A great many people are asking me why I am not leaving the Lib Dems. Well, I am a party member because of John Bright and John Stuart Mill. I am not leaving it because of a nonentity like Nick Clegg.
I am hugely angry over tuition fees. The policy itself, with the effective withdrawal of the state from university teaching and the reinforcement of social division, is a terrible disaster. The blatant display of political opportunism and bad faith by Cless and his ilk will poison politics for a generation.
But not only am I staying in the Lib Dems, I am seeking actively to recruit students. A very high proportion of the student vote went to the Lib Dems at the last election. Those genuine Lib Dem voters are absolutely entitled to join the party. They voted Lib Dem – this is not entryism from outside.
Every Lib Dem MP must win a majority of a vote of his local party members to be reselected.
Under clause 11.7 of the Federal Constitution if a sitting MP wishes to be reselected they have to either:
win a majority vote of the members present at a local party general meeting (conducted by secret ballot)
If that resolution is defeated then the MP can request a ballot of all members of the local party.
I want to see many, many students join the party, in places like, oh, Sheffield Hallam, for example. The answer to the disillusion of students with our democratic system is for them to join the party and actively participate in, oh, Nick Clegg’s reselection vote, for example.