8th DECEMBER 2010
Ahead of Thursday’s crucial vote on higher education funding, the editor of The Liberal magazine warned the party that they face an unprecedented backlash from the public after placing the issue of trust at the heart of consecutive election campaigns (2005: ‘Freedom, Fairness, Trust’; 2010: ‘No more broken promises’). Benjamin Ramm pointed out that education policy has always been totemic for the LibDems, regarded as a core expression of their philosophy, and that the current party policy – to scrap tuition fees entirely over a six year period – is neither implausible nor particularly expensive, in relation to the scale of corporate tax evasion and the weak bank levy. Instead of defending and extending the post-war social democratic settlement, the LibDems have buckled to the market, as Ramm noted ahead of tomorrow’s march on parliament: “Finally, the LibDems have realised their long-held goal of energising young voters: the party that stood alone against the marketisation of education has allowed itself to be co-opted, thereby forcing students into extra-parliamentary action; these ongoing protests are a direct result of the deepening democratic deficit”.
For further comment, or to speak with the editor, call (020) 8444 1944 or 07812 650 399.
The Liberal is an independent publication dedicated to the revival of liberalism. It has no affiliation with the Liberal Democrats, although previous contributors include Nick Clegg, Vince Cable, Chris Huhne, Simon Hughes, Menzies Campbell, Shirley Williams and Paddy Ashdown.