Two posts in two days. Whatever next?
This one has been inspired by Vince Cable’s announcement that he might abstain on the Tuition Fees bill. Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5Live today the Business Secretary – who has oversight for universities – Cable said, “My own personal instinct, partly because I’m the secretary of state responsible for universities and partly because I think the policy is right, my own instincts are very much to vote for it but we want to vote as a group.”
The likelihood of a Lib Dem block vote seems remote but when the #2 in the party is willing to not back his own departments plans then it really is quite baffling. I love Vince Cable like most Lib Dems. I think he’s a bright man who brings a lot to the party but when you hold a position in government and you aren’t prepared to fully back what you are putting to the Commons then it just doesn’t work. He openly admits that the party are going through difficult times and that is clear for everybody to see. They are torn every which way they go. Do they back what they believe in a fairer system or do they not. If they fail to back it then other Lib Dem policies would come under threat from the Tories.
So the big question is whether or not the Tuition Fees bill is one worth risking everything for. If they do pull out and either en-masse abstain or even vote it down – they what will the ramifications be? Will the public rejoice that the Lib Dems listened to their people and showed that when it comes down to it they will not risk their principles or will the public see them as weak and when push comes to shove they are unable to make the big hard decisions that governments have to make?
That is a difficult question to answer and due to the fact we do not have a Mirror from Stargate or any other ways to go into parallel universes we’ll only ever see one side of that equation play out. I must admit I don’t know which way I want the MPs to go but I think I want them to man-up and do what they think is best for the country today. If that is vote for it and take the flak that will come their way then so be it. I’d prefer grown-up politics and policies that trying to keep everybody happy. For the party the best thing to do is probably to vote down the bill as that will play out well with the young people of the country but for the country as a whole it’s not the best thing.
So Political Party or the Country? That is the question. The answer..well we shall see.
As for Vince though. Vince I do love you but if you abstain then you have to resign as a member of the cabinet. Your position will be untenable. This is your departments bill and if you don’t back it then why should anyone?
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