What Lib Dem members think about the tuition fees issue (omnibus edition)

For those who missed LibDemVoice.org’s coverage over the weekend, here’s a catch-up:

There are a couple more results still to be published in the next day or two — you can check out all the results of LibDemVoice.org’s surveys of party members here.

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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.

One Comment

  • There are 4 good reasons for not supporting the increase in graduate fees:

    1) it’s the wrong thing to do. Increased fees will encourage prospective student to follow courses and careers that lead to finacial gain only (eg law, accountancy) at the expense of less financial rewarding but just as useful pursuts (eg scientific reseach, teaching). It will discourage those who believe they cannot aford to pay from going to university.

    I had an example of this only yesterday. A retired shepherd told me his grandson (whose father is a postman and mother a housewife) had been told by his school that he should try for Oxbridge. Because of the fees the grandson is considering not going to university at all. What a waste of talent. To say people are not affected by fees and loans is just plain wrong.

    The government can it appears find money for defence, but not this.

    2) Politically the party desperately needs to be seen to be different from the Tories. A stand up row and refusal to surrender here would give enormous benefit. The Tories seem to be winning every battle. They owe us one. (Well- several actually.)

    3) Signing a pledge amongst great publicity and then walking away from it is just not on. The political damage done here is imense, incalculable. We will throw away the last suggesiton that the Lib Dems are new and different.

    4) There will be enormous damage done to the actavist base, both in terms of membership numbers and morale. Why the foot soldiers will be willing to give up their time and money in future when fundamental commitments are given away like this I do not know. It’s impossible to defend this on the doorstep.

    So, both principle and political advantage seem to require a vote against the policy (for backbenchers) and absention, (as permitted by the colaition agreement) for members of the government.

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