No-one's listening19 September 2012
So Clegg has finally admitted that making an unaffordable promise was a stupid idea, and they they should never have done it. One problem: It is too bloody late.
Of course Labour broke their own promise, and I have absolutely no doubt that had Labour been in power they would have whacked up fees as well. Heck, Labour commissioned the Browne Report with a set of conditions that made a recommendation of higher fees inevitable. However this is all irrelevant. As far as most people are concerned, the LibDems blew a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prove not all politicians are the same, and blew it they did. Spectacular fail at the first hurdle, even in the eyes of people who are sympathetic to the rationale behind the new system.
History aside, the thought that springs to mind is the traditional proverb All Scoundrels become Preachers under the Gallows. The fees ain't gonna be reversed, so at best this is opening old wounds, and at worst it has set the tone for the entire conference season. And bet your top dollar it will be the Labour conference it affects the most.