Libertarian. Enjoys politics, technology, music, food and drink.
As we’ve been warned over the past few days, today (and tomorrow) will be the last days of protests before the vote tomorrow. A vote, whereby a generation of first-time voters are going to become even more disillusioned with ‘politics.’ This really isn’t much of a loss to the Liberal Democrats. The student fee vote will pass tomorrow, and so fees will go up. But the University students who have been lining the streets over the past couple of months, will soon graduate. They will then join the real world, start playing taxes, and learn that there are more things to worry about after University, than any number of banal worries they had when there.
This all reminds me of the bit in series 7 of the West Wing. President Barlett sends troops away on a peacekeeping mission in the East with no get-out strategy. He turns to Leo and says “You know what’ll happen, if it goes badly – I’ll get the blame, and if it goes well – the next guy will get the credit.” Lib Dem voters aren’t in a hurry to defect to the Conservative Party. And with Red Ed’s shallow leadership so far, there isn’t going to be a surge to the left. Lib Dem voters can either stay Lib Dem voters, or not vote at all. At the moment, my non-market liberal LibDem friends are threatening not to vote again. This is the way they will go. They voted Lib Dem because it was the party outside of the establishment, outside of the dreaded “old politics” and now, going back on their word, they are just another establishment party.
Yet in five or ten years time. When 2010′s thirteen-year-old’s turn eighteen. How many will remember this? Increased fees will already be the norm for a new generation. Five years later? It will be even more true. It’s a weighted gamble that, in the long run, isn’t going to hinder the Lib Dems at all.