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November 21, 2010



So pre-election pledges only count if you form a majority government, or sit on the opposition benches, but not if you form part of a coalition government?

But wasn't there rather a lot of speculation before the election about a hung parliament?

Tim Montgomerie

Agreed Tom. Terrible message to voters.

Cleethorpes Rock

We know that part of the morass of the coalition sausage is that some of your own meat ends up getting mixed in with a bit of rusk, bread, eyeballs and cartilage from the other guy's manifesto.

As soon as the coalition agreement was announced, it should have come with a very big caveat that as neither side had won, some promises were going to have to be broken, some policies watered down, and that people shouldn't expect a purring, factory spec model, but a sort of a rusty cut-and-shut. The spinners on either side should have done a better job of managing expectations.

Managing down expectations would also have had the added advantage of discrediting the permanent state of coalition that would result from AV.

It doesn't add up...

He would have done better to set out what it would have meant to fund tuition fees: the unaffordable numbers going to university would have to be cut back to the numbers that were affordable before every poly became a university and any Polly could get a degree from the South Bank Poly even if she failed to get one at Oxford.

michael mcgough

Rather than appear on 'Come Dancing','moral maze' might be a better programme to exploit Vince's talents for spin.

Party manifestos and electoral pledges have become worthless.We might as well play 'pin the tail on the donkey' than bother reading what the parties offer.

There should be some means of recall/revote or whatever when the (inevitable ?)coalition issues their prospectus post election.


well you make promises on what to fight for policies in the legislator.

but if every party stuck their manifesto's in their actions nothing could get done.

Geoff Montegriffo

Cleethorpes is right, and this example should be a central before-and-after story from the No To AV campaign.


The issue is not just that the Liberal Democrats and Vince Cable have mislead the electorate on student tuition fees but that the policy of the Coalition on student tuition fees is wrong.
Students leaving university after 3 years will have a minimum debt of £38,000 hanging over them for many years to come.
British student tuition fees are to increase by 200% but foreign student tuition fees will increase by 5%.
I am not surprised that students are protesting.


I pledge to vote against any increase in tuition fees and in saying this I am pleased to have persuaded you to vote for me but what I am not telling you is that if my party gets into power in a coalition I will vote for an increase in tuition fees.

On the remote Island of Iona lies the grave of John Smith who I once worked for and where he lies, an uneven stone slab half buried in the grass shows an inscription “An honest man’s the noblest work of God”

Oh Vince, I am so sad for what has happened to you


I have started to feel sorry for professor Hindsight. He has become quite a pathetic figure really. From Mr. Bean to Mr has been.


Students and their parents voted Lib Dem on the strength of their pledge on University fees. As has been said before, a compromise of freezing fees would have probably acceptable.
Debts of £38,000 once interest is added, plus living expenes on top is horrifying.
The Lib Dems have betrayed their voters, this is being reflected in the polls and local elections.
I hope they are damaged beyond repair.

A Public Sector Worker

Well on the plus side, the electorate now know what happens when a minority party goes into coalition, although from what I've seen everyone is pretty thick for even thinking that some of the dafter Lib Dem policies even stood a chance of surviving the Coalition agreement.

Seeing as Labour are making political capital out of the Lib Dems, they should now throw away their manifesto promise of wanting AV and vote against it. I wonder what would have been left out of the mix if it had ever come to Labour and the Lib Dems forging a Coalition instead?

The British Public should all vote overwhelmingly for the No vote as they're too thick to understand the fact that compromises have to be made and sometimes it's going to be the policies they're most interested in.

Malcolm Butt

Lib Dems are the most dishonest party ever!

It pains me everytime i think of them being in coalition with the Conservatives as Lib Dems tarnish the brand!

Andrew Smith

There are 2 huge advantages to the political class in arranging coalition (minority) government:

The ministers and policies are agreed between the leaderships in a closed room

Whatever policy is adopted each party can say (as they say when they return from secret meetings in the EU institutions) "it wasn't us, but the other lot you have to blame; we tried our best"

No accountability

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

To adapt a phrase from the old Western movies, "Bald man speak with forked tongue". This excuse from Cable has the same hollow ring to it as "I was only obeying orders" had from mid 1945 onwards.

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