A reminder of Nick Clegg’s duplicity

Here’s a picture of Nick Clegg, just before the general election:

Nick Clegg pledging to abolish tuition fees

Nick Clegg pledging to abolish tuition fees

The pledge reads:

I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative.

Furthermore, the Lib Dem manifesto said (on page 33):

We will scrap unfair university tuition fees so everyone has the chance to get a degree, regardless of their parents’ income.

Yesterday Clegg voted not only to keep tuition fees but to treble them to £9,000. He’s a treacherous lying bastard who can never be trusted again. Nor can the other 27 Lib Dem MPs who voted to increase tuition fees (here’s a list of the treacherous 28).

The Scottish election next May is your chance to tell Nick Clegg and the Lib Dem liars what you think of them. Hit them where it hurts, in the ballot box.

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9 Responses to A reminder of Nick Clegg’s duplicity

  1. SpudTater says:

    Absolutely not. While it was certainly unwise of Clegg to U-turn on this issue after making a clear promise like that, I do understand the game he’s playing, and am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he can do for the better.

    What’s more, he has remained honest about the limitations of the policy change; his stance is one of “this is not ideal, but it is a step forwards”, and while I’m not entirely convinced that this is not just change for change’s sake, I can see that there are good as well as bad things about the new policy

    And finally, while the new policy may indeed betray Lib Dem policy, it does not change Lib Dem policy. They are still of the big three, the party most committed to peace, equality, and most importantly, civil liberty.

    And that is where a boycott of the party would really be cutting your nose off to spite your face. The Lib Dem MSPs will be amongst the Pirates’ biggest allies in the Scottish Parliament. Would you deny them their seats not because of anything they’ve done, but because of something agreed upon by Nick Clegg and his fellow Cabinet members?

    • Phil Hunt says:

      And that is where a boycott of the party would really be cutting your nose off to spite your face. The Lib Dem MSPs will be amongst the Pirates’ biggest allies in the Scottish Parliament.

      Every seat the Pirate Party wins is a seat some other party doesn’t win. If we persuade disenchanted Lib Dems to vote Pirate, yes their seats might go down, but our seats will go up.

      The best way for Pirates to gain influence is for us to win seats. If we do, and we’re seen to be taking votes from the Lib Dems and Tories, this is bound to be noted in the cabinet room when the Digital Aconomy Act is discussed.

      I agree with you that the Lib Dems are on the whole more in sympathy with the Pirate philosophy than the Labour or Conservative parties are.

      Would you deny them their seats not because of anything they’ve done, but because of something agreed upon by Nick Clegg and his fellow Cabinet members?

      It’s not my place to deny anyone seats; it’s up to the voters to decide. I want to see lots of people voting Pirate and lots of Pirate MSPs. I do feel some sympathy for Scottish Lib Dems, since Clegg’s behaviour is not their fault.

      • SpudTater says:

        Of course we want people to vote Pirate, but as far as I’m aware we’re mainly looking for list votes — and standing no, or very few, constituency candidates. I would urge anybody to consider Lib Dem MPs for their constituency vote where there is no Pirate candidate.

  2. Jen says:

    Er, they didn’t actually win. you know that, right?

    if they only reason you voted for them was on this pledge, then you’re beyond stupid. it was a pledge made on a serious leap f faith anyways – that they would win enough to form a majority government. as it is, they didn’t. this is what happens when a coalition government is formed – compromises must be made. these are things that adults do when they can’t get their own way. when you’ve grown up a little bit, you’ll understand this. now go finish your sociology degree, it’ll only take you another ten minutes o so. 🙂

    • Phil Hunt says:

      Er, they didn’t actually win.

      Yes they did: every Lib Dem MP won the election in their constituency. The general election was fought as a separate election in each constituency — every vote affected that constituency and no others. People might think of it as “electing a government”, but constitutionally that’s not how British general elections work, i.e. we don’t have a presidential system.

      it was a pledge made on a serious leap f faith anyways – that they would win enough to form a majority government.

      I disagree. If I was a voter in Sheffield Hallam, and my MP had promised to cut tuition fees, I’d expect him to make good on his promise in any parliamentary division. If that meant that the government lost the vote, so much the better; it’s not as if there is any constitutional requirement for the majority on every particular issue to be made up of the same MPs.

      • SpudTater says:

        On paper one votes for an MP in a UK election, but in practice people vote for a party.

        I get the impression that the anger you exhibit against Nick Clegg here is not on behalf of his Sheffield Hallam constituents, but rather on the behalf of the UK as a whole, and in particular everybody who voted Lib Dem, no matter what their constituency.

  3. Phil Hunt says:

    (replying here because the $%^&* software won’t let me nest comments)

    SpudTater: Of course we want people to vote Pirate, but as far as I’m aware we’re mainly looking for list votes — and standing no, or very few, constituency candidates.

    That’s right. We won’t be standing any constituency candidates.

    Incidentally, I’ve been looking at the Lothian result in 2007, and if every single Lib Dem supporter in Lothian switched to the Pirates, the Lib Dems wouldn’t lose a single seat, even though we’d gain 2. This is because they already got 2 constituency seats, and don’t start to win top-up seats until their share of the vote clears that.

    So Lib Dem supporters could vote Pirate in the regional vote, without harming the Lib Dems.

    I would urge anybody to consider Lib Dem MPs for their constituency vote where there is no Pirate candidate.

    It’ll be interesting when the other parties publish their manifestos to see what support they’ll give to Pirate issues. Thinking out loud, maybe it would make sense for us to officially endorse other parties and/or candidates in certain constituency seats? E.g. if someone like Tom Watson or Julian Huppert was running, it might make sense to endorse them.

    (Also, I don’t like the yah-boo element of politics that says all the other parties are rubbish. We should be able to praise other parties/candidates when they deserve it).

    I get the impression that the anger you exhibit against Nick Clegg here is not on behalf of his Sheffield Hallam constituents, but rather on the behalf of the UK as a whole, and in particular everybody who voted Lib Dem, no matter what their constituency.

    I don’t have any remit to speak on behalf of anyone else. I voted Lib Dem in May and if I’d known some of the changes the coalition would have made, I wouldn’t have done so. Clegg should only have gone in with the Tories on the understanding that the coalition wouldn’t harm the poor.

    Over and above the specific policies of the coalition, my problem with Clegg is that he’s a deceitful treacherous bastard. He got my vote by false pretences, and I’ll never trust him again.

    • SpudTater says:

      I agree, we should endorse constituency candidates — or at the very least send them a list of questions and publish their responses.

      On the subject on Clegg again, I don’t wish to get on your case, but your response to Jen clearly stated that you viewed UK elections as being for a particular MP rather than for party leaders. A followup stating that “He got my vote […]” seems self-contradictory.

      Finally, as an aspiring politician, you can and should speak on behalf of other people. And in your guise as author of the blog “Scottish Pirates”, it will be assumed by many that you are speaking for us as a group. (Which is why I bristled somewhat at this post.)

      • Phil Hunt says:

        or at the very least send them a list of questions and publish their responses

        Good idea!

        Finally, as an aspiring politician, you can and should speak on behalf of other people.

        Depends what you mean. I can say “I believe this and I believe others do too”. What I can’t say is that others have given me the authority to speak on their behalf (obviously if I was elected I would have that authority).

        A followup stating that “He got my vote […]” seems self-contradictory.

        You’re right there!

        And in your guise as author of the blog “Scottish Pirates”

        I’m an author of it not the author of it. I very much hope other Scottish Pirates will write for it too.

        Have you been following the discussion on the PPUK forum about the future direction of the blog?

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