On Thursday 9th 2010 was the vote on tuition fees within England. The vote was made in favour of the
£6000 min £9000 max tuition fees with a majority of 21. It was close, 323 to 302. Not bad.
Protests that would make the French Proud
There were several problems, most of which had to do with students (anarchists) hijacking peaceful protests and turning it into their own excuse to “fight the man”.
On November 10th 2010, a day of action was turned into a day of destruction when thousands of students stood outside of Milbank Tower, the headquarters of the Tory Party. Few students took it upon themselves to storm the building, throwing anything that came to hand and causing serious damage to the lobby of the leading party of England’s coalition government.
Violent does not get anyone anywhere. Understandable many were angry about this issue but it was no
excuse to cause a massive amount of criminal damage that would make the French proud.
The violence didn’t stop there, 14 days after the events of Milbank, there was a nationwide student walk out and once again students took to the streets of London. Students and London Metropolitan Police clashed resulting in several arrests and several injured.
The final clash between students and police happened on decision day, after the votes were announced it was taken a little too far when angry protestors attacked the car which contained the Queen’s son, Prince Charles and his wife. It seems a little stupid on the driver’s part, seeing a huge crowd of angry people and driving into it, but that is no excuse for what happened.
Surprise Surprise some of them do care
Over the course of several months, the image of the Liberal democrats has changed. Many students, most first
time voters, felt betrayed by the Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg. When running for the position of Prime Minster in the General Election, part of his manifesto was to abolish tuition fees for all students. It was a huge shock when he switched sides and decided to follow conservative orders to raise the fees.
Several months on and there has been a divide within the Lib Dem party over the issue, which resulted in two MPs retiring from their post. It seemed that many MPs, such as Deputy leader of the Lib Dems, Simon Hughes and including those from the Conservative and Labour party thought that this policy on higher education not the best of ideas. They feared that this would put future students, especially those from poorer backgrounds, off going to university. Others understood how unfair it was to future students to have a life time of debt when they got to go to university for free.
Others just plugged the policy which included a scholarship for students from poorer backgrounds and the rise of the repayment amount from £15,000 to £21,000. This will begin in 2012.
Depending on what kind of job you get, if you can get a job in this economy, it still will be 30 years of debt.