The policies of the coalition are hurting ordinary people
THE other day, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg went on air to apologise for breaking his pre-election promises to students not to raise tuition fees to £9,000.
This betrayal of his word led to widespread protests and demonstrations.
I think this apology is badly timed, ill-conceived and to a degree disingenuous – it led to a full-scale debate by politicians on radio and TV.
Vince Cable and others are trying to maintain the argument that the decision was a collective one and not just Nick Clegg's.
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Was it? It didn't seem like it at the time. It is more like crying over spilt milk.
The Labour opposition have described it as "crocodile tears", with some justification.
Nick Clegg seems to be panicking. There will be justified calls for his resignation, and if the Lib Dems fall apart in disarray and chaos this would have great implications for the Tories.
They would have to call a general election at a time when they are most unpopular.
However, despite opinion polls, Labour has a long way to go before it can sweep to power.
Its leadership is not at all popular, even if its policies are more people-friendly.
Why should we, in this area, be concerned?
The Lib Dems, when in power in Hull, were praised in 2005 because they had transformed the city council from being the worst in the country, to being a "three-star" council and named council of the year by the Association of Public Service Excellence.
Then came the May General Election in 2010.
Overnight, the Lib Dems in Hull announced plans to cut £65 million from the budget and axe up to 1,400 jobs in line with coalition Government spending cuts.
This led to massive protests outside the Guildhall by unions, the end to the Gateway building project, despite having secured extra funding for the city in the post 2007 floods.
In May last year, local government elections saw the ignominious end of the Lib Dems in Hull, their leader ousted, and Labour returned. Across the country many town halls saw Labour returned.
If the May 2011 local election results are anything to go by, and the increasing unpopularity of the coalition Government continues to gather momentum, Nick Clegg has every reason to be worried.
Scrambling around, not sure whether to stay where they are or offer a coalition with a future Labour government.
The policies of the coalition are hurting ordinary people, not the wealthy and the well-paid.
They have been slow off the mark to get the building industry moving, have masterminded chaotic exam results with a view to forcing state schools to become academies, and even slower to secure the Siemens bid to create jobs in Hull.
The Lib Dem conference will be very interesting, if not spectacular.