— Scott Wheeler contributed with this report
Sheffield. One of the biggest student cities in the country, home to Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield. Yep you guessed it — a guy called Nick Clegg is an MP there.
Prior to the election, Clegg told his constituents that his party would bring about a “new politics”. He told young voters that the Liberal Democrats were the party for them. He said he would scrap tuition fees over six years and promised to vote against any increase in tuition fees.
Young people turned out in their highest numbers since 1997 to find out that within a few months that they had been lied to in spectacular fashion. Clegg knew that he wouldn’t have been able to afford to scrap tuition fees. At his conference just before the election he strongly hinted that fees could not be afforded. His party faithful were so angry that Clegg had to dismiss his comments and told them he never planned to keep tuition fees after all.
Clegg was, of course, lying. Not only is he not scrapping tuition fees, but also he’s not voting against unlimited fees. To quote Andrew Neil: “If you’re going to break a promise then why not do it in style.” Also, let us not forget that before the election Clegg told us that the Tories were making cuts too deep and too fast. Apparently Clegg changed his mind about this before the election, but failed to tell any of the electorate before they voted. It seems evident therefore that tuition fees were in the same boat.
The Lib Dems point to the fact they’re in a coalition and that coalitions mean compromises. This is extremely misleading at best. The Liberal Democrats know more than anybody that they cannot win an election outright under the first-past-the-post electoral system due to its bullying nature of third parties. Therefore they knew that the only way they would get power was by entering a coalition with either Labour or the Tories. Clegg, of course, knew this.
Many students spent hours canvassing for the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems was seen as the student party. They were seen as a new party that would bring a more honest politics. Yet within months of power, they have turned their back on their core base. A YouGov poll showed that if an election took place tomorrow Nick Clegg would be at serious risk of losing his seat, with just one third of his constituency saying that they would currently vote the Lib Dems.
Let’s hope that students don’t have short memories, and come 2015 they sling out Clegg and any other lying Lib Dem loyalists out of parliament.Tweet