Tuesday, January 27, 2004


I had a chat with Peter Riddell of The Times at lunchtime and predicted the Government would win tonight's vote on tuition fees by 5 votes. He demurred and thought it would be by more. Perhaps I should be writing his column tomorrow. In some senses the Govermnment has now got the worst of all worlds as the tuition fees furore will go on for months now as the Bill wends its way through both Houses. I don't think Charles Clarke will be having a very happy year. But the fact of the matter remains that the Government only got this tawdry measure through with votes from Scottish MPs who should be ashamed of themselves for burdening English students with this level of debt. I truly believe that today is a watershed day for Tony Blair. He has reached his so-called 'tipping point' and his tenure is nearer its end than its beginning. Wishful thinking? Possibly, but in politics you never know.

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