My good friend Greg Mulholland has announced on Radio 4 that he will not vote for tuition fees to be raised. Well said Greg!
It was one of our saddest days when Westminster rubber stamped Blair's decision that higher and further education should become purchasable commodities. Tertiary education is no more "goods for sale" than primary or secondary education. It is the gift of our community and it should be given freely for the best of reasons - enlightened, communal self-interest. I am proud that in Scotland tuition fees are paid by the Scottish Parliament and people.
This is an issue of principle not pragmatism. Before they introduced them, I asked New Labour's Scottish Education spokesperson when fees would rise from one to two thousand pounds, and when variations in cost between subjects were introduced, and if perhaps it might be the turn of six-form colleges to charge fees next? I received that most hideous and often chilling of politicians' replies. "we have no plans to do what you are suggesting".
The only problem was, and is, that I wasn't "suggesting". I was predicting.