Thursday, December 09, 2010

A close shave

As you will know, the Liberal Democrat payroll vote carried the government through in this evening's vote to increase tuition fees - potentially tripling them to £9,000.

John Hemming, MP for Yardley, who only yesterday told the House that he wasn't going to u-turn, executed a u-turn on his pre-election pledge to vote against any increase in fees and voted alongside the cabinet and the Tories - a place where he feels very comfortable. I'm sure the reward will not be far away - either thirty pieces of silver or a place as a PPS.

On the other hand, at least John made a decision - the wrong one, but he made it. Across the city border, Lorely Burt chose cowardice and abstained. Interviewed by BBC Midlands Today, she said
"It has been very difficult for myself and all my Liberal Democrat colleagues, but what we are seeking to do is find a way that is fair and progressive, given the hand that we’ve got."
So difficult, Lorely, that you couldn't do your job and cast your vote. Members of parliament are paid to make decisions and to hide behind an abstention is an abdication of your duty. Clearly, you haven't found a way that you feel is fair and progressive, otherwise you would have voted openly for it, but neither could you vote against it. Instead, you chose to abstain - a covert way of letting the bill pass while you pretend to keep your hands clean. As part of trying to rub that stain from her hands, she has edited her website.

Previously, it showed this and the quote
"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"

Now, it shows this.

A policy and a position airbrushed from history.
(Hat tip to Jon Walker at the Birmingham Post)


Anonymous said...

John, it's a bit rich the way you comment when your party left the country almost bankrupt and all you do is criticise people trying to put things right.

Also which party actually introduced tuition fees ( and at some point previous hadn't they said that they would not do so ?

PoliticalHack said...

Cheers for the comment, Vince.

Clearly not Dr Cable, because the country wasn't almost bankrupt, but if it makes you happy... I make no apology for being critical - that's what opposition is all about. And believe me, there's plenty to criticise. I'll be positive when they get it right, but I see an awful of ideology driving these cuts, with a massive gamble being taken on the economy by people who are spectacularly out of their depth.

Labour introduced tuition fees to provide additional funding to universities to fund expansion.

The coalition is increasing them to replace an 80% cut in government funding.

Oh and between the vote on introducing them and them actually being applied, we had a general election, giving the public an opportunity to vote on them.

Anonymous said...

I don't you can blame JoS for exploiting this for what it's worth.

I'd do the same.

Our Lorely is a shambles and a coward. There is no denying it and the webpage removal is pathetic.

20 plus other Lib Dems were brave enough to rebel as were 6 of my own party.

Anyone with an affinity to social mobility and a meritocracy would (and should) have done the same.

There have been better days in British politics than last Thursday...that's a fact.