I will be marching with my daughter on Parliament tomorrow. The party I have always voted for, seems determined to betray all it has stood for, voting to destroy education, and relegate itself into political oblivion at the next general election.
Here are my main concerns that I have put to my MP, Paul Burstow, and Nick Clegg leaders of the Lib Dems.
Dear Mr Burstow,
I will be taking part in the March and protest about education fees, with my daughter this Thursday. We will attempt to get to Parliament and to lobby you there.
In advance of that attempt, and in case we are detained from undertaking that action, I write again to summarise my petition to you, and I request that you vote against the fee increases.
1. Educational Apartheid:
My daughter due to being English faces the prospect of studying at an English university, and needing to borrow £27K in loans for fees before interest, whilst a scottish student sitting next to her will pay nothing. Similar disparities will exist with Welsh and Irish students. This disparity alone is reprehensible and will be a piece of social engineering with dire consequences. Then we have the farce of members of the Sottish Parliament whose children will pay no fees, being able to vote and force English students to pay increased fees.
2. Marketisation of Education:
The persistent justification of increases in fees as enabling students to earn more, is to cast education as a means to and end for earnings potential. This move has led my children to consider whether they want to undertake a degree at all, if the only reason for having one is a financial equation. The £27K in fees plus commercial interest that will be charged, means that this equation is now prohibitive.
3. A culture of Debt:
Forcing English students into debt, whilst those in Scotland, Ireland and Wales avoid this start to life is unacceptable, and an appalling way to bring the next generation of students into life and work. Debt produced the current crises we are in, and a generation of English students saddled with record debts is unjustifiable.
4. Lib Dem Pledges:
Nick Clegg reminded us all before the General Election of all of these issues, and said:
"Labour and the Conservatives have been trying to keep tuition fees out of this election campaign. It's because they don't want to come clean with you about what they're planning. Despite the huge financial strain fees already place on Britain's young people, it is clear both Labour and the Conservatives want to lift the cap on fees. If fees rise to £7,000 a year, as many rumours suggest they would, within five years some students will be leaving university up to £44,000 in debt. That would be a disaster. If we have learnt one thing from the economic crisis, it is that you can't build a future on debt."
Rt. Hon Nick Clegg 28th April 2010
The wanton abandonment of Lib Dem policy is breathtaking, and staggering. I petition you to undertake that pledge, and education policy, for which I voted.
I remain committed to education reform and the need for me to pay more towards the education and welfare of students in the united kingdom. I beseech you to vote against this policy and find a better way for the whole country to move forwards with educational reform.