Friday, 21 September 2012

Letter 84: Tuition fees and apologies; timing is everything...


Dear Nick, 
There's no easy way to say this, but...I saw your party political broadcast apologising for something round tuition fees and the first thing that struck me was: timing is everything. Your battered grassroots might well respond favourably to some careful handling at conference this weekend, but the electorate, they have moved on. Neither forgiving, nor forgetting. After all, two years is a long time to wait for an apology, especially when it appears that both Vince and yourself knew before the election that the pledge with which you garnered students votes was unattainable and therefore dishonest.
The second thing I noticed was you might have a bit of a problem on learning from your mistakes. At the end of your broadcast you said: "...I know we are fighting for the right things, day in, day out too. Rebuilding the Economy to make it strong; changing the tax system to make it fair, defending the vulnerable in these tough times. That's what my party believes in. That's what I believe in. And if we've lost your trust, I hope that's how we can start to win it back" I would think this to be unlikely. You need to wake up and smell the coffee, because this is what your "fighting for the right things" looks like: 

an increase in government borrowing...
ESA slashed, you embracing EBacc...
David Laws pushing for more benefit cuts...
Quantitative Easing benefitting the top 5%...
Cuts to benefits and access to legal aid
Appalling treatment of the disabled by ATOS
Top rate tax cut to 45p...
Rationing of nhs services
Paying down deficit on the backs of the poor...
Child poverty increasing...

Might I ask - can we look forward to another broadcast around conference time next year, apologising for these things as well?
Best wishes, etc"