Nick Clegg has had his Iraq War moment. Unlike Tony Blair there was no dishonesty but there was the same mistaken belief in the public good & the same indecent haste to please a powerful friend.
This is no comparison with the consequences of the Iraq war. It is the same narrow political consequences of establishing a defining moment of Nick Clegg's leadership that negates a lot of the good work done (& I thought Tony Blair did some good work between 1997 and the War). The coalition are doing a lot of things I agree with, and achieving a lot of policies on the environment, civil liberties, foreign policy, …getting rid of excessive state control and central dictat, benefit reform. Clegg has helped achieve that. Most people probably aren't bothered about tuition fees (a lot in Lib Dem & marginal seats are likely to be) but it shows a grave error of judgment to pick some symbolic ditching of your party policy on an issue that many activists (particularly young new activists) view as an issue of principle. Then there's the straight broken promise ..
My comments on the tuition fees vote in Parliament, 9 December 2010.
There are flaws in the Browne report, coalition government and Labour policies on fees. The former seem to want a free market in education which is unobtainable. The latter and the former seem to want children as young adults to be given chances based on the income of their parents. The children of middle income parents get less help.
A contradiction in funding policy being at all based on parental income / background is that Liberals should treat 18 year olds as adults. Our traditional support for free Higher Education does do that. In practice middle income families do help their children but get hit more by these proposals as with some previous changes.
A free market in Higher Education would make Universities businesses where students think they pay for degrees. Unless we drive up standards by making it harder to get a place.
I think the two points above were posts of mine from Facebook, November 2010. If they were from anyone else my apologies and credit to you (and do let me know).