Why Tim Farron should lead the fight against the Conservatives’ plans for tuition fees | The Friday Article

Past mistakes are affecting parties on the political spectrum. Labour are worrying about the upcoming report from the Chilcot enquiry, whilst a flawed mayoral campaign by the Conservatives exposed hatred and racism in the party. Now, the Tories’ plans to further increase university tuition fees have reminded us all of a ghost which still haunts the Liberal Democrats Party, but this may be the chance for them to finally move on.

Tim Farron
Tim Farron should fight against the Tories’ plans for tuition fees, and rid the party of the mistrust caused by Nick Clegg. Photo: Liberal Democrats on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode.

After all, it was something the Lib Dems hoped would go with Nick Clegg following his resignation as leader of the party. For previous leaders involved in government, their broken promises and radical policies have always been assigned to them more than the political group they represent – take Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, for example. However, this didn’t happen for The Liberal Democrats. They lost 49 seats in last year’s general election, mistrust still lingers around them and the media – presuming the party is ‘non-existent’ – has focussed on Labour and the Conservatives’ internal affairs instead.

Granted, the Liberal Democrats talking about tuition fees would only be seen as prying open a wound which was doing its best to heal. Yet, that is precisely the point. The mistrust generated comes from broken promises on tuition fees, so why not start the process of winning the trust back by fighting against that exact policy?

At the moment, Labour’s petition has had over 195,000 signatures, but as the party who introduced university tuition fees in 1998, their impact with the petition could crumble should the Conservatives decide to bring up that fact. Meanwhile, the issue with the Liberal Democrats is slightly different and more understandable. Unlike Labour’s conscious decision to implement the fees, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats had to accept David Cameron’s plans to raise tuition fees, despite it not being their intention. It’s a small contrast, but it’s something the general public are accepting, slowly and reluctantly.

With Tim Farron as their new leader and success in this year’s local elections, the Liberal Democrats are on the rise with renewed passion and motivation, but they still have a way to go in winning back the public’s trust. Whilst the controversy over tuition fees has always somewhat restrained the Lib Dems since 2010, now, it may in fact set them free.

Liam

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3 thoughts on “Why Tim Farron should lead the fight against the Conservatives’ plans for tuition fees | The Friday Article

    • You ask a good question which I shall do my best to answer, but a Google search may help as well. With a coalition, both parties essentially have to give or take in terms of policy areas so that both parties are (relatively) happy with things. I may be mistaken, but with a larger number of seats, the Conservatives had more of a say/more control as opposed to the Liberal Democrats, who came third.

      With regards to tuition fees, I think the Conservatives had the final say on their stance regarding the increase in tuition fees. In an official coalition document, it says: “if the response of the Government to Lord Browne’s report is one that Liberal Democrats cannot accept, then arrangements will be made to enable Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain in any vote.”

      Obviously some of the precise details still remain unknown, but in terms of this policy, David Cameron’s Tories had the biggest say, and Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats had to accept the change as part of the coalition deal.

      As I said, this is just my belief. A Google search might bring up some more specific information. Thanks for commenting!

      Like

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