Skip to main content

The PM programme today

There link is to a petition complaining about what I said on the PM programme today.

Here is a transcript of the first part of the interview:
Well I think they're still in my office. It's like occupying a CAB. We deal with people who have very serious problems. Like one problem we have been prevented with dealing with is that of someone who is not getting any benefits at all although they are entitled to them. We can normally sort these things out reasonably qucikly and the students are saying that "we are allowing people in and out of the office". Well, these are confidential problems. They're not problems that you can just deal with and announce to the whole world that you are dealing with them. You need to deal with them in confidence. It is only right for the constituent.

Are you annoyed

I am quite annoyed because it is so selfish of them to do that. I don't mind if they want to protest and talk to me and have a protest outside. But you've got to think there are people in society who are quite vulnerable who are short of money and are having all sorts of things, serious problems and these students don't seem to care about them at all.

Have you had a conversation with them about tuition fees.

I did have a conversation with the President of Birmingham University Students Union and one of the Vice Presidents a couple of three weeks ago. They asked to come and see me and I agreed to mee them and and we had a meeting. It was described as an occupation, but it wasn't in fact an occupation.

And how did that conversation go

Well, we had a discussion. You see my view is that the proposal from the government involves effectively a combination of the general taxation being used for perhaps a third of fhe funding and two thirds of funding coming from a collective form of funding based on graduates. Akin to a graduate tax, and my view is therefore that this is akin to the fairer alternative that we pledged to achieve or to press for.

Some people might find that hard to follow not least those who are sitting in your constituency office. It is not exacrtly the pledge you signed isn't it.

I find it hard to swallow that they care so little about vulnerable people that they are willing to disrupt the operation of my office.
The pledge is normally misrepresented by the NUS because the pledge has two strands to it. One strand is about not voting to increase tuition fees and the other strand is pressing for a fairer alternative and within there cannot be the concept that the amount of money that universities get has to be static the concept has to be that we are aiming to improve the system to a more equitable one. One that is based not on frightening off people on low incomes, but one that is fair and equitable one and that is the one that the government is proposing.

Would you say that you are a man that knows his own mind?

I am yes.

How are you going to vote on thursday.

At the moment I am very likely to vote for the increase simply because we cannot reward the bad behaviour from today. I have ...

Just a second, just a second part of your thinking may be to punish protestors

Well if they're going to behave this badly.
The problem you've got is this. If you reward this form of behaviour. If it has any effect which is a positive effect you are encouraging the behaviour in the future.

So you part of the reason you are going to reach your decision is based upon the protest.

Part of the reason has to be based upon the protest because I cannot allow that to have influenced me in any favourable manner whatsoever.

Why don't you know for sure how you are going to vote.

Because there are some factors that need to be identified between now and Thursday,.

What are they

One of the issues is what happens if people want to pay the tuition fees up front. I believe there should be some form of contribution towards lower earning graduates thats made during that process. There are also questions about the detailed implementation of the statutory instrument and the resolution as they come forward.

My view has been made entirely clear in that interview.
Part of the reason has to be based upon the protest because I cannot allow that to have influenced me in any favourable manner whatsoever.

Let me be entirely blunt about this. Disrupting the office today was not acceptable. Hence it should not have any favourable effect on the view I take when I come to vote.

It may not have any negative effect as well. However, those who are pressing this petition are arguing that such occupations are acceptable and that preventing my office from dealing with people's problems is an acceptable part of the political discourse.

I do not think it is.


Mark said…
You are a disgrace.
Lisa said…
I am stunned at Mr Hemmingway's comments: to think that the actions of a minority of people could influence this MP's vote on Thursday which will affect the future of millions of innocent people is appalling. What he is saying amounts to revenge voting tactics.

I do not condone illegal behaviour, but I do not believe the majority of students and future students would behave in this way. I do however, appreciate the anger that exists over this policy. The moves towards making concessions towards students from very poor backgrounds is nothing more than desperately trying to throw a few cherries into an utterly unpalatable cake mix at the last minute. A person's ability to pay a second mortgage for the rest of their lives (because once you add on living costs and interest...this is what it amounts to(!) is not dependant on their parent's circumstances so much as on their own (i.e. influenced by how much they can earn when they start their careers). That said, by all means, I agree that poorer students should receive some financial assistance to ensure that, combined with student loans, they do not struggle financially whilst doing their course.

I wonder how many of us would have ever voted LibDem or Conservative if we had known they had this nasty surprise in store? The solution I would propose Mr Hemming would be to raise fees to a more moderate level (say £5K maximum) and raise the higher rate of tax so that people like me (who enjoyed free higher education) can make a contribution towards future graduates because I do appreciate that our economy would do badly without them.
Sciamachy said…
I'm ashamed that I ever joined the LibDems & that I ever leafleted for them in Birmingham. What a truly petty attitude, that you would punish people for protesting against a policy that Vince Cable is introducing despite LibDem promises to scrap tuition fees. This shows exactly what sort of man Mr Hemming is. It's not what I worked to get into power. It's not what I voted for. It's not what I meant when I said I agreed with Nick. What a huge disappointment you've turned out to be.
You say you cannot be influenced by the protesters which is fair enough, but what about the rest of your constituents who elected YOU to represent THEM, surely you have to take their views to Westminster - not impose your views on them???
bread-sandwich said…
You realise these students protesting in your office won't have to pay the higher rates?

The people you punished are the children who haven't had a chance to have an education yet.

Do you really think that's justified?

Also, well done for keeping a nice, active blog which displays comments left by people who don't like what you say. I follow all my representatives this way, and it's always positive to see people making use of these systems.

I'm sorry that the protests have been stressful for you. I hope it doesn't take too long for your office to be useable again.

Best wishes
john said…
The rate of payment is going down for all graduates and for 25% they will pay less over their lifetime.

Popular posts from this blog

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Statement re Police investigation into Harassment and Perverting the Course of Justice.

It was recently reported that the police were not investigating the allegations of Perverting the Course of Justice that I had made. This came as a surprise to me as I had been told for some time that my allegations were to be considered once the VRR had been rejected. I have now had a very constructive meeting with Staffordshire police on Friday 29th June 2018 and the misunderstandings have been resolved. At that meeting the evidence relating to the perversion of the course of justice and the harassment campaign against my family were discussed. The police have decided to investigate both the perversion of the course of justice and also the harassment campaign. I would like to thank them for changing their decision and I accept their apology for the way in which they did that. I am also in possession of written confirmation a police force would be investigating allegations that a vulnerable witness has been harassed for trying to expose the campaign against me. I hope that the aut…

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).


R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…