Monday, November 22, 2010

Lib Dems in confusion over tuition fees

Locally, the West Midlands Liberal Democrat conference voted to continue campaigning for the abolition of tuition fees and called for a vote against any increase. Our two Liberal Democrat MPs have made their positions clear - John Hemming has already been clear that he will break his pledge, but Lorely Burt is apparently now to keep her promise, which seems to be a reversal of her views expressed in an interview with politics.co.uk on the 9 November:

Many backbenchers are understandably reluctant to go back on their pledge, but Ms Burt backed attempts by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to bring them into line. She said the shift was justifiable because Lib Dem policy commitments from the party's manifesto did not reflect the changed realities which emerged after polling day.

"We went into the general election with the full and certain belief that what we had proposed and fully costed was doable.... What's now clear is that the position was very far from what we had originally thought so we're now in a situation where yes, we can stick to our principles, but where does that leave a first-class world higher education system?"
Within two weeks of that, she's joined the resistance, according to the Independent. That's a rapid reversal from flip-flop Lorely, who said a year ago that
It's simply wrong to penalise people who want to make the best of themselves by saddling them with enormous mortgage-style debts from the day they graduate.

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