Well it’s been over 6 months since the UK’s last general election, Labour’s been out of office for half a year, they have Ed Milliband (The allegedly ‘more weird’ of the Milliband brothers if such tautology was even neccessary) in the chair and the coalition has been doing its best to cut the defecit. The only problem with this? It’s going to be tough, seriously tough, you cannot please all the people all the time and, in times like this, it’s going to be hard to please some of the people some of the time.
Now, at the time of the election I was not registered to vote, a while of uncertainty as to whether or not I was registered at University or home lead to me procrastinating (quite rightly with the amount of work Uni was piling on) to the point where the deadline passed. If I had been registered I would have put my word in for the party I saw standing for real change and the values I believe in; the Liberal Democrats. At the time there was a massive amount of hype surrounding them thanks to the ‘Cleggmania’ effect of the TV debates and I really thought he could be a force for rel progress. Unfortunately this was not the case as marginal Lib Dems defected their votes to the two main parties in an attempt to ensure the one they hated more didn’t get in (this is my opinion of how it panned out, I don’t claim to be a great political journalist or anything, just an opinion) and the Tories took the chair, offering concessions to the Lib Dems in order to ensure the coalition we have now.
Now of course at the moment I do seem to just be telling the story of what you probably already know and six months down the line does seem to be a bit late to talk about it. The thing is the coalition brought with it a lot of optimism for progress and discourse and right now, in the midst of the student loans debate, the bubble has very much burst.
I’ve always tried to sympathise with politicians, like I say you can never please everybody, and I always like to think that a new government coming into office is like cleaning up after an epic house party the night before. Cameron and Clegg walk through the front door to find Mandelson passed out on the floor, Darling vomiting into a pot plant and Brown coming out of the kitchen with his trousers round his ankles saying ‘see you in four years’. Once the dregs are out the clean up can begin and, whatever promises you made to yourself and others about how long it would take or how many sponges you’d need (I’m sticking with the metaphor here) there’s always another layer of crap underneath the one you just tidied up.
But this is too far. The election fees debate has not sparked such frustration and anger from students merely becasue fees are going up but because we were lied to. We were told by our soon to be Deputy PM that tuition fees would not go up and, guess what, they very well may do. Time will tell if our protests make any difference but, in the meantime, my vote seems very insignificant right now. If a man I believed in to make change and keep fairness, decencey and liberalism in politics can make it into the second most senior post in the cabinet and still lie and corrupt the system then what hope is there. After 13 years of Labour I thought things would be different. Lesson learned I guess, when you’ve been lied to enough times eventually you won’t believe anything anymore.