Friday, December 10, 2010

A Sad Day for England

In a move that is sure to rock the very foundation of Britain's education system for decades to come, the Tory-LibDem coalition Government got through a proposal to raise University tuition fees as well as lower grants. The move is bitterly opposed by students, who surrounded Westminster Palace and even kicked Prince Charles' car as it was passing by.

However, although the Bill was passed, it did reveal the shaky foundation on which the Coalition stands. With a nominal majority of 84 in the House of Commons, the Coalition passed the bill with just a 21 vote majority - a full quarter of the nominal majority! The Lib Dems, whose campaign pledges included not doing what they just did, saw the great efflux of MPs, with three resignations and several votes abstaining or even against the party line. Amazingly, even the Conservatives saw a few MPs voting against its line.

The highly unpopular move, coming in the wake of other painful spending cuts, is sure to damage England's education system in the long-run. Thankfully, Scotland has refused to replicate this model, although what it will do to fix the genuine funding issue will have to be seen. The move has shown public anger against the Government, but most powerfully against the Lib Dems, whose leader Nick Clegg voiced helplessness, being the junior partner. Still, many protesters who voiced their opinions on the BBC said that the Lib Dems as a party was finished.

How long the coalition can go on like this is left to be seen. Eventually, Nick Clegg will have to draw the line as to how far he is prepared to walk with the Tories, lest his own party face extinction. How long will that be? Well, now, that's a good question.

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