Sunday, 21 November 2010

Tuition Fees Petition

Yesterday I received a request by email to sign a petition for the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party to keep its word on tuition fees. I could not sign it as there has to be a clear difference between what the Liberal Democrats in government can do and what everyone else as Liberal Democrats can do.

As part of the coalition government we can't keep our word. All our policies were costed in May but we haven't implemented all our policies (especially the ones that save money). The problem isn't that we have gone back on our word, the problem is that we are not making it clear why we have gone back on our word. Ministers can't tell us that tuition fees are bad as they have ministerial responsibilities - but everyone else can.

Tuition fees are bad but what we really need is the rank and file member to say that we want tuition fees to go. We also have to maintain our identity and at the same time remain partners with the Tories. We can keep our word in the sense that abolition of fees is still our aim and this will be part of our next manifesto.

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