John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
  Office Closed
My office in Sheldon has closed today. This is because of threats against the safety of my staff and potentially also against constituents visiting for help with their problems. The police have advised us to close the office.

Those people who are making the threats need to recognise that the people who suffer are my constituents who may be homeless, destitute or facing arbitrary action by the state - where their last resort is to come for help from my office.

The demonstrators are arguing that we should not be making any cuts in Higher Education. It is clear, looking at the global financial situation, that we have to make cuts in some areas. Hence the demonstrators need to think carefully about what they are saying.

I support wholeheartedly protecting the more vulnerable members of society against cuts in services for them. That does mean that there are quite severe cuts in Higher Education. The alternatives are much worse.

We are proposing a fairer alternative to the current system of tuition finance. The demonstrators are particularly unhappy that I have argued for this publicly.

The threats against my staff in an attempt to silence me are fundamentally wrong. The demonstrators should be ashamed of themselves. They are hurting the weakest members of society in an attempt to protect privilege for themselves.
 
Comments:
> They are hurting the weakest members of society
> in an attempt to protect privilege for themselves.

Why did my thoughts immediately turn to the MP expenses scandal, when I read these words of yours?
 
This is ludicrous John, I wasn't aware that the situation had turned so bad, I do hope the staff and yourself are okay, there is no need for mindless violence or even threats of violence, it servers no purpose and there is no room for it in the society the coalition is trying to build.

Everyone has the right to protest everyone has the right to freedom of speech but when innocent people like you and your staff cannot work in the office with the threat of violence then what is it all for.

I heard Nick Clegg on Radio two this afternoon showing his upset at the broken promise he made before the election regarding tuition fee's, if the country was not in such a mess then the promise made by the Lib-Dems would stand true, sadly something has to be done and doing nothing is not an option
 
While I'm certainly not going to condone violence, I support the right of students - and others - to protest at the changes being forced on the education sector.

The pledge to vote against tuition fees was made in full knowledge of the economic situation, which had not worsened when the coalition agreement was made - in some respects, it had slightly improved.

Clegg knew that the manifesto commitment could only ever be fulfilled in the improbable event that a Lib Dem majority government was formed. As the devil did not choose election day to ice skate around Hades, this didn't happen.

The pledge was designed to obtain student votes in the certain knowledge that it was never going to be carried out.

And Jerry, the coalition agreement specifically allows the Lib Dems to do nothing by abstaining on the issue. That isn't the same as voting against it, which is what John and others promised to do.
 
Protesting is not a problem. Violence and smashing things up is.
 
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