The behaviour of the Liberal Democrats in spearing ninety per cent of their own promises to the electorate is a disgrace. It is also a disgrace in which Brent Central MP Sarah Teather has loyally supported.
Above all of the already demolished promises – the VAT rise, cuts, Trident – stands the totem Lib Dem issue of tuition fees.
I am in a strange position as a Labour supporter as, like Ed Miliband, I have long supported the previous Liberal Democrat policy of a graduate tax. A progressive graduate tax more strongly linked to income would provide a far fairer system of funding, and should be matched by contributions from businesses who benefit from graduates, as suggested by lecturers.
It is one thing that the Liberal Democrats have now decided to triple fees. It is quite another that the reason for this is an enormous cut to university funding which will see universities like the London School of Economics lose close to all of their current state funding, in line with the Lib Dem cuts agenda that they also specifically opposed when they asked us to vote for them. The LSE is now said to be readying itself for privatisation.
We need our society to support institutions like the LSE. The tripling of fees is a mask for the exact opposite – a policy of social neglect, individualisation of the cost of public services, and a complete reversal of everything Ms Teather told us she stood for. At least the banks will be getting a huge corporation tax cut while the rest of us pay more.
No party is perfect, but the very fact that Ms Teather and her serially dishonest government were allowed into office shows the importance of schools like the LSE – we electors could all clearly do with more of an education in economics and political ethics.