Saturday, 11 December 2010

Demonstrating about Lynne Featherstone's Betrayal

Today, alongside other Green Party activists, I took part in a demo at Crouch End clock tower, after our local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone, betrayed constituents by going back on her pre-election pledge on tuition fees.

I spoke at the demo, where I said that having spent the 16 months running up to the elections knocking on doors in the area, I knew how well-regarded Ms. Featherstone used to be. "She replies to my letters," people would tell me, time and time again. Yes, I agreed, in that respect she is a good constituency MP.

However, this week, in ignoring her constituents and voting for reforms that will price poorer students out of a university education, she has committed political suicide.

The Lib Dems are hoping that we will have forgotten this huge betrayal by the time the next election comes around, but we won't have forgotten. My fear is not that the Lib Dems have damaged their party for good (which they have), but that voters will trust political parties even less than they did previously.

"What's the point of voting?" some residents have said to me, previously. "You're all the same. You say one thing, get into power, and go back on your word." And when it comes to the Lib Dems, they're spot on.

As I pointed out to the crowd today, though, the Green Party have consistently opposed tuition fees and are continuing to do so in the House of Commons, through our MP, Caroline Lucas, who of course voted against the rise in tuition fees this week.

We believe that if the money can be found to bail out the banks and fund an illegal war, it can damn well be found to pay for education.

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