Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nick Clegg "regrets" making fees pledge

. . . as reported by the BBC here. The BBC reports:

"[. . .] It was put to Mr Clegg on Daybreak that no-one would believe any pledge he made in future. He acknowledged: "You need to be careful. I should have been more careful perhaps in signing that pledge at the time. At the time I thought we could do it." "In politics as in life" there were times when you could not do what you wanted to, he said. But rather than "put my head in the sand" and oppose any changes, he had worked to make the system "more progressive".

During prime minister's questions on Wednesday, deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman quoted him as having said before the election that increasing tuition fees to £7,000 a year would be "a disaster". "What word would he use to describe fees of £9,000?" she asked. She suggested Mr Clegg had been "led astray" by the Conservatives, who had plans "to shove the cost of higher education on to students and their families". [. . .]"

What is truly remarkable about this confession is that all Liberal Democrat candidates signed a pledge to oppose tuition fees during the general election held last spring. This was a major boost to them in seats where there are high numbers of university students. Now the party supports doubling, even tripling, annual fees as "progressive" given certain "realities".

So much for the candidate who only a few months ago declared "no more broken promises" . . .

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