Let us all recall the words of John Major, in 1996, when he read the first proposal for tuition fees - "over my dead body"; let us remember what David Blunkett said in April 1997 - "no tuition fees with Labour"; let us recall what David Blunkett, the LABOUR Education Secretary did in June 1997 - INTRODUCED TUITION FEES. Over John Major's dead (political) body. Blunkett thanked the NUS for all their help in getting the legislation onto the statute books as well.
Just goes to show - if you climb into bed with the Opposition in the eighties, they'll shaft you up the a*** in the nineties.
What we need is smaller government taking expert views on the management of public services, not jokers like Blair, Blunkett, Milburn (or indeed Tory idiots) who think they know how to run schools, or hospitals, or university.
And before anyone says that Dearing was written by experts, don't. The system the government are using is NOT the Dearing recommended system; that would have kept maintenance grants alongside the introduction of fees. Blair decided to pick the best of both worlds (as he saw it) and abolished grants whilst introducing fees.
The mistake is for any organisation to line itself up with a political party. The point I was making earlier was that for Douglas Trainer and the NUS to support tuition fees, and ex-NUS Presidents like Lorna Fitzsimmons, Jim Murphy and all the rest of them in the Commons to vote it onto the statute book, having spent the eighties bad-mouthing Thatcher (who didn't even consider abolishing them) is outrageous, yet strangely unsurprising.
It isn't a mistake to line up with a political party in our present system, except when that party systematically sets out to deceive and lie to the electorate, or has a leader who is so far up his own a**e that he sh**s out of his mouth.