Students' campaign to oust leading Lib Dems

    October 27th 2010, 3:03am - Posted by Administrator

  • In the mid of the last month, it became clear that many of Lib Dems MPs had walked back on their words of opposing the proposed cut in education and allowing universities to charge fees up to 9000. The NUS plans to begin a "decapitation" strategy to oust Nick Clegg and other Liberal Democrats from parliament in protest as party took a U-Turn on the issue.

    Lib Dem hold constituencies that have a great number of students. The campaign will add up to the anger the people in UK have had about the proposed education policy by the government.

    MPs who will specifically be targeted are Clegg in Sheffield Hallam, Simon Wright in Norwich South, Stephen Williams in Bristol West and Don Foster in Bath. The campaign leader and the president of the NUS said that movement aims to uproot those from Parliament who broke their pre-election promise to voice and vote against any increase in tuition fees. The strategy has been learned from Lib Dems’ own “decapitation strategy” in 2005 when the party became determined to throw out leading Tories including Micheal Howard and Theresa May.

    The president said they NUS will utilize a coalition idea for holding MPs accountable which was effectively used by Clegg himself in the past. The initiative, which has yet to become law, advocates that a byelection can be called if an MP is found guilty of wrongdoing and 10% of constituents want him/her to be dismissed. Moreover, this way NUS will be able to mobilise support against selected MPs before the next election.

    There are around 10, 000 students in Sheffield Hallam, a constituency held by the Lib Dem leader in the May election. Other who may get the burnt of student’s taking to roads in protest is Wright who came out victorious against Charles Clarke in Norwich South in the last election. The NUS president said it would wafer-thin government’s mandate on education cut and debt. However, the MPs who still intend to honor their pre-election pledge will not be under any threat by students.

    On the other side, Evan Harris, the former Lib Dem MP came hard at the students planning to protest against their MPs. He termed their protest as “partisan stunt” and disclosed that promised manifesto could only be fulfilled if a party won a majority. He further said that there was not talk whatsoever about voting against the proposal let alone recalling Labour MPs in so called promise breach. Refuting Evan’s claim, Caroline Dowd, who is student union president in Sheffield Hallam University, said they could not get out of their union before general election. She said the MP came and spoke against about the proposed cut in education and fees hike and it was not unethical and unexpected of MPs.

    The issue related to MPs breaking their promise to speak and vote against the proposed cuts in education came into light when the Guardian discovered and published secret documents proving that he and other Lib Dems were preparing to put their promises aside before the election if a coalition is formed.

    The shadow business, innovation and skills secretary, John Denham said that Clegg had lost the credibility on this issue. He quoted his words when Clegg said this week that he should have been more careful before promising the vote against fee increases. While A Lib Dem spokesman said “what we have achieved is a system is that fairer than the one that exists now which means the poorest 25% of graduates will pay less, and those who go on to earn more pay more.”

    As the controversy is evolving, the arrest of 57th person allegedly involved in the last week’s student march through London which ended in violent scenes. Police faces a growing criticism for failing contain the march. According to the Observer, the UK armed forces and the defence firms are working closely to draw up a “militarisation” strategy to counter any possible civil disorder. The plan coincides with the governments’ intentions to use unmanned spy drones to help in covert surveillance and intelligence on future demonstrations. A Metropolitan police report for internal purposes is expected to be presented this week which will determine why senior officers failed to take preemptive measures during Wednesday's violence.

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