Mr Clegg apologises

The promise to abolish tuition fees was central to the Lib Dem pitch in 2010 election. Not only did their Leader appear, signing a pledge that they would do it. Many of us were challenged by Lib Dem opponents to election meetings held for sixth form students, including 18 year olds with a vote, so the Lib Dems could thrust home their policy promise to those most likely to support it.

Their Manifesto said “Scrap unfair university tuition fees for all students taking their first degree, including those studying part time, saving them £10,000 cash”. It went on to say they could afford this “even in difficult economic times” though it would be phased in.

I remember being summonsed to a student meeting in Wokingham. I felt I had to do it, though I knew its purpose was to paint me into the mean corner. I requested that we took questions about matters other than student loans and tuition fees as well. Sure enough the first question was about fees.

The Lib Dem, UKIP and Green candidates rushed to offer no increases in fees or better . The Lib Dem offered abolition. The national Conservatives had no firm policy on the topic, other than to support Labour’s fees to date. I explained that a Conservative government would study a review of the situation, and might well conclude that there had to be an increase. I reminded an unhappy audience of the poor general financial state of the country which made a more generous government policy unlikely. I concluded that I thought any government that took over following the election was most likely to increase fees, whatever the candidates might say.

The Lib Dem promise could not have been clearer. Once in office, Dr Cable decided he would review the Browne Report and would form the policy. He was entitled to do so as the Secretary of State, but had a junior Conservative Minister for Higher Education willing and able to take a decision if he wished. Dr Cable could have allowed Mr Willetts to do the work, and the Lib Dems could have abstained on the vote, under the terms of the Coalition agreement.

Instead Dr Cable and Mr Clegg made a very conscious choice to settle the policy themselves, and to vote for it. Why have they two and half years later decided they were wrong to make the promise? Why didn’t they think keeping the promise mattered at the time? Why did Lib Dem candidates make so much of the promise at election time, and how do they feel about that now?

I did promise to argue for a higher starting threshold of income before any repayment was necessary under the loan scheme.I said I supported more generous scholarship funds from both the state and private sectors. Both these changes were incorporated into the Cable scheme with general approval from both Coalition parties.

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  1. Single Acts
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Methinks the next election is looking a bit too close and this is the start of repositioning. Nothing like the prospect of utter destruction to make a Lib-Dem face both ways at once. They look at former Lib-Dem MP’s going onto third rate ‘celeb’ TV and shudder.

    I reckon we can expect more of this in the coming months and the possible dumping of Clegg if any of the lentil-munchers have the proverbial dagger in their organic hemp nap-sacks.

    Et tu Vincent?

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      What about the prospect of utter destruction of the pro EU, every bigger state, tax borrow and waste, fake green Tory party. Why is that not concentrating any minds? The LibDems were never really in the serious game anyway.

      Hence their silly pre-election promises.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        JR you forget the other pillar of the promise to the Lib Dem campaign , when Mr Clegg made a video of a fairer Britain and no more broken promises. He was walking across waste land with pieces of paper strewn everywhere as if they were previous broken promises and the right to recall MPs. This is after his shut the gates of Westminster speech until politics is cleaned up. Now what did he do about David Laws???

        Yesterday Mr Clegg makes an insincere apology for using categoric language not to increase university tuition fees claiming the UK could not afford it. This is contrary to what he said at the time and when he knows the UK provides free university education to EU students (at UK taxpayers’ expense). His colleague and former leader of the Lib Dems and chancellor of St Andrews University, Mr Campbell, bestows degrees on EU students who have not paid tuition fees at the same ceremony Mr Campbell bestows degrees on their English counter parts who pay tuition fees.

        EU countries our competitors, this is also against the background that his other colleague, Vince Cable, was responsible for the £9,000 hike. Can anyone believe a word Mr Clegg says???? Did he not also claim in April that boundary changes were not linked to Lords reform in Parliament???

        Now how about Mr Mitchell? Most think he was incompetent at DfiD because he wanted the UK to be the world champion at giving away taxpayers’ money to consultants and despots under the guise it would help the poor through foreign aid. Even though it was quietly understood that the world target of reducing the amount of children in poverty was achieved in 2008, not by foreign aid but by China and India growing their economies. Not that India wants our taxpayers’ money in any event! Today it is widely reported how Mr Mitchell truly reflects the Tory characters in government when he did not immediately get his way when asked to get off his cycle (presumably a green stunt for the press). Was Mr Mitchell’s frivolous policy of wasting taxpayers’ money to demonstrate a “modern” Tory party overshadowed by his thoroughly shameful and arrogant personality? Once more, it raises the question and casts a shadow on Mr Cameron’s judgement for the people he has in government.

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          How about the arrogant position of the cabinet members on Marriage? Thousands of years the institution remained until it is has become socially convenient for a small number of politicians to change it, even though it was not in either’s manifesto. Christians rightly feel that a marriage is between a man and woman, Mr Clegg thinks we are bigots for holding such views- later retracted. Possibly as sincere as his apology on tuition fees? Another change to British culture, that Mr Clegg dislikes so much, to appease Mr Clegg??

          A quote from Archbishop Cranmer’s blog appears to be spot on the money:
          …Sadly, the Government’s attitude toward Christians in this matter appears to be the same as that of the Chief Whip toward the police, the only difference being that Andrew Mitchell says it to their face.

          • uanime5
            Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            Just because Christians believe that marriage should be a man and a woman doesn’t give them the right to prevent non-Christians homosexuals from getting married. Religion isn’t a justification for homophobia.

            Also in ancient Rome there were several gay marriages, the most famous being Nero’s marriage to a male slave Sporus. It wasn’t until the 4th century AD that the Roman’s started to outlaw gay marriage. So you claim that marriage has only been between a man and a woman for thousands of years is clearly wrong.

          • stred
            Posted September 22, 2012 at 4:01 am | Permalink

            To be fair, it is not only Christians but a high proportion of Jews, Moslems, Sikhs, Hindus, Agnostics and Aetheists too.

            Come on Cleggy, call us all bigots.

            Maybe I should feel guilty about going to the civil ceremonies of homosexual or lesbian friends, but I haven’t heard them say anything about gay marriage either.

          • Single Acts
            Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink

            There is confusion here between a marriage and a wedding. The former is fundamentally a contract made public which carries with it certain rights and obligations like any other contract. This can be achieved now more or less, by anyone who wants it.

            The latter is a nasty attempt by some to use the force of law to coerce people into publically declaring something that their faith clearly disavows. Thus the demand to be legally entitled to gay wedding ceremonies in churches which don’t welcome homosexuals.

            I can’t get married in a catholic church for example because I find more or less all of their doctrine, well, er, difficult to accept. They in turn think I am damned because I don’t go to confession, accept the sacrament, deny the holy spi(r)it etc blah, blah. This suits us both fine.

            But I’m not using the law to try to get my local bishop to take a position which says “Your beliefs discriminate against me and I therefore demand in the name of equality that I be allowed to take the sacrament but to hell with commandments five to ten and much of the book of exodus”

            Gay people effectively are doing just this.

            (Please note: I write as a committed aetheist and getting me onto the same ground as the Catholic church is quite an achievement).

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Mr Mitchell clearly has been a bit of an idiot, but these London cyclists often are. Especially if they are forced to stop at red lights, or brake at all. I have heard them abusing people several times for things that were clearly their fault as they wizz over zebras up pavement through red lights and the like.

          I put it down to all that bouncing or hard bicycle seats and the effect on their prostate glands but perhaps I am wrong.

          You should watch them on Hampstead heath doing over 30mph weaving down footpaths with children and prams strolling on them.

          But then am I the only one who thinks the policeman should be treating the matter in strictest confidence. Do they not have some duty or obligation to do so? Surely they should make only official complaints not public ones?

          • Bazman
            Posted September 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            How much secrecy would you expect if it were a Labour MP facing the same circumstances? Not much for sure.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

        It seems very odd that Clegg did not insist on a Graduate tax, which could have had almost the same effect as the student loans system. Anyway it seems that very few student loans will be pay back in full it seem you need to start at about £38,000 to have much chance and women have even less chance with career breaks for children. Few EU students one assumes too – so just a few lawyers, accountants bankers, high flyers and doctors it seems will not have some written off. So it is a grant for many.

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          EU students DO NOT pay tuition fees in Scotland- the British taxpayer pays for their education. Scottish students do not pay tuition fees either, Welsh students had tuition fees frozen. The government are stinging MIddle England to stump up their costs to subsidise EU students so they do not have to pay.

          Taking Prof Ebdon, Cable and Willetts’ social engineering policy to its conclusion, will make it worse for MIDDLE ENGLAND. People on salaries below £15,000 do not pay tuition fees. People under £25,000 get them subsidised. These students will also not be required to have the required A Level grades and also do not pay tuition fees. So the bill for their political ideology rests with MIDDLE ENGLAND to pick up the costs. MIDDLE ENGLAND is financially penalised and has the insult of being refused university education for having higher grades.

          If English students are successful they will have to pay and subsidise everyone else including those who have never paid into the UK tax pot either inside the EU. And, once more, Cameron is letting it happen. He claims he cannot interfere- and he is the PM!

          FOI requests show that over 45% of EU students who have studied in England have not paid any student loan back- maintenance and tuition fee loans.

          Like the education and health service we, MIDDLE ENGLAND, are over taxed and squeezed for every penny to subsidise free education, and health to EU people and satisfy the Lib Dems socialist ideology. Cameron has asked many former Labour ministers to help form policy ie Milburn, Fields, Browne and the spectacular pension reform. Someone needs to remind Cameron he is a conservative and meant to represent conservative voters. I am sure he could get a few Tory politicians to help with policy reform.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I doubt that even Vincent will be able to save the LibDems if the core vote has turned away, for one thing there is that cabinet collective responsibility issue, if anyone is going to save the LibDems then i suspect it will have to come from someone not in the Cabinet (nor from the deputy leadership for much the same reasons). But just how many Libdem safe seats are held by people capable of leading the party, does this mean we might yet see a past leader return to their old post?…

      I would not wish to see the LibDems decimated in the Commons though, whilst I have no time for almost all of their policies they do act as a moderating voice to both left and right, there are other parties who I would like to see the back of long before the LibDems!

      • Gordon
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        I disagree, they are vile charlatans who should be scattered on the four winds. He hasn’t apologised to me for the names he called me for, disgreeing with his views on UK EU membership or on gay marriage. ( words of abuse deleted – I normally delete terms of needless abuse against politicians of any party, as they do not necessarily strengthen the point, and am sorry to have skipped these-ed)

        • Jerry
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          Wow that is a bit strong Gordon, a difference of opinion perhaps but “traitor”?!

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Well said. We are paying each month through our energy bills and tax for their socialist ideology. This is not a game it is real. Clegg wants to change the British culture without regard for the population as we saw int he Lords reform. He wants to change marriage when it was not in either parties manifesto. He is content with EU ruling over us. Read his quotes on Wikipedia about the British culture and then you start to understand why he wants to change our culture through mass immigration, religion and EU. In my view a horrible party that we would be better off without in politics.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Methinks the Lib Dem party conference 2 days after Nick Clegg’s speech is a more likely factor than the 2015 election.

  2. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    One thinks one dislikes the Conservatives till one reads just about anything on the Liberals. It hadn’t dawned on me that their candidates had milked the issue specifically in front of student audiences in quite the way you say but then it is standard procedure for this mendacious party to spout what their audience of the moment and in any particular part of the country wants to hear. The only thing they sing a consistent tune on is Europe and for that I despise them even more. Watching Clegg’s apology by accident on the news made my skin crawl. Anyway, from watching the BBC I was not clear: was he apologizing for making or breaking the promise or was his plan simply to look so (synthetically) abject that we would feel sorry for him?

    • Timaction
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      This is not a straight forward argument on austerity as other factors come into play. Labour had a ridiculous target of 50% of students having a University degree. The fact that many of those qualifications were in dumbed down subjects or meaningless to employers was irrelevant to them. I remember reading the product of some of these graduates who simply couldn’t spell or add up but they had a degree!! Talk about a dumbed down country and state education. Secondly, it is ONLY the English who pay tuition fees. Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and EU students get free University tuition fees in those countries, subsidised by the English under the Barnet formula and taxation system. They also get free subscriptions and other benefits denied to the English. EU students also get student loans. Many have or intend to never repay these debts.
      The Government is aware of these anomolies as I and others have pointed it out to them but they are unwilling to do anything about it.
      So one of the obvious targets in tuition fees in England is to reduce the number of students and the ridiculous numpty courses that were on offer. No politician will dare tell the truth on this issue but people will gradually come alive to the truth and unfairness of the current educational apparteid practiced on the English by this and the previous Government.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        The other point I need to make is that English students in Scotland etc still have to pay tuition fees but NOT EU students. Makes you proud to pay net contributions of £11 billion to the EU and have to pay for their free further education costs as well. We really do need root and branch reform of our politicians and Sir Humphries as they can’t run a Whelk stall.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Oh come on, this is politics! You mean the Tories don’t ‘milk the issue’ in front of business owners, or the Labour party do like wise in front of union officials and branch meetings, doesn’t UKIP milk the issue in front those who don’t like the EU?

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        The Conservatives haven’t done anything for SME’s but add to burdens and State controls over us, there has been no change. I’ve been involved with better regulation task forces under both parties for the past fifteen years and the regulations they add are very expensive and the ones they take away irrelevant.

        All parties talk to business but we are a minority they can ignore because our votes don’t increase with the taxes we provide. What % of taxes are paid by SMEs compared to large businesses and their employees, I’m not talking about public sector sector comparisons just private contributors. What SMEs need is our own union we’re treated like worthless milche cows by all government spendthrifts.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          Indeed it have been an endless attack on SMEs.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          @a-tracy: I thought you had one, the CBI, or are you not big/powerful/wealthy enough to join (Not a rhetorical question)?

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            I’m talking about the millions of SME’s Jerry not the big corporates and ex nationalised industries. I don’t believe the CBI exist in our interest, they’d probably accept me if I were willing to pay the membership but what have they changed?

            All of these organisations now advise you of the risk and expense of tribunal and persuade you to hold on to unproductive, soul draining staff. These organisations like the CBI are working to the benefit of large organisations and government though passing more social obligations and costs on to SMEs reduces competition and forces strugglers to close down or get swallowed up by them so they can rip the heart and innovation out and push up costs in the long term, reducing consumer choice.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          What about the Federation of Small Businesses? They’re lobbying for SMEs.

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            They don’t achieve either. More for legislation advice to micros, but once again these organisations follow the governments agenda of informing SMEs of the extra costs they’re about to get landed with. They didnt get any say on the latest Nest advertisements on the tv. Yet the majority of SMeS are exempt until 2015 and that isn’t clear. You usually only find out about legislation until its virtually been passed.

            Did they get any say over the holiday pay whilst employees are off work sick long term? The advice in the number of holidays you have to pay pa is unclear! What did they achieve over age discrimination which mainly affects SMEs as they’re the businesses hiring people over the age of 50, nothing. This nest scheme why are we still paying 13.8% NI if that’s not for the pension of the employees. If it wasn’t for the pension why don’t self-employed people pay employers NI?

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Shutting the door after the horse has bolted………

    Oh dear, Mr Whiter than White who NEVER LIES and is STRAIGHT unlike the other two bickering old parties, new rush of perfection etc etc etc etc.

    Well that is now a twisted memory and the LibDems have been revealed as naive, useless and cynically after power.

    Leaving the floor to UKIP.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Leaving the floor to UKIP.

      Have you bothered to compare the LibDem and UKIP manifestos or is this just more hyperbolic posturing, clue the LibDems want even closer ties to the EU, UKIP want out…

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        I suggest everyone read UKIP’s manifesto. I was surprised and there is not a lot to disagree with. At the moment Tory/Lib Dem use coalition as an excuse not implement manifesto pledges when it suits, claim success on other occasions and lie on others. After two and half years and judging against achievement would you trust either party? I certainly do not. That is why I will not vote Tory at the next three elections- local, European and general.

        Labour getting into power does not scare nor bother me, as Cameron has taken the same route on most key policy issues. Spend and waste, big state, massive tax increases, squeeze people in the middle for every penny they can to help the idle, more EU rule, mass immigration, soft on crime, Free World Health Service (inside and outside EU), unnecessary Middle East wars, harm growth to business etc etc.

        The public needs to force change in our politics because the three main leaders do not possess leadership qualities or the competence to bring about change or run the country properly. A good starting point would be a radical change in the civil service.

  4. norman
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I’m sure his apology was sincere and heartfelt though, eh? I for one am happy to trust a liar when he apologies for lying through his teeth, moreso if it’s a politician as they have to face the electorate.

    With the threat of recall…oh, wait…that was dropped, wasn’t it?

    Well, with the threat of deselection in an open primary….oh, wait…that was dropped wasn’t it?

    Well, with seats under threat after the boundary commission…and so on for 94 more paragraphs.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Also do not forget they have legislated themselves into power for the whole five year parliamentary term.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        How have they done that, either coalition party could bring the government down next week if they really wanted to, neither have a majority so it would be very easy assuming that Labour is ready to face the electors. Of course how many governments of any composition choose to commit electoral suicide – the last was that of Heath in 1974…

    • Acorn
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Nice one norman. Gives me an opportunity to talk PRIMARY ELECTION. See this link at Washington State Secretary office:- .
      It gives the basics of that State’s Top 2 Primary election system. The political parties hate it because it does not guarantee that their own fodder, that it puts up for election, will get on the general election ballot paper. A video of it is at .

      If you click “elections home” tab you can see just how many offices are up for partisan election (some are non-partisan by design). Compare and contrast with the minimal choices our masters allow us to have. Washington citizens will also vote on “Initiatives and Referenda Filed in 2012”.

      The system was designed to elect people not parties, so you can understand why the parties hate it and keep going to court to challenge it.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that “Acorn”, whilst I have no problem with the system I think it is very wrong to describe the first ballot as a “primary”, it is the more important ballot! If the UK was to have such a system then it would need different naming terminology.

  5. Julian
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The main reason the LibDems did so well at the last election was the student fees commitment and the support this gained them among students. As Nick Clegg now admits they were wrong to make the promise, he should accept that their position in the Coalition was obtained under false pretences.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Julian, Totally agree–how could anyone not? If the Conservatives had a quarter of a brain they would very justifiably make play on this and all but ignore the wretched Liberals.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      The Lib Dems did not do well. They got less of the vote and fewer MPs than the previous election. If Clegg had not gone into Coalition he would be history. They would have had to change leader. Cameron did not recognise the weakness of their position, then again, he is not very good at negotiating is he?

      • Jerry
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        @Disaffected: I suspect Mr Cameron didn’t recognise the weakness of the LibDem’s position because he was in a very similar position, had the Tories not been able to form a government -worse still, loose any re-run of the election- Mr Cameron would have almost certainly gone the same way as the previous four Tory leaders…

  6. JimF
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The point is had the liberal dems not been in government they would have voted down the change.

  7. lifelogic
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Should obtaining power on the basis of blatant lies to voters not be a criminal offence perhaps, it rather makes such minor democracy, as still pertains rather a joke. Perhaps in the same way that “obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception” was formerly a statutory offence in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. But then so many politicians would be in jail.

    I suppose Mr Clegg just did the usual liberal thing of assuming they would never take power anyway so could just say anything they thought would win votes. The bigger problem for the Liberals is that all their policies are wrong and won’t work. Their quack green religion, ever more taxes on the rich, ever more waste and ever more EU. Civil liberties is the only sensible policy they have. They even have the totally discredited David Laws back now.

    Why on earth do we still have Cable the anti-business secretary in place? It is hard to think of anyone less appropriate for the post?

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Can anyone explain why, this absurd coalition is giving £5000 grant to encourage people to buy a daft expensive electric cars costing £31,000. Then not taxing them on the electric fuel also providing other parking, charging and fiscal advantages.

      They create huge amounts of c02 to build, have a range lower than 62miles in winter, take a long time to recharge. In use they have no real CO2 or environmental advantages (other than that the pollution is at the power station). Anyway, most will still need to run a real car too. So it will just be a second car for the rich with driveways and garages for most.

      Greener, and far more practical, petrol (or LPG) second hand cars are available for under £1000 and new for only about £8,000. Why this subsidy to the rich who wish to pretend they are green with these silly car badges? Not to mention the dangers of their quietness for pedestrians and the congestion they can cause when they go up steep hills or run out of charge.

      Many electric cars do not even meet the same crash standards either.

      • stred
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Yes. Just refer to the book Sustainable Energy, by Prof MacKay, the qualified member of the DECC team, and available free on their website. The others are ex PR or from the Home Office, Treasury etc.

        Chapter 20 – ‘Better Transport’ confirms that electric cars, particularly hybrids, are no better than efficient conventional in CO2 emission. as grid electricity has a carbon footprint of 500grams/kWh in the UK. New conventional cars are available at this sort of efficiency and cost half or less of the electric version. Batteries have to be replaced after a few years at a cost of £3k+. The big hybrids such as the Lexus cost a fortune and actually produce more CO2, but are advertised as zero emission while running. But the richer boys and girls must have their Piuses and little windmills doing nothing, so a hefty subsidy is necessary.

        Chapter 26- ‘Fluctuations and Storage’ shows that it is very difficult to store the wildly fluctuating generation of Wind, which may total up to 33GW.(p 194) The match between the requirements of electric cars and the excess power is described as ‘delightfully similar’. So the real value of electric cars is that, when the wind is right, they can take the excess, as the backup generation still has to run. In fact there will have to be a ninefold expansion of generation capacity and transmission lines, according to the link posted on this site two weeks ago. No wonder the industry is not too vocal about this fact.

        So your electric car could also be used to supply current back to the grid when the wind is not being too helpful. I read that Lord Turner, following his success at the FSA and now chairing the Climate Change committee is saying that the anti-wind people don’t know what they are talking about. So perhaps he could read their own book and explain how he comes to his conclusion.

        Perhaps Clever Clegg could read chapter 27- Five energy plans for Britain and explain how the L plan (p209), coinciding with LibDem policy when written, relies mainly on solar in deserts- 16kW/d, and clean coal. The first relies on the goodwill of the Arabs, Spanish and French, using German transmission, and the second on a system which has never been made to work successfully and requires much more coal to be burned, in order to power the capture. He could apologise for this too and add it his U tube collection.

        Hope this is not too technical for the DBC producers. Perhaps Evan Davies could ask them to do a spot on it in between the Pop and Luvvy adulations.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          Almost anything is too technical for the BBC staff they often cannot even distinguish between Mega Watts (power) or Mega Watt Hours (Energy) or often even understand what positive and negative feed back actually are. Thinking positive is good!

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

            They are guilty as – er – charged, Lifelogic ?

          • Bazman
            Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            Give an example of this confusion.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I see an advert in the Spectator today the Nissan Leaf claims, rather absurdly, 348 MPG for their electric car. This they do on an (rather optimistic) cost of fuel comparison so the figure is mainly due to the fact that petrol is hugely taxed and electricity is not. They conveniently ignore the large capital (and environmental) costs of the car at nearly £31,000 (before the absurd government subsidy).
        One assumes they will start to tax electric cars fairly some how, should many actually buy these cars. So huge road taxes I assume are just down the line.

        Also bear in mind batteries do go slowly flat when just standing so it is a bit like having a petrol tank with a slight leak. Batteries are also expensive, heavy, bulky and have a rather limited life. So do not expect to get your 31K back in fuel savings very quickly unless you drive all the time (which anyway you cannot do as you will have to stop to charge up after perhaps just 60 miles in winter).

      • APL
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        lifelogic: “They create huge amounts of c02 to build, have a range lower than 62miles in winter, take a long time to recharge.”

        And when the battery fails, as it will, it’ll cost two thirds of the price of the car to replace.

        By comparison if you puncture your fuel tank, to replace it would cost 1/50 of the price of the car.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        I think that the electric cars are pretty much a non starter for a number of reasons, mainly cost, but don’t tell us that the BBC and others have no technical knowledge whilst spreading your misinformation and propaganda on their supposedly lack of safety. The G WIZZ is beyond the pale for sure, but that absurd and pointless creator of car safety laws the Euro NCAP, is now testing up to date electric cars and the results are in the main the same as conventionally fuelled cars.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      As to your first paragraph, take a look at the Fraud Act 2006 and decide whether the law need be changed!!

  8. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink
  9. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Nothing new about broken manifesto promises from party politicians is there John, especially if there is a referendum involved!

    Reply: There was no manifesto promise for a referendum in the Conservative 2010 Manifesto. Try reading it. I did promise to vote for a referendum, and carried out my promise in the Commons.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      What of the manifesto promise to limit immigration to ‘tens of thousands a year’ ?

      Where’s our apology for that ?

      Tuition fees: A necessary evil when the previous Govt demanded that fifty percent of school leavers should go to university.

      I wish the opportunity had been take during the Coalition’s honeymoon period to have Nick Clegg beside David Cameron declaring what a pitiful mess Labour had left the nation’s finances in.

      Reply The immigration promise was for the end of the Parliament, so time will tell

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted September 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Well, thats alright then. Two and half years to the end of this parliament; which at the current rate means another half a million people. I

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the reply, John.

        The failure to control immigration is making a mockery of all Government policies. Every single one of them – including the reason for being in Afghanistan.

        It makes a mockery of environmentalism, a mockery of law,a mockery of employment and it makes a mockery of Government attempts to control debt – especially the welfare bill.

        You bring ‘facts’ and figures to this blog but how can there be any serious analysis when you have know idea of the numbers that are going to be here, moreover their qualifications and abilities to help turn our economy around ?

        Yet another influx of (new arrivals-ed) to my town and one (raised in multi racial London) seriously wonders what on earth they have to contribute to a successful society.

        Quote as many ‘facts’ and figures as you like. It’s over isn’t it, John.

        Plan C

        – Don’t vote Tory

        – A Lib-Lab coalition to finish off the economy

        – No welfarism as a magnet for allcomers to abuse

        – Pray that we can rebuild from whatever is left

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      There was a cast iron promise before the manifesto however which was very clearly broken. Probably the main reason why he lost the sitting duck election.

      Cameron must go before the next election, his word simply cannot be trusted and the party will probably be beaten into third place in the Euro elections by both UKIP and Labour.

      But then perhaps he just wants to lose?

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I made no reference to any Tory pledges in the Conservative manifesto of 2010 in my comments.

      Was there a promise made by all parties, including the Conservative Party, to hold a referendum on changes to the E.U. constitution?

      Reply: Yes, The Conservatives promised to vote for a referendum on Lisbon and we did so. The leadership tried to prevent the Treaty being ratified by all countries prior to the 2010 election so we could have held on on gaining office. Unfortunately it was fully ratified before the election, so the leadership explained a referendum on Lisbon no longer had any meaning.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I have written before but it warrants repitition – politicians love to be sanctimonious about banks or companies accused of “mis-selling” and demand fines or other forms of retribution. When it comes to their own “mis-selling” they shrug their shoulders, try and talk their way out of it and, as a really last resort, offer some form of apology. Ah, I hear you say, but you can punish them by not voting for them. True, but when all the parties are all guilty where does that leave us in our so-called democracy? How about legal sanctions against the parties and the individual political offenders? Not much hope of those self-same politicians voting for sanctions to punish them.

    • Mark
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Probably the biggest mis-selling with regard to tertiary education is the idea that so many students will profit from it. The official projections are that over 50% of students will never pay off their tuition fees, which will see the loan balance written off by taxpayers in due course. No business would seriously propose a project to a lender with an expectation of over 50% that some of the loan will have to be written off.

      Tuition fees are of course simply a way to make yet another uneconomic investment disappear from the official government debt numbers for a few years.

      A further difficulty with loan repayments is that it imposes a higher tax rate on the “squeezed middle”. That means they will be at a disadvantage with their non-degree income peers in affording a family and a house. Indeed, in the longer run, it could act as a reducer of the average intelligence of the population alongside the present incentives for some to live off welfare by having many children from different fathers. It will also constrain the ability to raise income tax more generally.

      There is a strange divide in the state education system whereby schooling is free, and not subject to tuition loans. If instead we had an approach that aimed at getting a worthwhile return from the education of every child we would see many children complete their formal schooling at 16 to go on to jobs or job-specific training/apprenticeship, and many others leaving education at 18 to do likewise, with only those really likely to be able to add value through a university education continuing on.

      Present policy is to waste educational resource at universities and now also at schools, dragging out the curriculum and reducing the productivity of teaching, and keeping children in the institutions who are no longer benefiting from the experience, but instead are likely to disrupt the education of those who are.

      What we really need to do is to cut the waste, by cutting university student numbers, re-instating polytechnics and earlier school leaving ages, and returning to a more rigorous and productive teaching regime. Then Clegg would have been right: since taxpayer investment would pay off in higher earnings and taxes, we could afford to return to a system where the investment was made by the state in the education of its citizens.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Obtaining power by clear dishonest deception – but I suppose that is just what politicians do – ask Clegg.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I see Mitchell is following the template I laid out above. Why is he still in post?

  11. Old Albion
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Politician lied to get elected……………shock horror!!
    May i just remind everyone? Student fees were voted onto the English by the UK government. The bill would have failed had many of Scotlands MP’s not supported it.
    Of course Scottish MP’s had nothing to worry about because the so called Scottish government had already decided Scottish students would not have to pay fees, in Scotland.
    As we have seen since, no EU national has to pay in Scotland except the English and to a lesser degree the Welsh.
    This is apparently a fair and democratic situation……………………within the (dis)United Kingdom!!!!

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Once Scotland becomes independent, if it manages to stay in the EU, English and Welsh students will be able to attend Scottish Universities without paying fees. Is this the reason why the English are being being refused a vote in the proposed referendum on Scottish Independence? I suspect the Scots would have a better chance of independence if the English and Welsh were allowed to vote for the break up.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Well said old Albion. All Scottish MPs should have been a default no vote. The Conservatives should have made hay in England over this to reduce the number of Labour MPs in England as their positioning over these issues in England could have been easily explained. Don’t the Lib Dems have more Scottish MPs too? Did they vote yes to England having tuition fees when they had the chance to stop it. This unjust tax on my children alone in the union makes me fume as their Scottish, Irish and Welsh friends with the same qualifications can afford to take lower remuneration without this graduation tax hanging over their heads in England and thus gives them an unfair advantage.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Alistair Heath, over at CityAM made this succinct comment on Mr Clegg`s “apology”:
    Now let me get that straight. Nick Clegg isn’t apologising for his policies – in fact, he isn’t even apologising for breaking his promise. He is apologising for having made a promise, and is promising (yes, promising) not to make promises again. If you’re confused, don’t worry – so is everybody else, including Clegg himself.”

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Indeed he clearly never expected to be in power.

  13. Paul Danon
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I think that we also need an explanation of the relationship in the coalition-agreement between Lords-reform and boundary-change.

    Reply. The trade off was AV referendum for boundaries.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      The agreement was that both parties had to implement everything in the coalition agreement. So when the Conservatives refused to implement the Lord’s reforms the Lib Dems refused to implement boundary changes.

      In summary you can’t expect other people to obey an agreement when you’re clearly breaking it.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 23, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        The boundary changes have MERIT. There must be something that the Conservatives can offer the LibDems that has MERIT. Faster implementation of the £10,000 income tax threshold? Splitting the top Council Tax rate as a legitimate form of Mansion Tax? Come on, be constructive just for once.

  14. Lord Blagger
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Both parties ‘promised’ the right of recall.

    When are we going to have the right of recall as promised, or is it going to only happen if you give us permission to exercise democracy?

    Still waiting too for that promise to publish the true government debt including the state pension.

    I seem to recall that it was you that made that promise, but so far a link to any numbers hasn’t arrived. Now I’m not surprised, since I can’t get it out of the treasury either.

    So here’s the analysis of the fraud.

    1. The treasury says its not a debt because they can change the law to not pay the state pension.

    Implication one, is that this is the plan.

    Implication two, the state pension as it stands is a legal right. Otherwise you wouldn’t have to change the law.

    2. Your’e taking money from people promising to pay the current state pension.

    Conclusion. The government is taking money from people with no intention of supplying what is owed. That’s a deliberate fraud.

    Care to comment?

    Reply: I have published my figure for total debt and pension debt, as you well know

    • zorro
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      It is a deliberate deceit…… They will probably just bring in a pension tax and means test it in the future rather than ‘refusing’ to pay it…..I do not hold much hope for the new pension they are introducing. It is better to save in variety of real tradable assets or the stock market regularly over the long term. It provides a far better return. Government pension schemes are a con.


  15. Winston Smith
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    UKIP will restore the grant system, reduce student numbers, cut the plethora of education quangos and reduce the monolithic Dept for Education. They will embark on a wholesale review of higher education with a view to channelling more students into vocational training and supporting subjects that match the requirements of the Nation.

    They should also make higher education more efficient and vfm. Its possible, at present, to learn some subjects at evening classes quicker and cheaper than attending full-time university education.

    • Patrick Loaring
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Since UKIP would appear not to have any chance of getting into government, are they perhaps using the LibDem MO.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Winston, they need not only to get their first MP but get enough MPs to hold the balance of power first…

      Sorry but as Patrick said, like the LD’s the UKIP are making manifesto promises that they know will never need to be tested, and like the LDs if they got into a position that they were tested UKIP will have had to face the same party destroying realities. I suspect that any future UKIP manifesto will take lessons from the plight of the LDs and we will see a few less rash promises, just in case….

  16. English Pensioner
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    It is easy to make promises when you know that you will never have to implement them, and the LibDems have been doing this for years.
    However, due to the incompetence of the Tories, they were elevated to a position of power and as a result they found their promises were totally unaffordable.
    If this makes politicians think twice before making promises, it will be a good thing. However, it is clear that Cameron doesn’t agree with Clegg’s approach otherwise he would be making an apology for breaking his “cast iron” guarantee of a referendum on the EU.

    Reply Mr Cameron’s cast iron guarantee was for a Lisbon referendum. He put the Conservative party on a 3 line whip to vote for one, as we did. Lib/Lab voted us down

  17. Atlas
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I saw the item on yesterday’s Daily Politics which featured this video ‘Apology’.

    I found it:

    a) cringeable;
    b) hypocritical;
    c) brazen.

    Why anybody should trust anything Clegg says in the future is beyond me.

    Cameron and the EU evoke similar feelings.

    Both no-longer have credibility.

  18. Neil Craig
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    2 points.

    Firstly aploogising for something but keeping the ill gotten gains is no apology. A burglar who got caught and refused to return the swag but said he was really truly sorry and wouldn’t do it again would not be taken seriously. If Clegg was really sorry he would resign the party leadership. I suspect if hhe did so the LibDems would actually recover significantly, though I am confident he won’t.

    Secondly there has been no apology for them making a manifesto promise to support a referendum and breaking it. This is, if anything, more egregious both because it is the 2nd time running they have made and broken the promise and because there is no possible excuse for this lie. Lack of money to carry out promises is a common political excuse and there is some validity to it, in that it always turns out that the economy is performing worse than either they or their predecesors promised. But cost did not entre into the issue of the referendum. They made that promise, both times, because they knew the people wanted it, and they broke it, without hesitation, both times, because they simply didn’t want us to have the choice.

    There are now, by definition, no circumstances whatsoever, under which any statement by any party which has lied without compunction, can be assumed a priori to be in any way trustworthy. This obviously also applies to Labour, who made the same manifesto promise before the Lisbon treaty & the Tories who made a “cast iron” promise of the same nature.

  19. Jerry
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I really do not understand why Mr Clegg has done what he has, the outcome was always going to be obvious (as has happened), Mr Clegg would have been better addressing issues more important to those older floating voters -and disaffect LibDem supporters- rather than a group of people who were always going to be a lost cause once the LibDems (once in government) kept tuition fees never mind raised them.

    Also people are forgetting, university should be a privilege, not a right, otherwise there is a danger that the qualification gained becomes less valuable to both students and employers -as has already started to happen in some fields….

  20. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I think the atmosphere at the time just after the election was so precarious regarding confidence in both the economy and the capacity of the coalition to function that they felt it was essential that they took extreme action to calm both those fears.

  21. David John Wilson
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Nick Clegg could have kept his pledge if his coalition partners had supported him. I hardly feel that any member of your party can criticise him for failing to keep to his pledge. His only alternative would have been to have broken up the coaliton.

    Reply: Try reading the blog. He could have opposed it and abstained, as the Agreement allowed him to do.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Of course he could have abstained but where would that have left the coalition at that very early stage of the parliament. It was much more important at that stage to maintain the coalition than come to blows over a single issue.

  22. David Saunders
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    As always the Lib Dems posture and usually face three ways at once, depending on the audience and area. Not unusual for Lib Dems in different parts of the country to offer contradictory promises/policies.
    All the more reason for Cameron to have tried to go on as a minority government after 2010 election and then go to the country again in 6 – 9 months.

  23. forthurst
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Has tertiary education become a money-making racket? “Who would be in favour of maximising tertiary education fees?

    Mr Gove is apparently attempting to revert secondary exams to the standards that pertained before dumbing down became an art and a science to hoodwink some people into believing that children were becoming brighter, more hard working, and better taught than in prior years, in order for them to ‘qualify’ in larger and larger numbers for tertiary education, when in fact it is known that, specifically, in some subjects it can be guaged that the modern A level is between one and two years in scope and difficulty below that that had pertained previously; in other words, universities are now doing the work that was previously done in the sixth form. If Mr Gove, hypothetically, were able to pull it off, where would that leave all those students who are not of the prior A level standard when it came to higher education? Would people like Mr Ebdon be able to continue to pay themselves fat salaries and fill their rolls with the less academic on pseudo-academic courses in non-practical subjects in rebadged Techs from those who do not have appropriate A levels and would be much better off taking a vocational course either part time or full time or simply starting work?

    Rather than Mr Ebdon inflict marginal students on Russell group universities, would it not be better for marginal students to undertake a course of study which will be useful to them in later life rather than the source of substantial unnecessary indebtedness to the benefit of people like Ebdon, whilst losing several years of potentially useful work experience? Has education, education, education become anything more than a job creation scheme for rabid left-wingers with marginal intellects attempting to groom classes of bored students with Gramscian propaganda?

    • Mark
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


    • uanime5
      Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Gove isn’t trying to improve the standard of GCSEs and A Levels, he’s just changing the exams. I suspect he’s doing this because improving education by providing schools with additional resources and more teachers (would result in smaller class sizes) would be expensive.

  24. nicol sinclair
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Judging from this blog, it must be abundantly clear that, apart from a few notable exceptions, politicians have now assumed the unenviable position of being much less popular than bankers (or any other hated profession that one can think of).

    Do the politicians themselves understand this or are their eyes clouded over with rheum?

    I fear that this is largely due to the fact that, these days, many of them have no experience outside the political village – political activist at Uni, political adviser, local government, political adviser at Westminster followed by a ‘shoe in’ to a safe seat if they are truly loyal to the party/leader.

    Let’s get some REALLY experienced people into the equation. What say you all? Answers on this blog please and not to me…

  25. Bert Young
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    At least Clegg apologised ; Cameron has never apologised for the pledge he made to give the country a referendum . Making a “joke/song” out of the Clegg response was fairly appropriate and sums up what the public think about him , as for tuition fees , I hear that UKIP have gone to bat with an announcement that far too many go to University – a total cost the country cannot afford ; I support this view .

    Reply Mr Cameron said before the election that he did not intend to offer an In Out referendum. I didn’t like the policy but was honest about it.

  26. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Given that the State isn’t very prescriptive about what University education should be and what its purpose is, why not just liberate Universties completely. Let them teach what they like (within reason) and charge what they like. The State would support some of the deserving poor students. If certain University courses were very profitable, then competition would emerge, bearing down on fees.

  27. Ashley
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Hypocrisy and the Lib Dems go together like peaches & cream, Morecambe & wise or coffee and cream. It’s hard to imagine one without the other.

    To my mind there is no more unprincipled gaggle of lying opportunists anywhere in British politics and it is utterly beyond me how Cameron thought a coalition with these confused quislings could be anything but an unmitigated disaster. It might of been easier if he hadn’t thrown away a 20 point lead by pandering to the so called centre ground, which is resolutely left leaning these days.

  28. Matthew
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Mr Clegg’s apology was true to character of Lib Dem’s a very Holier than thou approach that looks almost comedic. Yet you could imagine previous Lib Dem leaders giving this speech…lots of talk of truth.
    I suppose that when you promise to abolish tuition fees and then vote to treble them a pretty big apology is in order.
    I would suggest that Mr Clegg and Dr Cable don sackcloth and ashes around Westminster for a while.

  29. Tad Davison
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never seen such a bunch of deplorable two-faced half-wits as the Lib Dems!

    They always made outrageous promises before an election, safe in the knowledge that they’d never have to deliver, because they’d never be in government. But this time it backfired on them, because suddenly they were, as a part of the coalition!

    The realities of government are often harsh, and it isn’t always possible to do everything one would like, but this is a question of them getting their priorities right.

    I made the point on local radio yesterday, that the Lib Dems cannot have their cake and eat it. The tax-payer’s purse isn’t some bottomless pit. Perhaps if they weren’t so keen on handing huge sums of money to the EU without even batting an eyelid, they’d have the cash to pay for all the other things on their wish list.

    And despite my best efforts, the Lib Dems STILL haven’t told me how being part of the EU can possibly benefit the UK. All I get from the local Cambridge Lib Dem MP, Julian Huppert, is an acknowledgement that he an I disagree.

    Strange that he is a supposed to be a scientist. I thought scientists came to a particular view through weighing up the best available evidence, not on supposition or whim.

    They say they’re for the little guy. They claim to champion the cause of the disadvantaged. They are supposed to be in government as part of a strategy to reduce the nation’s massive debt given to us by the last lot of trash. Yet they squander our precious resource as though it’s going out of fashion.

    Clegg and his party have absolutely NO credibility left! Let’s hope they get wiped out next time around!

    Tad Davison


  30. Barbara Stevens
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Mr Clegg has made himself look even more silly than he did signing the pledge in the first place. Once you make a decision you have to live with that decision. No politician should make promises he does not know the country can afford; of course he won’t be the last to make this mistake. Has for Clegg’s continued leadership, that’s questionable; even so Cameron’s in the political atmosphere that is developing. They both have rumblings on the sidelines about their leaderships, policies, and party satisfaction.
    Clegg’s is minor, but Cameron’s is not. UKIP, are making waves, and many Conservatives are angry and voting for them. Conservative headquarters must be very worried indeed. I did intend voting Conservative but now will not and will vote for UKIP. I like what they say, and what they intend doing if given the chance. Most of all the right to decide our own countries destiny, and it’s NOT within a United States of Europe, led by unelected boffins of little consequence. That is the basis for my vote, coupled with the ‘immigration’ question,which they will handle by closing our doors for 5 years, while they sort out the mess we are in. Sensible policies all round. On tax too, they offer a better deal. Its UKIP for me I’m afraid, the Conservatives have blown it.

  31. David Langley
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Please John dont go after the Libs on this one, Timeaction on this post is correct isnt he? The English students wind up with a maximum of £27K debt on graduating and the other nations go freebie. What on earth is fair or equitable about this? My grandaughters are now up to their necks and they are just starting out in the world. Oh and of course there are few jobs available, and even less industry apprenticeships. My it really makes you proud to be English, we treat the world when our own behinds are hanging out.

  32. uanime5
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Given that the Conservatives and the Lib Dems voted for higher tuition fees while Labour voted against them expect all the students who got stuck with higher fees to vote against the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. 30 years of debt will constantly remind them which parties they shouldn’t trust.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Err, but “uanime5”, was it not Labour who introduced tuition fees in the first place?!…

      • uanime5
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        True but the fees were much lower making it possible to pay them off. They were also written off after 21 years, rather than 30 years.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Oh right,so it;s OK to actually introduce such fees but dare anyone (but Labour?) raise them…

          Also uanime5, the new rules have a higher starting threshold, in fact one of the problems with the new rules is that some students might never end up paying back a penny of their loans before they get written off -especially if they have not done well or took ‘easy’ degrees that hold little or no worth in the real world.

          The Labour party, the NUS, the teaching unions and some of the more radical LD members all looked at the headline figure and jumped in with both feet without reading the fine-print, now they are all floundering around in their own rhetoric.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Whereas saddling a whole country with 30 years of debt is OK?

  33. Bazman
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Cleggy gave all those nice middle class students a great lesson in politics that they will take into the workplace as pointless managers in public and private companies shielding the bosses above them by setting targets that cannot be met and ‘getting with the programme’ as a team of course. Their idealistic plans to change the world as dust in the wind as they pay their large mortgages and HP on their family hatchback, dog food and keep up with the neighbours latest TV/computer telephone as they fight to send Oliver and Victoria to university to do the same. with the words of Lord Clegg ringing in their ears along with the rest of the student kit.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Class war is still alive and well I see Bazman…

      • Bazman
        Posted September 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Count on it. The evidence of the rich attacking the poor and the middle classes is self evident.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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