The Lib dems have got themselves into a right pickle over plans to increase tuition fees all l 57 Liberal Democrat MPs signed a pledge to vote against any fee rises during the election campaign. At least 20 have indicated they intend to stick by that pledge despite a clause in the coalition agreement allowing them to abstain on the issue and Tuition Fees . Ceredigion MP Mark Williams says that it would be “dishonest” if he voted with the coalition government to scrap the upper limit on university tuition fees in England.
“This is an issue of huge principle to Liberal Democrats,” he said.
“I’ve fought four elections in the Ceredigion constituency with two excellent universities – in Lampeter and Aberystwyth – and I’ve made commitments over those four elections and specifically at the last general election and on that basis I’m sticking by that pledge.
“I think it would be dishonest for me personally to do anything other than that and an abstention is not a vote against those increases.”
That’s all right then he will abstain with the typical hypocrisy of his Party in that he thinks he can ease his conscious and responsibility to future students in that by abstaining will somehow absolve of any responsibility,
When you look at the core of the Lib-Dem vote it is clear that they did exceptionally well in areas with large student populations (as Ceredigion is for example) and I assume that Libdem candidates vocal opposition to tuition fees (and Pledge) was highly influential in the student vote,
Of course few of the actual students will be living in the Ceredigion constituency at the time of the next election so Mark Williams will hope that the fuss died down by then. But I doubt it and I don’t think claiming that he is free from guilt by abstaining will wash.
In May 2009 Peter Black posting on Subordinate Central (have a look) rightly attacked Plaid Cymru on shifting its position on Tuition fees he rightly pointed out.
As for Plaid Cymru policy being opposed to tuition fees then why did they capitulate on this policy in the first place? If they had made this a make-or-break issue then Labour would have backed down, but instead they decided that their own places in ministerial limousines were more important than taking that risk. He says (referring to Plaid’s Candidate in Ceredigion Penri James) that Plaid will try to implement its policy at the earliest possible opportunity but why would anybody trust them to do so? They have let students and their parents down once, they will do so again.
I’m waiting for his attack on his LibDem colleagues indeed it will easy to do all he has to do is copy this post (have another look) and substitute "Plaid Cymru" and "Penri James" for "Liberal Democrats" and "Mark Williams".
One last point if the Libcon government go ahead with plans for recall petitions for MPs who have betrayed public trust, it could be that the first casualties could well be the Lib-Dems MPs who it will seen to be responsible by betraying their pledge to oppose an increase in tuition (including absentees ) who will fall foul to this. A student population could easily raise the number of names needed) Watch out Mark.
According to the BBC Mark Williams has announced he will vote against a tuition fee hike. Since I got the original release from Subordinate Central that he would abstain (Not the same thing by any means ). I think should have a clarification from the Liberal Democrats on his exact positionFurther Update.
Further Update Tuesday 12/10
“Subordinate Centre” have now changed the title of they post to “Mark Williams MP says he will vote against tuition fee hike”. I accept that this is his Mark's position and hope that he will maintain it. All I can say is how embarrassed I am to be misled by the title of a ”Subordinate Central” blog