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Who'd be in Nick Clegg's shoes...


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#41 ckn

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:12 PM

That works to an extent.  But where clear commitments from within the coalition agreement itself are being dropped (i.e. MP recall) there's not much excuse at all.

Exactly.  There was a specific clause in the Coalition Agreement where the Lib Dem ministers could differ from government policy on tuition fees without them breaching the collective responsibility rules that typically bind government ministers, instead that nice Mr Clegg whipped his party to vote for the increase.  That's not just compromise for the sake of keeping a functional government, that's taking that nice bit of paper he's holding in the picture and using it as toilet paper.

 

If you go to the effort of making an agreement that keeps the best principles of each others' manifesto pledges then they should at least have the decency to keep to them.  This wasn't at the end of a 5 year parliament either where things had changed radically, this was a year after they were in power when very little had changed.


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#42 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:58 PM

Exactly.  There was a specific clause in the Coalition Agreement where the Lib Dem ministers could differ from government policy on tuition fees without them breaching the collective responsibility rules that typically bind government ministers, instead that nice Mr Clegg whipped his party to vote for the increase.  That's not just compromise for the sake of keeping a functional government, that's taking that nice bit of paper he's holding in the picture and using it as toilet paper.

Or maybe Clegg is just being realistic.

 

You can't have ministers in any government being able to pick and choose which bits of government policy they are prepared to support. If you're going to go into a coalition you have to be prepared to compromise and then govern effectively.

 

It's the difference between being a governing party and being one of perpetual opposition.



#43 ckn

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:01 PM

Or maybe Clegg is just being realistic.

 

You can't have ministers in any government being able to pick and choose which bits of government policy they are prepared to support. If you're going to go into a coalition you have to be prepared to compromise and then govern effectively.

 

It's the difference between being a governing party and being one of perpetual opposition.

What was the point in them spending all that time getting the Coalition Agreement written and then approved by their parties?  Was it just marketing fluff?  Should we be asking for our votes back as mis-sold under the Sale of Goods Act?


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#44 gingerjon

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 05:09 PM

 

You can't have ministers in any government being able to pick and choose which bits of government policy they are prepared to support. 

 

You can if you're in coalition with a pre-agreed set of things you will wave through and those you will not.


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#45 Saintslass

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:49 PM

What was the point in them spending all that time getting the Coalition Agreement written and then approved by their parties?  Was it just marketing fluff?  Should we be asking for our votes back as mis-sold under the Sale of Goods Act?

Did you vote for the Con Dem coalition then?  Because that's the only way you could claim anything was mis sold! 

 

A coalition agreement written at the outset of a five year parliament cannot have been a particularly accurate exercise.  Nobody then would have known what route the economy was going to take or that we'd have a very soggy two year spell after a very dry two year spell, or that riots would kick off a year before the Olympics or that Margaret Thatcher would die just when the next round of fixtures for the Challenge Cup were about to be announced.  In the real world I would imagine the coalition agreement was an agreement in principle, at least until about a year ahead of the next election when the gloves would come off and the LibDems would start calling the Tories rude names.

 

On the point about the tuition fees, far from putting people off going to university, UCAS and other bodies recorded the highest number of applications ever for this academic year.  So clearly all that stuff about the fees putting everyone off was lefty nonsense.  Which I knew at the time anyway. 


Edited by Saintslass, 18 February 2014 - 07:50 PM.


#46 ckn

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:02 PM

Did you vote for the Con Dem coalition then?  Because that's the only way you could claim anything was mis sold! 

 

A coalition agreement written at the outset of a five year parliament cannot have been a particularly accurate exercise.  Nobody then would have known what route the economy was going to take or that we'd have a very soggy two year spell after a very dry two year spell, or that riots would kick off a year before the Olympics or that Margaret Thatcher would die just when the next round of fixtures for the Challenge Cup were about to be announced.  In the real world I would imagine the coalition agreement was an agreement in principle, at least until about a year ahead of the next election when the gloves would come off and the LibDems would start calling the Tories rude names.

 

On the point about the tuition fees, far from putting people off going to university, UCAS and other bodies recorded the highest number of applications ever for this academic year.  So clearly all that stuff about the fees putting everyone off was lefty nonsense.  Which I knew at the time anyway. 

I voted Lib Dem.  A complete waste of a vote for two reasons.  1: my MP is Tim Yeo, it took a Tory revolt from the local party to unseat him otherwise people would still be voting for him in droves despite him living in Kent and rarely being seen near Suffolk. 2: as far as I'm concerned, Nick Clegg lied to me and fraudulently misrepresented what his party was about.

 

The fees were and are a shameful ladder-pulling exercise.  I went to university, my fees were fully paid and I got a bit of a grant.  For that privilege, I expected to have a higher chance of being a higher rate taxpayer where I'd substantially more than repay those tuition fees and grants as well as a lot more.  From that excess I pay back to the state, I expect the state to pay for the education of the next generation going to university, affording them the same free education without the stress of having a crippling debt to pay off.  ALL education to first degree should be completely free.  Even post-grad education should be completely free for certain subjects that are vital to the nation.  Instead, what's happened is that the last two governments have shamefully pulled up the ladder behind themselves and said "thanks for the free education suckers, you can pay for your own now".  Lefty nonsense?  No, just a desire to see a better country rather than one where it's all about the money.


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#47 Saintslass

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:17 PM

I voted Lib Dem.  A complete waste of a vote for two reasons.  1: my MP is Tim Yeo, it took a Tory revolt from the local party to unseat him otherwise people would still be voting for him in droves despite him living in Kent and rarely being seen near Suffolk. 2: as far as I'm concerned, Nick Clegg lied to me and fraudulently misrepresented what his party was about.

 

The fees were and are a shameful ladder-pulling exercise.  I went to university, my fees were fully paid and I got a bit of a grant.  For that privilege, I expected to have a higher chance of being a higher rate taxpayer where I'd substantially more than repay those tuition fees and grants as well as a lot more.  From that excess I pay back to the state, I expect the state to pay for the education of the next generation going to university, affording them the same free education without the stress of having a crippling debt to pay off.  ALL education to first degree should be completely free.  Even post-grad education should be completely free for certain subjects that are vital to the nation.  Instead, what's happened is that the last two governments have shamefully pulled up the ladder behind themselves and said "thanks for the free education suckers, you can pay for your own now".  Lefty nonsense?  No, just a desire to see a better country rather than one where it's all about the money.

Unfortunately, though, it was that 'desire to see a better country rather than one where it's all about the money' which lead to the very cost cutting you claim is disgraceful in another thread, thanks to the inability of a Labour government to manage its bank account.  Education is a massive budget as it stands.  When a person leaves statutory education they choose what they do with their lives.  If they choose to go to university then they should pay at least a contribution towards that cost.  Why should people who don't choose university or who don't have the ability to go to university fund such a luxury?  Because university IS a luxury.  I know, I've been.  I also know about student loans because although I'm old enough to have gone to university when it was still free (just about; loans were looming large), I didn't go back then.  I went as a mature student and got a BA.  I then went back and got a teaching qualification.  I have four years of student loans at a total cost of around £15,000, an amount which is actually growing because I haven't had enough work in subsequent years of a sufficient salary to make significant inroads and so the interest is higher than my ability to pay it back.  Also, the rules changed and when I went for my teaching qualification the student loan became repayable until death rather than retirement, which is the case for my degree loan.

 

I'm too old to ever pay it off.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I chose university and I loved it.  I spent hours studying in a library and discovered that I could have been a student all my life, I enjoyed it that much.  I didn't do drugs or booze until I was comatose.  I just loved learning.  It was a real privilege but one I believe fundamentally that I should contribute towards.


Edited by Saintslass, 18 February 2014 - 08:19 PM.


#48 Rodill Rover

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:28 PM

Many people voted Lib Dem purely on the promise made in the photo, and who could blame them, it seemed a genuine enough line to take.
The reality was one of the worst deceptions I have seen in an election campaign, come the next election I am afraid the Lib Dems will take a hammering, lost deposits all round. Nick will be fine though, already made.

Edited by Rodill Rover, 18 February 2014 - 08:29 PM.


#49 ckn

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:37 PM

Unfortunately, though, it was that 'desire to see a better country rather than one where it's all about the money' which lead to the very cost cutting you claim is disgraceful in another thread, thanks to the inability of a Labour government to manage its bank account.  Education is a massive budget as it stands.  When a person leaves statutory education they choose what they do with their lives.  If they choose to go to university then they should pay at least a contribution towards that cost.  Why should people who don't choose university or who don't have the ability to go to university fund such a luxury?  Because university IS a luxury.  I know, I've been.  I also know about student loans because although I'm old enough to have gone to university when it was still free (just about; loans were looming large), I didn't go back then.  I went as a mature student and got a BA.  I then went back and got a teaching qualification.  I have four years of student loans at a total cost of around £15,000, an amount which is actually growing because I haven't had enough work in subsequent years of a sufficient salary to make significant inroads and so the interest is higher than my ability to pay it back.  Also, the rules changed and when I went for my teaching qualification the student loan became repayable until death rather than retirement, which is the case for my degree loan.

 

I'm too old to ever pay it off.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  I chose university and I loved it.  I spent hours studying in a library and discovered that I could have been a student all my life, I enjoyed it that much.  I didn't do drugs or booze until I was comatose.  I just loved learning.  It was a real privilege but one I believe fundamentally that I should contribute towards.

So... you've had a free education then if you can't pay it back?  You're not contributing towards it.

 

Even then, if you did earn enough to pay it back, you're right into the nasty socialism of super-taxing higher earners, taxing them for the "privilege" of being educated through having to pay back their loans while also taxing them for the privilege of earning above the random criteria that makes you a higher-rate taxpayer.  You... you... you... nasty leftie socialist.

 

Surely, if having a degree means you have a chance to earn more then that means you'll pay more tax and therefore pay back what you owe the state.


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#50 Steve May

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 10:49 PM

I voted Lib Dem. A complete waste of a vote for two reasons. 1: my MP is Tim Yeo, it took a Tory revolt from the local party to unseat him otherwise people would still be voting for him in droves despite him living in Kent and rarely being seen near Suffolk. 2: as far as I'm concerned, Nick Clegg lied to me


1. I'm sorry your MP is a Tory. So is mine. Your vote wasn't wasted or didn't count, it's just that the person you voted for lost because more people voted for the other guy. Bad luck.

2. Nick Clegg didn't mean to lie to you. He's just a very stupid man who has no grasp of what coalition politics should be about. He's very open that the Lib Dems will, in a future hung parliament, have a preference to form a government with the largest party. Not necessarily the party he feels is best placed to allow the implementation of Lib Dem policies. He has reduced the status of a Lib Dem vote to a proxy vote for the largest party - with the fun twist that at the time of casting your vote you won't know who that largest party will be.

That's me.  I'm done.


#51 808tone

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:03 AM

1. I'm sorry your MP is a Tory. So is mine. Your vote wasn't wasted or didn't count, it's just that the person you voted for lost because more people voted for the other guy. Bad luck.

2. Nick Clegg didn't mean to lie to you. He's just a very stupid man who has no grasp of what coalition politics should be about. He's very open that the Lib Dems will, in a future hung parliament, have a preference to form a government with the largest party. Not necessarily the party he feels is best placed to allow the implementation of Lib Dem policies. He has reduced the status of a Lib Dem vote to a proxy vote for the largest party - with the fun twist that at the time of casting your vote you won't know who that largest party will be.

Is Nik Keggs stupid as I bet he is set up for life.

We as a nation will do Sweet F.A. as apart from the elite we (as normal people) have so many difference's.



#52 Saintslass

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:36 AM

So... you've had a free education then if you can't pay it back?  You're not contributing towards it.

 

I'm sure I said that I'm paying a monthly amount?  So yes, I am paying it back.  It's just that I was a mature student and I don't earn a whole lot so I won't be paying it all back.  Unless I suddenly find myself earning 40 grand a year or something.  I might do so then, yes.  And I'm paying more than I would if I was just graduating as those who now graduate only have to start repaying at £21,000 whereas when I took out a loan the trigger salary was £15,000. 

 

The rest of your post was childish.


Edited by Saintslass, 19 February 2014 - 07:37 AM.


#53 gingerjon

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:12 AM

I'm too old to ever pay it off.  But I wouldn't have it any other way. 

 

Scrounger.


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#54 Trojan

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:28 AM

As we move into an era of coalition governments we are going to find more political leaders apparently going back on their promises.

 

I have no doubt that if the Tories had won an absolute majority and had been in government without the Lib Dems, Clegg would have been doing what the piece of paper's he's holding said he would do.

 

But he unexpectedly found himself in government, and had to compromise on his manifesto, as did the Tories. Both parties are unable to deliver on certain of their promises, and that's the price of entering into a coalition.

 

They may look like liars, but there's little alternative if they are to govern in coalition.

 

Those who favour coalition government should perhaps stop moaning about the consequences of such a system. We are going to see them far more often.

He looks like a liar because he is a liar. If you read Andrew Adonis's book "Seven days in May" which is the story, from the Labour side of the negotiations after the 2010 election, you'll find that Clegg could have had a coalition with Labour and got much more of what his party wanted.  But he played a double game, just using Labour to force concessions from the Tories.  As for the objection that it wouldn't have worked, bear in mind that Brown already had the Ulster Unionists on side and was willing to retire from the scene. It would have worked, Clegg (a closet Tory IMO) chose to go with Dave. Let's see what it gets him and his party next year!


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#55 gingerjon

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:01 AM

 Clegg could have had a coalition with Labour

 

Labour + Lib Dems = 305.  21 short of a majority.

 

A rainbow coalition was impossible from the moment the Greens (Caroline Lucas) stated they had no desire to join it.


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#56 ckn

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:26 AM

I'm sure I said that I'm paying a monthly amount?  So yes, I am paying it back.  It's just that I was a mature student and I don't earn a whole lot so I won't be paying it all back.  Unless I suddenly find myself earning 40 grand a year or something.  I might do so then, yes.  And I'm paying more than I would if I was just graduating as those who now graduate only have to start repaying at £21,000 whereas when I took out a loan the trigger salary was £15,000. 

 

The rest of your post was childish.

On the rest of my post being childish, I admit the wording was probably a bit tongue-in-cheek but the sentiments were stony-faced reality.

 

Is it fair that just because someone had an education, that they're both far more likely to be taxed at a higher rate than the average non-degree educated person AND that they're forced to repay the government through the medium of "loans" which are effectively a tax on education.  An educated state is the gateway to a more prosperous future for everyone so why the regressive and punitive tax on education when other taxes are being cut every year, such as taxes on share options and other purely pecuniary gain related taxes.  Instead this government has been reducing the state's overall taxation income position to give more money to those who do nothing but circulate money while helping to compensate for it by taxing those who want to educate themselves.

 

I understand the position that too many people are being educated to degree level and would compromise my position based on that.  I would award full fee exemptions for any degree that is a prerequisite for a chartered or recognised profession, including law, medicine, accountancy and so on, some will substantially more than repay to the state through their likely higher pay packets, others will repay to the state through service.  I would award full fee exemptions for any degree in a subject where we have national shortages, including engineering, mathematics and so on, they will repay to the state by helping plug our shortages, the more people that study, say, engineering, the more likely you are to find the next Brunel.  Any other degree would have to satisfy an interview where they explain what they intend to do with their degree, for example if they want to go into research or they have a credible ambition to expand the national cultural profile then they get a "pass" because all genuine education furthers the nation's civilisation, if they just want a degree and can't articulate why then that's a fail with full fees due.


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#57 ckn

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:33 AM

Labour + Lib Dems = 305.  21 short of a majority.

 

A rainbow coalition was impossible from the moment the Greens (Caroline Lucas) stated they had no desire to join it.

And due to the utterly childish nature of the Westminster playground we have no hope of ever having a minority government survive even one or two non-contentious votes without the brats destroying it out of petulance.


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#58 gingerjon

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:06 AM

And due to the utterly childish nature of the Westminster playground we have no hope of ever having a minority government survive even one or two non-contentious votes without the brats destroying it out of petulance.

 

It seemed to work okay in Scotland (and Wales?) but the yah-boo politics of which, oddly, Padge and Sadler seem so proud on the other thread would stop it happening effectively in Westminster.


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#59 JohnM

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:17 AM

It seems to me that the yah-boo politics is really just confined to PMQs, a few ministerial and shadow ministerial media bites..and the pages of this forum. In fact, with it's gratuitous, ignorant and personal comments about two ministers in particular, this forum makes PMQs look like supper time at the Sacred Heart Convent.

 

If you have the time, spend some of it on the BBC Parliament channel where you will see our elected representatives behaving in a much more civilised manner.



#60 gingerjon

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:23 AM

spend some of it on the BBC Parliament channel where you will see our elected representatives behaving in a much more civilised manner.

 

I note that speeches can be delivered in reverential silence a lot of the time because there's nobody there.


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