Liverpool Liberal Democrats try to reconcile tuition fees fiasco
As Liverpool saw a second wave of student protests today Liverpool Liberal Democrats were interviewed on the Daily Politics show about tuition fees.
They try valiantly to reconcile the fact that the party is opposed to tuition fees with the fact they in a coalition that is about to ramp them up.
Cllr Tom Morrison says opposition to tuition fees is one of the reasons he is a Lib-Dem and sums it up like this: "I am glad that the party itself is keeping that pledge that we want to scrap tuition fees however I am no so impressed that we will be compromising and going with the Brown review cos I think that is somewhere we should not be going."
Alex Roydon says the membership has been betrayed by the leadership of the party.
Cllr Paula Keaveney concludes with: "I think the public will understand we are sticking to our principles if our MPs vote against the rise in tuition fees."
For as long as I can remember scrapping tuition fees was a cornerstone issue for the Liberal Democrats. It has won them thousands upon thousand of student votes.
It strikes me that when the coalition agreement was being drawn up in those heady May days that the leadership thought that it would be enough to secure the right for Lib-Dems to abstain. Now it is becoming clearer and clearer that the party is in a real pickle and without an obvious exit strategy.
Most voters will understand that no party won the election, and therefore compromises had to be made.
But, there are some beliefs, some principles so fundamental to the identity of a group that to compromise on it may threaten its very existence. Is this such an issue for the Lib-Dems?