Clegg’s using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it

Nick Clegg is using exactly the same rhetoric to justify the rise in tuition fees as he used to oppose it, writes National Union of Students president Aaron Proter.

Aaron Porter is the president of the National Union of Students (NUS)

The following are quotes from Nick Clegg during the election campaign last year:

“If we have learnt one thing from the economic crisis, it is that you can’t build a future on debt.” (The Daily Telegraph)

“[Students are] leaving university with this weight of debt around their necks.” (YouTube)

Nothing revelatory there – Nick Clegg’s u-turn on tuition fees and subsequent betrayal of his own party’s policy and of the students he courted so shamelessly is well recorded and was one of the biggest political themes of last year.

Here’s a couple more Clegg quotes:

“We are determined to foster a new model of economic growth, and a new economy – one built on enterprise and investment, not unsustainable debt.”

“This strikes me as little short of intergenerational theft. It is the equivalent of loading up our credit card with debt and then expecting our kids to pay it off.”

“The Labour Government presided over stagnating social mobility, increasing inequality, and passed on to Britain’s young people a monumental economic crisis and a deadweight of debt hung around their necks.”

The difference here is that second group of quotes come from a speech Clegg gave today whilst justifying the very deficit reducing cuts that led to the slashing of university teaching budgets and the subsequent tripling of tuition fees.

What astounds me is the temerity of using exactly the same rhetoric to justify the rise in tuition fees as he used to oppose it.

Let’s be clear – the government’s aggressive deficit reduction strategy led to 80 per cent cuts in the teaching budget for universities which led directly to the tripling of tuition fees which will lead directly to the £40,000 plus graduate debts that Nick Clegg said we could not build our future on before the election. The ‘loading up of the credit card’ was the bailing out of the banks and the ‘expecting our kids to pay it off’ is removing up to £4.2 billion from university funding.

Where Nick Clegg was adding two and two together and getting four in April last year he appears to be getting five now. He’s been saying for months that the situation has changed – apparently his speechwriters haven’t.

24 Responses to “Clegg’s using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it”

  1. Broken OfBritain

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  2. wonkhe

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  3. Harry Leslie Smith

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  4. Shamik Das

    Clegg's using same rhetoric 2 justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter on @leftfootfwd http://bit.ly/eNqPfI @NUSuk @UCU

  5. Gary Banham

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  6. WestMonster

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI #UKpolitics

  7. Lewis Webster

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  8. AltGovUK

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  9. ---

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  10. Miles Weaver

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  11. Jill Hayward

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  12. Len Junier

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  13. 13eastie

    This is truly lamentable.

    Shouldn’t Porter be making an *economic* case for the government to keep on borrowing insanely to maintain the illusion that education is “free”?

    Rather than pontifically highlighting Nick Clegg’s electioneering fibs, which are of sentimental interest only (and then only to those stupid enough to have believed the Lib Dems in the first place).

    Education is NOT free, and, just like any other service, has to be paid for by SOMEBODY.

    Even assuming the government hits its targets (it won’t), it will still be borrowing £1bn / week in 2015 to meet spending commitments. At the same time, it will be paying an equivalent amount out just to cover the interest *alone* on Labour’s £1.4 tr debt. Each of these is on a par with the entire NHS budget.

    Aaron needs to stop kidding himself and stop lying. The re-capitalisation of the banks was a one-off cost. It is not the cause of the current deficit, which continues to amass debt at £170bn pa. Unlike most of the spending and waste Labour that Labour termed “investment” while it ran amock, the equity and debt made available to retail banks will not be a sunk cost, but will yield a splendid return for the Exchequer.

    What tax-payers like me want to know is the answers to the following:

    Why should my children pay the bill for his “priceless” education if he is fundamentally opposed to paying a penny towards it himself? They have already each been allocated a £17k Labour millstone, before they have even been born. How big does Porter think this number needs to get for it to become ‘fair’ in his eyes?

    Porter wants tax-payers to shaft their own children for his sake.

    So where is the economic argument strong enough for us to indebt our kids for something Aaron apparently resents paying for at all himself.
    This is truly lamentable.

    Shouldn’t Porter be making an *economic* case for the government to keep on borrowing insanely to maintain the illusion that education is “free”?

    Rather than pontifically highlighting Nick Clegg’s electioneering fibs, which are of sentimental interest only (and then only to those stupid enough to have believed the Lib Dems in the first place)?

    Education is NOT free, and, just like any other service, it has to be paid for by SOMEBODY.

    Even assuming the government hits its targets (it won’t), it will still be borrowing £1bn / week in 2015 to meet spending commitments. At the same time, it will be paying an equivalent amount out just to cover the interest *alone* on Labour’s £1.4 tr debt. Each of these is on a par with the entire NHS budget, to give a much-needed sense of scale.

    Aaron needs to stop kidding himself and stop lying.

    The re-capitalisation of the banks was a one-off cost. It is not the cause of the current deficit, which continues to amass debt at £170bn pa. Unlike most of the spending and waste Labour that Labour termed “investment” while it ran amock, the equity and debt made available to retail banks will not be a sunk cost, but will yield a splendid return for the Exchequer.

    What tax-payers like me want to know is the answers to the following:

    Why should my children pay the bill for his “priceless” education if he is fundamentally opposed to paying a penny towards it himself? They have already each been allocated a £17k Labour millstone, before they have even been born. How big does Porter think this number needs to get for it to become ‘fair’ in his eyes?

    Porter wants tax-payers to shaft their own children for his sake.

    So where is the economic argument strong enough for us to indebt our kids for something Aaron apparently resents paying for at all himself.

    (And Aaron, nobody outside your dwindling ramshackle company of banner-wavers is remotely interested in Nick Clegg or your juvenile, cry-baby, tale-telling – it just makes you look silly).
    (And Aaron, nobody outside your dwindling ramshackle company of banner-wavers is remotely interested in Nick Clegg or your juvenile tale-telling).

  14. 13eastie

    Moderator, apologies for the double-paste, feel free to truncate/delete

  15. CHRIS WALTON

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  16. Alex Bellars

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  17. Mr. Sensible

    13eastie, I’m afraid we’ve been there before.

    If you’re so concerned about debt, why are you advicating a policy that will increase, not decrease, spending on student lones?

    And the point about Clegg is a principled one; the Lib Dems said that their election pledges were properly costed. So, what happened?

  18. jbw

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  19. Rachel Hubbard

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it http://bit.ly/fWGROz

  20. Anna Dickens

    RT @leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it writes @AaronPorter: http://bit.ly/eNqPfI

  21. 13eastie

    If my daughter, when she comes of age, chooses voluntarily to enter into into a legal credit agreement, then that is her lookout.

    Porter wants to force the whole of society into debt as third parties, without their consent, for the benefit of a privileged minority.

    Big difference.

    The LibDems HAVE no principles. If you’d like to see less of them, you’ll be voting NO to AV.

  22. Kevin Richards

    What a difference power makes-leftfootfwd: Clegg's using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it http://bit.ly/fWGROz

  23. Robert

    Yeah, too right. Slash an burn for the kids. Of course the kids that you warble on about won’t want to livein the ‘society’ that you will have left behind.

  24. Why are the coalition so ageist? | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Clegg’s using the same rhetoric to justify fees rise as he used to oppose it – Aaron Porter, February 4th […]

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