The 27 betrayed their Party – Shame on them!

The Palace of Westminster at night as seen fro...
The Palace of Westminster wherein the 27 Rebel MPs betrayed their Party, led by Rebel Leader Nick Clegg MP Image via Wikipedia

On another Lib Dem blog we read that

Today’s tuition fee vote is a milestone for the Liberal Democrat party. It is the first time the party has had to seriously consider the wisdom of a policy designed for permanent opposition from the perspective of government. Twenty-seven [twenty-eight if you include Mark Hunter MP one of the Tellers] of the fifty-five present and able to vote decided to vote in the national interest for a policy that was well-designed, fair, and should ensure sustained quality in the higher education for the many, not the few. They should be congratulated.

The student protesters, or rather the minority who turn up for a rumble not a grumble, once again, have damaged the opposition case. Assaulting horses, vandalising property and endangering peaceful protesters by putting them in harms way. Aaron Porter of the National Union of Students I feel would have been wise to call for a mass silent protest to highlight those excluded by higher fees. Both a more compelling way to make his point, and as a way of marginalising the extremists…

… The change in policy is not secure yet, the House of Lords may well demand further concessions and prove a target for a new pledge campaign. But this vote was an important hurdle and the party needs to rally round and move on.

Liberal Vision

Just to be sure that everyone knows where I stand – although I am sure that there is no doubt, my comments there were:

No apologies, but I completely disagree. There are clear reasons why the 21 voted against the Tuition Fees proposal. They voted to keep their pledges that they made before the General Election. The 27 should hang their heads in shame. Shame at how they have rebelled against Party Policy. Shame at how they have portrayed the rest of us in the Liberal Democrats as liars like them.

Furthermore, Andy Mayer says that

The change in policy is not secure yet, the House of Lords may well demand further concessions and prove a target for a new pledge campaign. But this vote was an important hurdle and the party needs to rally round and move on.

Indeed the change in policy from Her Majesty’s Government is not secure yet – but as Liberal Democrats we have not changed our policy last time I checked.

I agree that the party needs to rally round – but not in support of the 27 of its MPs that have rebelled against our own longstanding policy. As I have said before, I will continue to say, loud and clear: Shame on them! Shame on them! They have betrayed all of those who worked to help them get elected.

Those that should hang their heads in shame


Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, was missed out of this list as he was one of the Tellers. Please forgive my mistake…

7 thoughts on “The 27 betrayed their Party – Shame on them!

  1. Oh grow up will you. This is the sort if idiotic language the authoritarian left use, it has no place in Liberal discourse.

  2. @paul barker

    You grow up, you pathetic lapdog. “Liberal discourse” – who are you kidding, you and the 27 should go and join the tories, its where you belong.

  3. Sadly I think you are mistaken. A coalition government has a job to do: govern. That means that each part of the coalition will have to make decisions against its principles.

    Tuition fees have had to rise because we as a nation have hoodwinked and tricked our children into believing that they have a right to a degree. We created too many universities and the old system of free education can no longer be afforded. IN many ways it would be better to allow surplus universities to go out of business.

    Since that is something we seem unable to do we must work out how to pay for them. And, if that means that a student must pay for the course, so be it. Those students who are surplus to the requirements of the workplace at the end will not earn enough to have to pay the loans back anyway, so the scheme is self limiting, after a fashion.

  4. 28. You forgot the teller.

    As I’ve said on another blog, chin up. A Lib Dem majority would be worse, since Clegg said he wanted to deal with the deficit through 100% cuts rather than the Tories’ 80%.

    Google ‘Clegg: Heir to Thatcher’ in the Speccie from March. It’s funny how he pretends to have once been an anti-Thatcherite, right around the time he’s on record as having paid the fees for the Cambridge Uni Conservative Association.

  5. Michael, I greatly admire your blogs and particularly your posts on gay issues. You provide a rare insight on Northern Ireland matters.

    I disagree with you on this one. I think you’re wrong. The language of “rebel”, “shame” and “betrayed” is just silly.

    We should respect all the LibDem MPs. They all thought very carefully about the policy proposal and voted as they thought right. There are strong arguments for voting for the proposals, as have been outlined many times. As an example, Norman Lamb was particularly articulate about the reasons for voting for in the last few days. And I have 100% respect for Norman. Norman Baker, another person for whom I have enormous respect, also voted for and outlined his views in depth on Facebook. Lynne Featherstone, for whom I have total respect, voted for and outlined her views on her blog this morning.

    So to characterise the actions of those who voted for in the terms you do, is just non-sensical.

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