Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hope springs eternal

Most new governments in Britain have a 'honeymoon' period in which people extend them a line of political credit as a reward for winning an election.

Doesn't seem to be happening this time. Today's YouGov poll makes interesting reading.

Labour 41%, Conservatives 39%, Lib Dems 10%

Let's remember that the election gave us:

Labour 29% Conservatives 36% Lib Dems 23%

The Lib Dems are being crucified here, not unreasonably given that their flagship policy has been not only reversed, but turned into the one thing that nobody could have imagined in their wildest dreams that the Lib Dems would have supporetd. Can they survive?

It's hard to see how they recover from this. Abolishing tuition fees was not just their policy, it was just about their only policy. Tripling tuition fees is the last thing any Lib Dem voter could have expected to happen with the Lib Dems in government for the first time in the best part of a century. The deficit is no excuse, by the way: since the government has to put up the money for the requisite student loans, there will be no government saving in the short to medium term. All that is happening is that government funding is being removed and students will have to make up the difference. And given that the £9000 cap the government will impose still leaves universities barely adequately funded, it is surely only a matter of time before fees in the UK approach US levels.

I don't agree with Nick.