Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Will Willott Go?

So Chris Huhne's PPS Jenny Willott has said she will vote against the government's tuition fees proposals.

I assume her resignation will be on Huhne's desk first thing in the morning, then.

Or not.

Because LibDems appear to have a different view of collective responsibility to the rest of us.

UPDATE: From the BBC website...

Jenny Willott, the Lib Dem MP for Cardiff Central, has said she would not support the plans.

Her local paper, the South Wales Echo, quoted her as saying: "I have said all along I will vote against any rises in tuition fees" and the Guardian also said she had said she would vote against a rise.

Miss Willott told the BBC she had been misquoted and had not said she would definitely vote against the plans. She said her position was that she would "not support a rise in tuition fees. I'm waiting to see what is in the motion before deciding whether to abstain or vote against".

16 comments:

Chris Lovell said...

I'm pretty sure she has already stated that she will resign.

P. Stable said...

I think they have a view of collective responsibility that's based on the terms of the coalition agreement.

Perhaps you should turn your attention to David Lidington and Cheryl Gillan. Both have spoken at rallies opposing HS2 and made clear that they disagree with Government policy on the current route, yet neither of them have resigned "because the proposals have not been finalised". They're waiting until there's actually a vote on the HS2 Bill before they walk.

How is this any different to Jenny Willott not quitting despite saying (in accordance with the coalition agreement) that she'll vote against a rise in tuition fees - a policy that has yet to be set in stone, but in White Paper or brought to a vote?

Tim said...

Collective irresponsibility, more like it.

Tories = "As God once said, and I think, rightly...." (!!!!)

I hope they all vote against this government.

Samuel Dale said...

Lib Dems agreed that they could abstain on the tuition fee vote in the coalition agreement but not that they could vote against. She should resign and she must.

Paddy Briggs said...

Give me principles ahead of "colective responsibility" every day of the week...

Enlightened Despot said...

It just underlines the desirability of taking PPSs off the Payroll Vote. There are far too many of them padding out the Executive's influence over Parliament and for go-betweens to be treated as members of the Government is unnecessary.

Jamie said...

It's the same sense of collective responsibility that allows a Welsh MP to vote on English universities (although I won't want to derail this onto rants about an English perliament).

@P. Stable - the agreement says that arrangements will be made for Lib Dems to abstain, not vote against it. Although I agree, she should only have to resign when it actually comes to a vote.

Those Lib Dems, spouting nonsense during campaigns, safe in the knowledge they would never be in government...

Nick said...

Keith Simpson (PPS to William Hague) rebelled on an amendment to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill laid down by Bill Cash and did not resign, so why should Wilmott?

Nothing like a bit of double-standards, eh Iain?

liamjarnecki said...

Leaving aside the silly and frankly slightly hypocritical factional point you're making.........

.....I'm not sure you'll convince many people that the Lib Dem's responsibility on this one is to the "collective"- surely the responsibility is to the electorate who received a clearly unconditional pledge that was the flagship of their election campaign (based on the similar pledge in Scotland in 99) and won the Lib Dems several Labour university seats allowing the coalition to form in the first place.

George said...

Very true Iain.

The Fib-Dems seem to be able to have the cake, get to eat it and have extra cream.
Clearly the lack of experience, for all of them, of being in government means that they have no concept of cabinet responsibility.
But then again this is a party that is made up of disparate groups straddling many party lines and the coalition has had the effect of forcing a coalescence of opinion. As one expects from people of a wishy-washy nature they are unable to reconcile wishes and expectations with reality, preferring, for many, to live in a cloud cuckoo land.
The Fib-Dems in their present format will not last the full term.

DespairingLiberal said...

It's all very bizarre - none more so than the Vince Cable announcement that he will abstain. Nobody can really think this situation is sustainable. I suspect another general election cannot be too far away - perhaps now the economic forecasts are looking up, another few bits of good news and Call Me Dave and the Boy George will start thinking they would do better going back to the electorate, next May perhaps?

Man in a Shed said...

Doddery old Vince is getting very confused. Surely the Lib Dems see that they have to see this through ? They won't be trusted by those who wanted poor people to pay for their middle class education, but they could earn credibility and respect by seeing this through.

Doing a Vince fence sitter and dither is the worse possible thing.

This is why the other parties despise the Lib Dems.

Manfarang said...

On occasion, this principle has been suspended; most notably in the 1930s when in Britain the National Government allowed its Liberal members to oppose the introduction of protective tariffs.

Manfarang said...

Top-up fees became law despite the Labour manifesto 2001 promise reading: "We have no plans to introduce University top-up fees, and have legislated to prevent their introduction."

Ian said...

I don't like this - but from a strategical point of view (ie making it harder for Labour to win a future election) it is best for those on the right to take a blind eye to LibDems who need to vote against this policy to defend their seats from opportunist socialists in future elections. Most univeristy seats are now Labour-LidDem marginals and it is important to keep Labour out of those seats for good.

Mirtha Tidville said...

The longer this coalition goes on the more apparant it becomes that the Libs are not a party of Government and never will be.....As long as its a leftie cause they can shout about its fine, otherwise they really arnt interested..

As for Cable, no suprises there, many on here thought the man was a fraud a long time ago..He is now merely confirming that view.