Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Lib Dem Choices

We recently heard that a Lib Dem MP was likely to choose to vote for the tripling of university tuition fees to "punish" students for daring to demonstrate at his office. Today (8/12/2010) we have Nick Clegg telling us it is all about choices. So let's see what he has chosen to do instead of honouring his pledge on tuition fees.
The Lib Dem choice is to spend billions of pounds on fighting a war in Afghanistan, rather than on educating our children. The Lib Dem choice is to invest billions in nuclear power stations, none of which will be operational before the shortfall in energy predicted by Ofgen in 2015 and which will leave our children with a legacy of nuclear waste as well as debts of £39,000 each. The Lib Dem choice is to spend billions on a replacement for the Trident nuclear missile system, to let the banks pay only a fraction of what their mistakes cost the UK taxpayer and let tax dodgers squirrel away untaxed billions in tax havens.
Most shamefully for me, a former Liberal Democrat candidate, is that all of those decisions represent promises made by Lib Dems at the general election, which have been broken within weeks of getting elected. Nick Clegg was lying then and is lying now. He said that no Westminster party was offering to abolish tuition fees. The Green Party and our leader, Caroline Lucas MP has long called for the abolition of tuition fees, paid for by not doing the things above that Lib Dems said they would not do. In addition millions would be saved just abandoning the bureaucracy of collecting tuition fees.
Sadly, we know that the Lib Dems (unlike Caroline Lucas) are now an irrelevance in Parliament. Whatever they decide to do on the Tuition Fees vote, they are too divided to make a difference to the outcome. However, if they all vote against a rise in tuition fees as they promised at the general election, they might just save what little credibility they have left.