At the time Labour brought in fees, my husband was working as a history lecturer at an ex-polytechnic university in a midlands town. Following their introduction, there was an immediate drop in applications, particularly from mature students. My husband's job was at threat from that point on, and he was eventually made redundant in 2004, when the university temporarily stopped offering a single honours history degree.
The opposition to tuition fees was not a significant factor in my joining the LD's. That had more to do with Iraq and civil liberties. But, I never questioned the policy, and certainly supported it until recently. My mind has been changed by the very persuasive articles by Peter Wilby in the Guardian, which among other things has reminded me that not only did the old system have considerable disadvantages, but that I experienced those disadvantages myself, and I also agree with Chris Rennard.
I do have some reservations, but nevertheless I accept that the no tuition fees policy was an error, and I think that Liberal Democrat MPs should vote for the bill.
I also want to say that the cock-up over the tuition fees pledge is the fault of the entire party, including people like me who didn't think very hard about an impractical policy, and I have a lot of sympathy for Nick Clegg who has been taking most of the flack.
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