LibDems and tuition fees

The Liberal Democrats are reported to be considering abstaining on the tuition fee hike when it comes time to vote.  This, they will claim, is covered by the Coalition Agreement.  Yet that is too easy a solution.


One of the requirements of government is to take responsibility.  That counts even in Coalition.  Even if we allow for some nuances within a coalition agreement, it would be bizarre to abstain on something you campaigned so clearly against in the election, now advocate, but yet have the power to prevent.  It would be even more amazing if LibDem ministers did not vote for the policy of the government ie their policy (especially since the LibDem minister Vince Cable runs the department responsible for universities and is therefore responsible for the policy).


For too long with this no mandate government we have been seeing Liberal ministers and spokespeople calling for this or that government policy - when they have the responsibility.  In the case of the tuition fee hike, LibDem ministers are arguing for the hike.  They should take responsibility and persuade their MPs to vote for the(ir) policy; or u-turn and force a rethink.


Stephen Beer, 26/11/2010

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