaign promises. In fact, all things considered, it's frankly remarkable that they've managed to deliver on so much.

As the inimitable Lloydie points out here, the Liberal Democrats did meet their campaign promises of "...increased funding for schools, winter fuel payments, free eye tests, pass passes and TV licences for the elderly protected... oh, and a boost in adult apprenticeships.... oh and a green investment ban."

All those promises met, despite being a minority in coalition with a party that shares few of their overriding principles – and in the middle of a harsh austerity drive .

That's nothing less than astonishing. So instead of whining about the Liberal Democrats failing on a single promise, the nay-sayers should be throwing their hats in the air that the Lib Dems have tempered the Tory steel to such a remarkable degree.

But no such luck – instead we get myriad complaints that the Lib Dems have 'broken promises', or fallen in line with 'the excesses of Conservative government.' (That's my favorite – given the fact that Britain is in such a financial black hole because of the excesses of the prior Labor government.)

The cold, hard fact is this: If all these idiots complaining about the increase in student tuition fees had actually gone out and voted for the Liberal Democrats during the last election, Nick Clegg and crew might have had enough clout to actually get those fees kept down.

But the truth is, most of the whiners ticked 'Labor' (or even 'Conservative') on election day instead. As a result, they're just reaping what they sowed, and I have absolutely no sympathy for them.

Frankly, I was never much of a fan of the Liberal Democrats before – but the things Nick Clegg has achieved over the course of the last few months have seriously impressed me.

1 comment:

One Salient Oversight said...

If all these idiots complaining about the increase in student tuition fees had actually gone out and voted for the Liberal Democrats during the last election, Nick Clegg and crew might have had enough clout to actually get those fees kept down.

How do you know they didn't?