Tuition fees backlash gains momentum on the right

UKIP's Gawain Towler talks exclusively to Left Foot Forward about his party's position on tuition fees.

On the day of the government’s controversial tuition fees vote there are huge protests uniting people of all political persuasions in Westminster and throughout the country. Whilst the parliamentary opposition is coming from the Labour benches, Nationalists and a handful of coalition rebels, they may have some unexpected political bedfellows in the shape of UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party.

Whilst UKIP have had no sitting MPs in Parliament since 2008 and therefore no way to influence the vote directly today, they have a number of elected MEPs.

Talking exclusively to Left Foot Forward, Gawain Towler, a spokesman for UKIP in the European Parliament, outlined the party’s unequivocal opposition to the coalition’s reforms.

Despite having criticised past policies of both Conservative efforts in “screwing over polytechnics” and Labour policies “designed to hide unemployment”, Towler announced that if UKIP were to have representatives in the House of Commons they would definitely oppose the legislation:

“We would be against rises, without a doubt, wholeheartedly….. whacking great fees on them (students) doesn’t get you very far…. we don’t think education is just there to tick an economic box”

While UKIP’s official position is that too many people currently attend university, the widely criticised Government legislation has managed to unite everyone from the left-wing of Labour to the Eurosceptic, right-wing party. Perhaps some issues transcend the ideological divide?

24 Responses to “Tuition fees backlash gains momentum on the right”

  1. Tuition fees backlash gains momentum on the right « atthegrapevine

    […] On the day of the government’s controversial tuition fees vote there are huge protests uniting people of all political persuasions in Westminster and throughout the country. Whilst the parliamentary opposition is coming from the Labour benches, Nationalists and a handful of coalition rebels, they may have some unexpected political bedfellows in the shape of UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party. Read the latest HERE […]

  2. Matt Nicholas

    Bloody hell, even UKIP are against higher fees //bit.ly/foPlhd via @leftfootfwd #fees

  3. Michael Heaver

    Here here! As Chairman of UKIP’s youth wing I find the hike in tuition fees disgusting. With every graduate now having to compete with 69 other people for a job, less people should go to Uni and do apprenticeships and vocational courses instead. Those who do however should not be put in tens of thousands of pounds of debt before they have even got their first proper job!

    No point having a degree if it means nothing because 40% – 50% of people have one, no point being a graduate if their aren’t enough graduate jobs!

  4. Gawain Towler

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tuition fees backlash gains momentum on the right //bit.ly/hAQpU2

  5. Koldo

    See an analysis about the missed opportunities for social rights in ‘America’ after Roosevelt’s New Deal, about the the dark prospects in Cameron’s Britain from now on, and about the possible links between the two, at:

    //rightsincontext.eu/2010/11/18/the-status-of-social-rights-from-fdr-to-david-cameron/#comments

    Koldo Casla
    Rights in Context

  6. David Hatton

    While it is bad that the government lied to us, it is despicable that people brought violence into what could of been a peaceful protest. Throwing stones at policemen? setting fire to public property? Disgusting. Isn’t it time we had a little perspective? //davidhatton1987.blogspot.com/2010/11/little-perspective.html

  7. david

    RT @leftfootfwd: Tuition fees backlash gains momentum on the right //bit.ly/hAQpU2

  8. Anon E Mouse

    It won’t be long before some Labour MP says he sympathises with the protesters – you can just feel it coming. Won’t be the dithering Ed Miliband who couldn’t make a decision if his life depended on it.

    The Labour leadership must be wincing as they watch these middle class selfish little wusses protesting because they think working class people should pay for them to be advantaged in life.

    Just watch. Labour is somehow going to get embroiled in this. Where is the hapless Labour leader’s criticism of the wanton violent behaviour from these little pricks? Where is the NUS apology for the outrageous actions in our capital?

    This behaviour is a disgrace and that hopeless union stooge, Ed Miliband, needs to start condemning the actions of those little jerkoffs ASAP. He cannot hide away living his millionaire lifestyle forever…

  9. 13eastie

    Tonight’s vote should be celebrated by all “progressives” and others in favour of universal access to higher education.

    For the first time, an answer to the funding question has been provided and a sustainable means has been found to enable large numbers of ordinary students to go to university, paying no fees up-front, making no demands of parents, and incorporating a progressive system of payment in arrears for those that benefit. More yet, the poor will be shielded from meeting the cost of higher education.

    Aaron Porter should be strung up. He has delivered nothing but disgrace to students, while failing to achieve any objective. The desecration of Churchill’s monument? Why? Because the Nazis didn’t have tuition fees?

    Porter has also failed his supporters massively: he will never manage to atone for the young people whose prospects he has damaged irreparably by dissuading them from applying to study for a degree, and, in some cases, condemned with the stigma of a criminal record.

    THE REAL VICTIMS IN THIS EPISODE ARE THOSE THAT THE NUS AND LABOUR HAVE DECEIVED INTO DECLINING THE OFFER OF A ONE-WAY BET ON THEIR OWN SUCCESS AT UNIVERSITY.

  10. Chris

    @mousey

    Yawn, do you post on the Daily Mail website as well?

    “It won’t be long before some Labour MP says he sympathises with the protesters – you can just feel it coming”

    Ermmmm, John McDonnell already has.

    “The Labour leadership must be wincing as they watch these middle class selfish little wusses protesting because they think working class people should pay for them to be advantaged in life.”

    Wusses? I’d like to see you taking on the billy club wielding TSG thugs. Say what you like about the students but wusses they ain’t.

    And why are you posting in company time, slacker!

    @13eastie

    WTF? What planet have you been living on? Mousey, put this sock puppet away you aren’t fooling anybody.

  11. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – Thought you’d seen Ed Miliband on TV last night articulating a non position on fees himself and given up on Labour like 5 million others. Nice to see you still here.

    I wouldn’t be facing the “billy club wielding TSG thugs” because as soon as fires were lit and buildings smashed I realised that any sympathy anyone may have had for these selfish little pricks and their personal greed went out of the window.

    I’m not expecting the tax avoiding property millionaire (never done a real job and cheated to get the Leadership of Labour) Ed Miliband to make a decision and comment on this – he’s a worse ditherer than Gordon Brown – but my first point stands.

    At some point (and no one ever listens to McDonnell) Labour will get connected to this and as in the strikes in the 1980’s the party is facing oblivion.

    Ed Miliband is a busted flush – like the majority of the PLP you know I’m right Chris and it’s only time before that useless ditherer is booted out on his arse and for Labour the sooner the better.

    Where is Ed Miliband’s condemnation of that circus in London last night? Political opportunity is all it is and the Labour leader is on the wrong side of the curve again…

  12. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse, the NUS president has condemned the violence, and it is entirely right for him to do so.

    However, since we’re talking about that I think we must ask questions of the policing operation. How were the demonstrators allowed to get that close to Prince Charles’s car?

    And 13Eastie that’s just Coalition spin.

    The fact is that this proposal won’t just hit students; I think it could also hit the taxpayer in 2 ways.

    First, the government will have to fund more student lones, and second, write-off costs could well go up by 8.5P in the pound.

    And as for the programme to fund fees for those on free school meals. Where’s the money?

    That and the announcement about increasing the threshold in line with inflation were nothing more or less than distraction tactics.

    I think it is interesting that UKIP have now come to the party opposing this.

    The Lib Dems should have some courage, stick to their pledges, vote against and then if necesary, yes, lets have a general election. Lib Dem voters voted against early cuts, they’ve got them. They voted against higher tuition fees, they’ve got them. They voted against increasing VAT, that’s going up in January.

  13. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – If the demonstrators were peaceful then why would it matter how close to Prince Charles they got?

    In a civilised society people should be allowed to go about their lawful business unimpeded.

    Where is Ed Miliband’s condemnation of these actions?

    As a Labour supporter, who I am sure hates the violence we’ve witnessed you must be furious with the latest leader of the party – a bigger ditherer than Gordon Brown it seems…

  14. Chris

    @mousey

    Stop posting on company time! Get back to work you sloth. You’ll never reach the dizzy heights of £6 per hour if you spend all your time polluting this blog with your pathetic drivel.

    “I wouldn’t be facing the “billy club wielding TSG thugs” because as soon as fires were lit and buildings smashed I realised that any sympathy anyone may have had for these selfish little pricks and their personal greed went out of the window.”

    Yawn, how do you know whether people are sympathetic or not? You’ve got to understand that just because you think something in your tiny mind doesn’t mean everybody else thinks the same. And who gives a fuck if ultra conservative nut jobs like yourself support the demonstrators or not? No demonstrators in history would have your support from the chartists to the poll tax you’d be sat in your little windowless room foaming at the mouth.

    “Where is Ed Miliband’s condemnation of these actions?”

    Try looking you stupid moron – //bit.ly/eWcPYm

  15. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse I think Ed has condemned it in the media, and Chris has posted the Labour Party’s article on it.

  16. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – hahahahaha, you’re losing it little fella – How many people read Labour dot org?

    That site is as irrelevant as the party under Ed Miliband, the tax avoiding property millionaire (never done a real job and cheated with the union dinosaurs to get the Leadership of Labour)and worse ditherer than Gordon Brown.

    He was on the BBC and didn’t say that last night and since NO ONE reads the Labour site he hopes his opportunistic appeal to the students, who are predominantly left wing, will mean they don’t realise that.

    The protesters are out or order and their cause has been lost by the actions yesterday and Miliband not condemning it on the national news is typical of the weak hopeless buffoon he is.

    Come back Gordon Brown all is forgiven…

  17. Chris

    @mouse

    That is the press statement, moron, sent out to the news media. They then report the statement – don’t you know anything?

    And why to you continue to post on company time, get back to work you lazy slacker!

  18. Liz McShane

    Anon – Ed has condemned the violence comprehensively. I am sad that you take the view on Higher Education as you do. It has been the avenue out of poverty & limited hope for a lot of working class people over the years.

    If these hikes in fees put off people from studying medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, teaching, architecture, civil engineering as well as Arts, Science & Humanities degrees then I really fear the type of society we might come to live in.

    Further education benefits us all – that’s if you believe that such a thing as Society exists.

  19. Anon E Mouse

    Liz – Long time no hear.

    You don’t know what view I take on higher education or my opinion on tuition fees – introduced after Labour promised it wouldn’t along with the Top Up’s they also promised they wouldn’t and did.

    Grammar schools were also a way out of poverty although to be fair to Labour more were built under their governments than Tory ones but that’s not the point. (Oh and your argument for the state providing “free” education is that more highly skilled workers pay more overall in tax than the cost of the education – what worries me is that these students are so stupid they can’t articulate that)…

    The point is that Ed Miliband is HOPELESS. He gets it for sure. But he will go down as an even worse leader than Gordon Brown – he is truly DIRE. He should be banging on the BBC door to condemn this wanton violence (and you should really know better Liz in view of the way these things were resolved when you were a child with armoured vehicles etc) but he’s not because somehow in his limited brain he hopes to pick up student votes as they desert the Lib Dem’s.

    Ed Miliband is Labour’s biggest liability than their last biggest liability. Sack him or you’ll be sorry. I was right last time and I’m right now.

    Get Alan Johnson or his brother I say because with him Labour (again) is doomed – the polls show it…

    (Have a good weekend woman…)

  20. It’s the Vote that Counts, Not the Rolls Royce « March The Fury

    […] abstained). Outside of Parliament there have been other surprises – UKIP’s EU division declared this week they are ‘wholeheartedly’ ‘against fees’, a fantastic development that has added to the broad coalition of opposition to the […]

  21. Chris

    @mousey

    “You don’t know what view I take on higher education or my opinion on tuition fees”

    You stated previously that you supported them on the grounds that a cleaner shouldn’t pay for a lawyer, etc. And that is the argument inferred by your ranting above.

    Caught out again, mousey, as has been said before your opinions seem to change with the wind.

  22. Mr. Sensible

    Mouse what polls? The last ones I have seen show Labour in the lead.

    And Liz I completely agree. Is it not the case that what the government is doing could disadvantage the country not just in terms of skills, but in terms of pressure on the public finances as I have previously stated/

  23. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – You should know by now I never post without checking my facts (unlike that lunatic Chris above who just makes things up – the lickspittle!)

    YouGov had the Tories back in the lead earlier in the week, no honeymoon period for the useless Ed Miliband, even the cartoonists have a field day with him (empty chair in the Times) and if you don’t realise how the PLP regard him then you’re I’ll informed or being dishonest like young Chris.

    YouGov today have only 27% saying he’s up to the job. Only 12% saying he’d make a better leader than his brother, who got over three times Ed Miliband’s vote.

    He’s a useless, dithering dud and everybody knows it Mr.Sensible and can we please not have posts on this blog going to la la land and saying people like me and all Labour MP’s are wrong about him.

    We’re right and you’re wrong. Ed Miliband cheated with union help to get his position and will only serve to keep Labour in opposition. He is simply the best asset the government has….

  24. Chris

    @mousey

    Why are you coming back to a thread 2 days after the last post?

    “You should know by now I never post without checking my facts”

    Are you trying to be funny? When you used to bother writing anything with facts in it they invariably turned out to be wrong or taken from highly partisan sources. Like when I caught you copy and pasting a strangely worded paragraph straight from a tory HQ press release. It seems you’ve now given up almost entirely on facts and just repeat the same generic rant about Ed, its rather sad and boring really.

    “can we please not have posts on this blog going to la la land”

    All your posts are in a strange la la land.

    “We’re right and you’re wrong.”

    Who is we? How many people wrote your comments?

    “Ed Miliband cheated with union help”

    Can we please not have posts on this blog going to la la land?

    Mouse, why don’t you fuck off back to whatever shithole you’ve oozed out. And stop posting in company time you pathetic slacker.

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