A Letter To My MP
I just wrote a letter to my Liberal Democrat MP, John Leech, who today voted against the tuition fee bill. I am glad he did, glad he kept his promises, and heartened that in his speech on the matter – he recognised that education can benefit the country as well as the individual, and that large amounts of debt are a bad thing. I wrote the letter for two reasons, one to communicate my pleasure that my representative in Parliament did as he said he would in order to get my vote, and secondly because I want to know where he goes from here. I want to know what those Lib Dems who kept their promises are thinking. I don’t know if I will get a response, but I thought it worth a try.
First of all I wish to congratulate you on sticking your election promise, and recognising that the raising of tuition fees in conjunction with the massive cuts to university funding will harm this country on many levels, leaving the young of today facing obscene amounts of debt, hurting our institutions’ abilities to deliver world class teaching and research, and damaging the knowledge economy which remains probably the only thing this country truly excels at now the financial sector has been shown up as a house built on false promises.
It is encouraging also to see that not all politicians will sacrifice their promises, and by extension their electorate, at the first sniff of power.
However I would like to ask a question – how can you continue to be a part of a party some of whose leaders and members have shown themselves to be spineless and treacherous? As things stand, despite my admiration for your stance, I do not feel able to vote for the Liberal Democrats ever again. The trust is gone, and whilst individuals such as yourself have shown that there are those who will keep their promises, I feel distinctly uncomfortable that my vote in a way helped contribute to the passing of a policy which I think is wrong by giving the Liberal Democratsthe clout in Parliament to form this coalition with the Conservatives which has clearly turned the heads of a large number of your colleagues.
How do you intend to proceed knowing your leader is new widely, and in my view correctly, viewed as a two-faced liar? What reassurances, if any, can you offer your constituents about your future stances and that of the Liberal Democrats? If this party is asking you to vote against what you think is right, and you are willing to defy your leadership on a matter they deem to be crucial, can you see yourself continuing as a Liberal Democrat MP?
I do respect what you have done on this matter, which why I feel able to write this letter to you as I think your vote shows you are one of the Liberal Democrats still willing to listen to the people who elected them in the first place.
Can you tell me about any other policies that the Lib Dems have got rid of in this coalition and, conversely, any of which they have influence over?
Probably quite a hefty thing to ask but all I can think of currently is that they’ve also failed with Trident and my concentration on tuition fees has kinda pushed other things out of my mind (and I do agree that the tuition fee rise is rubbish). Just I’m wary of hating the MPs who voted for it on the grounds of one policy and don’t think they should be recalled like the NUS are asking (to me, recalling an MP is if they have done lots of things wrong/are proven to be corrupt/lying multiple times about a number of things and the NUS seem to be basing this purely on the grounds of the tuition fees rise).
Anyway, I’d really appreciate an answer as a starting point to get myself back up to speed :).
14 Dec 2010, 11:56
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