Clegg paying price of fees vow blunder

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From: Robert Heys, Calderdale Liberal Democrats, Bar Lane, Sowerby Bridge.

AS a lifelong Liberal/Lib Dem activist I welcome your balanced assessment of the party’s contribution under Nick Clegg’s leadership, to the achievements of the present government, now reinforced by evidence of financial recovery which would not be occurring without the stability provided by a coalition (The Yorkshire Post, May 26).

I fear, however, that my leader’s volte face on the election promise to abolish student fees, without at least insisting on significant quid pro concessions from the Tories, was a serious, avoidable mistake which has (predictably) damaged Lib Dem credibility, and lent strength to calls for his replacement.

From: John Cole, Oakroyd Terrace, Baildon, Shipley.

I WRITE as a paid-up Liberal Democrat member and one determined to stick with the party that I first joined in 1961.

I agree very strongly with most of your Editorial (The Yorkshire Post, May 28) because I, too, believe that the last thing that the party either needs or can do with is a leadership contest. Nick Clegg is basically a decent guy of liberal instincts who got into bad company.

Where I part company with your opinion piece is where you assert that the Liberal Democrats “have played a role in sorting out the economic mess bequeathed by Labour”.

The assertion that our economic troubles 2008 onwards were caused by the then Labour government is a lie that has somehow gained status as conventional wisdom. I do not carry a torch for the Labour Party but I do carry one for intellectual honesty.

From: Janet Rowntree, Escrick, York.

NICK Clegg is right to look after the interests of all British people as part of the European Union. It would be extremely unwise, nay foolhardy, to turn our backs on our neighbours, the people with whom we do most of our trading. But, at the same time, we need to work very hard on improving inter-national relations across the world. Failure to do that would lead to further destructive conflict.

Such conflict has its roots, in part, in the anti-immigration propaganda which Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, is so avidly perpetrating. How disgusted I am that he was given so much media air time to promote his only obvious policy. He is a dangerous politician whose wings need to be clipped.

From: E Edwards, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

I HAVE been a loyal listener and viewer of the BBC for over 60 years and have admired its true independence and impartiality. However, over recent months, I have been disturbed by the “attack dog” tactics adopted by both BBC TV and radio presenters against Ukip speakers. BBC presenters – who are normally well-mannered and professional – suddenly become aggressive, interrupt, show disrespect and allow other guests the opportunity to join in the attack.

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

THE media have made a big splash about Ukip and congratulations are in order. The Lib Dems have been hit hard, but there was a similar situation in 1989 and the Lib Dems are now in government.

What about Ukip long term? They are a coalition of malcontents and political novices and, as a coherent force, their ability to stay the course is highly unlikely. My prediction is that their appeal will quickly fade. They are a protest party united only by prejudice and fear.

From: Bill Heppell, Rawcliffe Lane, York.

I AM a socialist by birth and instinct but who in their right mind would vote Labour if Ed Balls had anything to do with the finances? The Blair/Brown governments invaded Iraq on a tissue of lies and left that country in ruins; their financial incompetence and failure to monitor the banks left our country in ruins also. Ukip is a protest vote? So what? We are protesting against the established parties and the EU.

From: James Anthony Bulmer, Peel Street, Horbury, Wakefield.

THE recent elections with all the publicity and hullabaloo, especially Ukip’s, has still only attracted 36 per cent of the electorate to turn out and vote. Democracy or despondency?

Could I respectfully ask Mr Farage why have Ukip members put their names up for the European Parliament? Are they expecting to be expelled for non-attendance or will they veto every proposition?

From: Peter Asquith-Cowen, First Lane, Anlaby, Near Beverley.

NICK Clegg is not an outstanding politician. Making promises he could not fulfil was naive, stupid and dangerous. Next May, I predict the Lib Dems will vanish off the radar.

The Lib Dems are seen as “wishy-washy” with no solid, clear policies. However, they are also seen as the lackeys of the Tories, weakly endorsing the policy of austerity. Already, where I live, a Lib Dem councillor has defected to the Tories, now, at last, showing her true colours.

From: Robert Craig, Priory Road, Weston-super-Mare.

Nick Clegg needs David Cameron as much as Cameron and George Osborne need Clegg to protect their pro-EU Conservative Party from its Ukip tendency. The Lib Dems will only survive by merging with the Tory Party.