I’m going to quickly summarise the issue of Vince Cable and tuition fees. Are you ready?
Vince Cable backs the increase in tuition fees – but possibly only in an official capacity as a co-designer of the policy. In a personal capacity he would seem to be less keen because until recently he was considering abstaining in solidarity with Liberal Democrat MPs who cannot stomach the policy. Which is fair enough, considering that every single one of them campaigned on a manifesto pledge to oppose any rise in tuition fees. Even though they knew that probably wasn’t going to be feasible. But that wasn’t an issue for them as they never expected to find themselves in (sort of) government in an unholy alliance with the Tories. In any case, Vince would only have considered abstaining in the name of party unity. In actual fact, he thinks this is the right policy to pursue.
Is that clear? No? Oh.
Look. Vince Cable will back the increase in tuition fees because he helped formulate the policy. Even though he doesn’t like it, he does think this is the right thing to do. So although he wants to abstain to extend an olive branch to his backbenchers, he won’t. He can’t. But either way he thinks the policy is the best solution.
This could not be clearer.
For the last 90 years the Lib Dems existed to pander to the intellectually feckless and the childish. They are now going through a period of enforced adolescence as they change from child to man. Some have blossomed (Nick), some have come out in spots(Vince) and many (Menzies Campbell, Charles Kennedy) are sulking in their bedrooms, listening to My Chemical Romance, claiming its not fair