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Friday, 31 December 2010

A Year of Living Rough.

 
8 months since the Coalition took power from a bankrupt Labour government and the pitch hasn't changed one bit. Still the government claims to be leading the "Good Fight" against a budget deficit created by a one-eyed dour Scotsman. Though the Conservatives have stopped going around promising change and no longer speak critically of the politics of the last 30 years. As that might be a fly in the ointment when the public notice the similarities of the current regime and those we've endured since 1979. The shadow platform of the Lib Dems is now laid bare for all to see, with the consequences visible in plummeting approval ratings. Meanwhile New Labour has found a new leader who strongly resembles a Simpson, which isn't bad considering the Conservative leader looks more like shiny evil than an actual organism. On a more serious note Ed Miliband made positive detours from the lurch to the Right by the Labour Party, which saw Britain being led into wars for oil and gas, but has presented a luke-warm opposition to the Con-Dem Coalition on the cuts and tuition fees.

David Cameron, the harbinger of an austere Dickensian future, has issued a New Year message which begins by reassuring us that he is an optimist when it comes to people, human nature and the future of Britain. Going onto claim that the Prime Minister begins the New Year with the same positive outlook he had back in May. In doing so Cameron displays a caution for negativity, which can be a turn-off for voters, opting for a golden mean of rhetorical prestidigitation. He stresses that if we resolve the "real problem" of British society, namely the budget deficit and the economy, we can be one of the "international success stories of the new decade". Then Cameron reverts to a commonsensical position, "We have been living seriously beyond our means, we have to sort this out. Every sensible person knows this." He then posits that it would be easy to delay the cuts and highlights action (e.g. immediate and savage cuts) as the right course to take. This is a conscious attempt to evoke not only the dark outlook of conservatism but also the "idealistic" side of resolving problems by preserving traditional values, responsibility and order.

Keep in mind that the Conservative Party of today is most definitely Thatcherite, if not hyper-Thatcherite, in character and the only traditional values that matter are the ones established in 1979. Forgot community, civic duty and responsibility. Remember individuality, freedom and self-interest. Private vices equal public benefits, or so they will claim. Buying goods produced in sweat shops is good because it employs children, keeping them from abuse and sexual exploitation (in theory), this is the thinking of the Conservative Party. The Coalition is not lying in claiming to be creating the "Big Society" as a society in which government is small may be one which could be considered "big". Public relations at its best.  We've been sold cuts from the very start of Cameron's term. The long-term aim is small government, where everything from the NHS to the BBC is privately owned and taxes have been cut in half - more like Goldwater Conservatism than Red Toryism.

The Prime Minister goes on to say that "Britain has a really bright future to look forward to. 2011 is going to be a difficult year as we take hard but necessary steps to sort things out. But the actions we are taking are essential, because they are putting our economy and our country on the right path. Together, we can make 2011 the year that Britain gets back on its feet." This is emotive waffle, words typed up to sound nice and reassure the listeners to the insecurity of the path the Cameron ministry is taking this country. Following this waffle Cameron inserts some interesting claims, apparently New Labour racked up the biggest deficit in peace time history. Actually government debt didn't drop below 70% until the late 70s and early 80s under the Irony Lady, before that it was well over 100% for almost 50 years and during that time the welfare state was constructed. He goes on to evoke the widely covered crises in Greece and Ireland, even though we're not in the same situation as either country. Let alone the hypocrisy, David Cameron has backed the bailing out of Irish banks this year and will not doubt do the same during the next financial crisis here.

It becomes evident that Mr Cameron fears the country's credit rating is at stake, that we're facing rising interest rates and falling business confidence, before keenly reiterating that the deficit was inherited from New Labour and Gordon Brown - Labour's John Major. He conveniently forgets to mention that the Irish debt increased following huge austerity measures and that Britain had the lowest debt in proportion to GDP out of the G7 countries. After this Cameron goes on to claim that the Coalition has already "pulled Britain out of that danger zone" through some tough decisions in the Budget Review. At this point the Prime Minister introduces a justification, the ends justify the means, economic growth is predicted to rise from 2011 and even further in 2012. After attributing the growth achieved in 2010 to the Coalition's policies, and not Labour's "imprudent spending", Cameron concludes that we must swallow the Con-Dem prescription of austerity. He then repeats the old Thatcherite mantra "There is no alternative" and claims that it would be irresponsible to avoid cuts.

Following this is a load of noise about intentions, the national interest, aspiration, practicality and not ideology, as well as a reminder that "We're all in this together" before claiming contradictorily that "We want to bring people with us". Some noise about economic dynamism, more bank lending, greater deregulation and greater investment in the "sectors of the future". All of which is so vague no one could oppose them, except the part about deregulation which partly caused the financial crisis. After all this noise, the Prime Minister reminds we the people of the threat of international terrorism and radical Islamism. Noting the recent arrests of terrorist suspects the Prime Minister states this government will give the police the full support and defeat those who threaten our values and way of life. Just like New Labour the Con-Dems are looking to get the public to accept repressive policies - whether it be an attack on civil liberties or the welfare state - by evoking patriotism and advocating defensive violence against an external threat.


To avoid any scandals Mr Cameron highlights that the threat of Islamist violence is from a minority in the Muslim community. Soon after Cameron ensures that the door for more wars overseas is open by saying "We also need to take action with our international partners (US) abroad." As WikiLeaks has shown we are currently in the grips of another pro-American government, which has no problem with paying £80 billion to replenish American nuclear weapons we're allowed to hold onto and use when Washington gives the order. In the last minute the message descends into pure emotivism, the words were mostly hollowed out for public consumption, like a speech at a fascist rally. The emphasis is on making Britain is a "better, stronger and safer country" which is a meaningless platitude as no one would ever want to make Britain worse, weaker and less safe. The New Year message ends with words crafted by a PR-team "If 2010 is the year we stopped the rot, we can make 2011 the year that Britain gets back on her feet." To the government the public are a bewildered herd to be feared and manipulated, this is the reason behind the rhetoric and the gloss.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Ballardian State of Nature.

The Noble Savage.
 
In Ballard's High-Rise (1975) we see the professional inhabitants of a luxurious apartment building descend into mayhem and debauchery. It began with wild sectarian parties, then the swimming pools and the school were cut off from the dwellers of the lower levels. Gradually the high-rise becomes more and more cut off from the outside world. As the services of the high-rise begin to break down, a war breaks out between the middle floors and the lower floors. Barricades are put up to keep marauders at bay. Dogs are released into the air-vents and hunted down for food by the tenants. Initially the metaphorical class system of the high-rise degenerates to a stratified array of competing tribes - a war of all against all - and then further to the level of disassociated hunter-gatherers. This is reflected by bizarre rituals of sexual domination, Wilder drifts from floor to floor sleeping with numerous women along the way as Royal creates a sort of "harem" on the 40th floor. 

The protagonists are Robert Laing, Richard Wilder and Anthony Royal, who reside in each of the three segments. Laing is recently divorced and is trained physician who teaches at a medical school, to avoid entering the field of a general practitioner and treating patients. Ironically Laing has found his first "patients" by the end of High-Rise. Wilder works in the television studies and initially tries to produce a documentary on the high-rise. He moves into the high-rise with his wife Helen and two sons, but abandons them to "climb" the building - a metaphor for the meritocrat. Royal is one of the architects of the high-rise, he resides on the 40th floor with his upper-class wife and attempts to cultivate a position of power over the whole building. In these aristocratic pursuits, the polar opposite of Wilder's "ascent", Royal builds an entourage of servants and a "harem" (including Helen Wilder) at the top of the high-rise.


At first the segmented nature of the high-rise is a metaphor for the class system, the first 10 floors are occupied by the lowest earners and represent the proletariat. The top five floors are occupied by the highest earners and most prestigious tenants, like Anthony Royal on the 40th floor, whilst floors 10 to 35 are inhabited by a kind of middle-class. Though the entire building is home to professionals, the kind of people who would be regarded as members of the bourgeoisie, who are brought down to earth as the high-rise seems to unleash primitive behaviours among the tenants. The bourgeois veneer falls away as the characters hold back less and less, from alcohol and parties to sex and violence, as if venturing into a primeval realm where one's true self might be found. Out of the main characters it is Laing who seems to find himself in the chaotic trajectory of life in the high-rise. By the time we are introduced to him, from which point the rest of the story is told in flashback, Laing is content eating dog in his apartment with Alice and Eleanor.


The most vitriolic of Ballard's detractors would claim that his characters remain two-dimensional, lack development, and Ballard's works are totally plot driven. This is ignorant of the way Ballard externalises human experience to the point that the changing setting becomes an extension of the characters. In High-Rise the building itself becomes a revealing extension to the development of characters. For instance, Richard Wilder begins on the second level and ends on the roof of the building. Wilder abandons his wife Helen and sons, locking them inside the apartment, to pursue reaching the 40th floor and a confrontation with Anthony Royal. He gradually becomes a bearded, almost naked, savage in this pursuit. The plans to make a documentary about the high-rise have faded by the novel's conclusion, the camera Wilder carried around with him to shoot the opening for the documentary is reduced to a inanimate object - the purpose of which he no longer understands. Towards the end the graffiti and vandalised walls of the high-rise are in the process of being replenished it would seem, as a new social order emerges.


A War of All against All.

This view of a war of all against all may be Hobbesian, but the wider view is a Rousseauian one. Many of the works of JG Ballard focus on the pathological aspects of Western civilisation, car crashes are eroticised and human beings adapt to life on a traffic island. The social order of a Leviathan idealised by Thomas Hobbes is not found in contemporary society. Instead social decay is  almost omnipresent and at the root of it all is the development of civilisation, specifically the striving towards a social order which would be born from the innovations of science and technology. The high-rise itself is a product of this striving, which is precisely why it is the ideal setting for the story, it is partly the force behind the destruction of the order it is striving for - namely, the primeval desires unleashed within the confines of the high-rise. The capitalist social order is the first to be dissolved in the apartment building, which in turn opens up a void where a new tribalism reigns only for this to fragment into a perpetual war between individuals.


Royal and Pangbourne, a gynaecologist, share the view that the high-rise is a liminoid experience from which a new social order may emerge. In the high-rise the average tenant has entered into a common realm with others, while the identity and status bestowed on them by society is gradually lost. Personal identities as well as relations to others are explored, challenged and decimated to give way for a new set of identities. Near the climax of High-Rise Royal no longer enjoys the life of "zoo-keeper" and identifies more and more with the scavenging gulls, earlier in the novel he even notes that his white safari jacket and greying hair is similar to the feathers of these birds. The transition from "zoo-keeper" to "non-human animal" would not necessarily be a hidden desire to be one of the herd as the gulls are free to fly away. Anthony Royal is passive whereas Richard Wilder is rebellious in his ascent of the building, whereas Robert Laing is the "moderate witness" who survives the vicissitudes which transpire as the social order crumbles.


In the end Royal is shot dead by Wilder, who is in turn killed and cannibalised by the women of the high-rise and Laing is left cooking an Alsatian for the two women barricaded in his apartment with him. After the layers of a social fabric produced by economic relations dissolve in the high-rise, as does the successive stages of tribes and hunter-gatherers, the only remaining order is patriarchal and it is next to breakdown. In killing Royal, Richard Wilder has completed his ascent and in doing so has initiated a paradigm shift so radical that the transition destroys him. The women of Royal's "harem", who are described as Wilder's new mothers, turn their carving knives on Richard Wilder as he reaches the penthouse and strips naked. The raiding parties are led by Helen Wilder, who let Robert Laing live as he appears submissive to Alice and Eleanor - a form of passivity to the new order perhaps. As Laing cooks Royal's favourite dog, a white Alsatian, for Alice and Eleanor he is at peace as he notices that the events of the building are spreading to another apartment block nearby.


Although Rousseau adhered to a conception of the state of nature which was harmonious and individualistic, High-Rise is not purely Rousseauian in themes as Ballard's vision is of a collective and not of individualism. The tenants of the high-rise began as atomised individuals and by the novel's conclusion the building is in transition. The contagious spread of the events in the high-rise to another building nearby represents the beginning of a shift to collectivism devoid of the boundaries propped up in the preceding orders. The confines of the high-rise could not constrain the events in the end. The radical shifts which systematically undermine and breakdown every paradigm to emerge in High-Rise may be driving towards a kind of "zero-point" like the state of nature. A point where divisions of class and sex have been smashed, the heights of subjective freedom, though not realised through the state as that would still require a reliance on scientific and technological innovation. The vision portrayed is anarchic, to say the least, and there are early signs of a radical feminism emerging as the "zero-point".

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Angry White Men of the World, Unite!

 

The English Defence League has taken a time out from the campaign of race-baiting against less than 2 million Muslims in Britain, but particularly targeting Asian Muslims, to react to the student demonstrations in their own special way. The leader of the movement is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who goes by the name of "Tommy Robinson", who attacked the students in a speech this week. The former BNP member and football hooligan accused the students of "living off their dad's fucking bank cards" and not knowing what it means to be working-class. During the speech Mr Yaxley-Lennon issued a threat "The next time the students want to protest in our capital, the English Defence League will be there." This is a part of the EDL new approach of ruining left-wing meetings and denouncing trade unions as "communist", the movement is now engaged in the kind of red-baiting that still goes on across the pond.

The EDL seems to adhere to a vicious brand of evolutionary economics, whereby the strong rise and the weak fall, which is a departure from the traditional third-way economics of distributism. This is in line with the "permissive" aspects of post-modern nationalism, which is why they will claim to be defenders of freedom of speech against political-correctness. The kind of individualism the EDL favours is no doubt subordinate to nationhood. It may be a defence of free-speech but it's really about defending "English values", as if freedom was exclusively British. This extreme economic shift began with the BNP supporting the cuts and putting forward proposal of £200 billion in public spending cuts over a year, which would have decimated the welfare state and devastated the working-class. Though as this new strategy has accelerated the decline of the Party, the BNP have resorted to a vague list of cuts it advocates.

Not only would it appear that the EDL are now running with the stance that the BNP abandoned, but the growth of the League is now partly the cause of the decline of the BNP. The electoralist approach of Nick Griffin is perceived as a failure on the far-right and the EDL is a regression to the street level thuggery. As the EDL were originally just another force to collude with, the League have seized onto the "common cause" of stamping out the British Muslim community. From this there is a kind of unity among neo-Nazis and angry white men in general, but now the EDL is seeking to harden it's right-wing base in it's opposition to student demonstrations and trade unions. At the same time, the EDL has sought to allign itself with the Islamophobic wing of the Tea Party. The new line of the League on cuts might strengthen the link to the Tea Party and the American chickenhawks  who have been on board for taking on Islamism for a long time.

In Fascist ideology the class struggle is typically displaced, the EDL are no different in this sense. The idea of an English working-class is posited against an exploitative left-wing elite who have capitulated to radical Islamists. Notice that neo-fascists have yet to replace European Jewry as a scapegoat which appeals to the upper-classes just as much as it does to the working-classes. To the rich the Jew was a communist and to the poor the Jew was a banker, the virulent anti-Semitism of the Nazis externalised the tension between classes onto a "common enemy" and we all know what happened thereafter. Instead the EDL have to stick to the same line as the BNP have been, that "Islamization" is being imposed as part of a conspiracy between a left-wing media and a liberal elite.


The "intellectual" leadership of the EDL is most certainly National Socialist in character, just as the leadership of the BNP has been since it's emergence in 1982, complete with the same old genocidal intentions. The foot soldiers are typically the standard football thug with just enough brain cells to hate everything foreign. But the base of the BNP and the EDL are not consciously fascist, which is the reason for the carefully maintained veneer of railing against a culture and not a race. Cultural chauvinism is something picked up from the New Right, which focuses on the incompatibility of the culture of a "race" and thereby targets the minority indirectly. Just as old-fashioned racism is making a return, race-related harassment and violence has increased in recent times from 13,000 in 1997 to 53,000 in 2005. 35,000 of which consistuted assault. Now we can see Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Hill defend the use of slurs such as "Paki" and "nigger".


The base of the EDL is no different than any other far-right group, it consists mostly of working-class men who have been dispossessed over the last 30 years and have legitimate grievances. The working-class has been neglected and it's grievances have been ignored by the establishment. Unemployment and stagnant wages being a serious concern. The line of the reactionary press is that the markets are efficient and produce enough jobs for all people. From this view the only explanation for unemployment is that the jobless are lazy scum or that their jobs have been "stolen" by foreigners. It's assumed that the system is perfect and has only been disrupted by "meddlesome entities" (e.g. foreigners and scroungers). When actually the case is that the markets are inefficient and don't provide jobs for all. Enter the EDL, who take advantage of a source of untapped rage and acknowledge the grievances by offering ways of restoring order - e.g. cutting off all benefits and putting a stop to Muslim immigration.

The malicious defence of authority and the erosion of welfare liberalism for the sake of "social order" is partly about solidifying a ultra-rightist base, it appeals to the bourgeois sectors of society. Equally it is about the long-term future of the EDL, whether or not it is intended to be. The end of the welfare state does have the potential to enlarge and intensify support for far-right groups, as would a double-dip recession. As it would ensure the kind of conditions that produce and sustain groups like the EDL, e.g. high unemployment, stagnant wages and greater inequality. Though it is possible that this manoeuvre will drive away working-class support for the League, as opposition to the cuts could increase rapidly as demonstrated by the student protests. Hopefully the EDL will find itself outnumbered by going down this route.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Month X.


For the Love of Democracy.

After a month of protest by students across the nation the proposals were rammed through Parliament thanks to just over 20 MPs. None of whom are worth naming, as they will no doubt die having accomplished nothing in life, now it's left to the Lords. The 30,000 that came out to demonstrate across London on December 9th were irrelevant and had no role to play in the decision. As are the thousands who demonstrated in the weeks leading up to the vote, that began with over 50,000 on November 10th and peaked at 130,000 on November 24th. For that reason the decision was obscenely undemocratic. If the Orange Book Liberals cared about democracy they would immediately resign and end this coalition government. This is not the defeat of a grass-roots movement, as it was only passed by the skin of it's bollocks thanks to the spontaneity and ingenuity of the protesters. It is a sign that the movement must go further and a solid block of resistance is needed to undermine the cuts agenda.

The most vulgar elements of the media have latched onto the more chaotic scenes in Parliament Square to demonise the protesters and the student movement as a whole. The coverage focused on David Gilmour's lad swinging from a Union Jack on the Cenotaph and the non-event of the Royal Rolls getting a new paint-job. Even though 44 protesters were injured, compared with 12 police officers (one of which fell off of his horse), the right-wing media prefers to focus on the "crimes" of the rabble and the need for greater police powers. Never mind Alfie Meadows who needed emergency brain-surgery after being beaten with a baton. Never mind Jody McIntyre who was assaulted and thrown from his wheelchair, more than once, before being dragged to the pavement. Never mind young girls being beaten in the streets by officers of the law. We're the animals, we're the feral mob, because one of us urinated on Churchill's statue and swung from the Cenotaph.

After these demonstrations the notion that the police are just civil servants and are working to protect citizens has been decimated. In the mayhem in Parliament Square the police were not civil servants to the public but armed tools of the state. Though a cynic would say that we all knew what the police were before, the kettling and beating of teenagers only affirmed it. At a deeper level the state apparatus of liberal democracy can be seen to be breaking down. The Conservatives have no real democratic mandate to rule as a majority government, which is effectively is going on because of the support of the Liberal Democrats. The government needed the police to suppress the demonstrations, thus dragging disabled bloggers through the street and charging on students is necessary for the sake of "order". So the government can refuse to listen to our demands and write off all opposition as unrealistic, "There is no alternative" is the mantra as it was under Margaret Thatcher.


The Impossible?

Even though public spending on higher education is 0.7% of GDP and government debt is 70% of GDP. If you are in favour of deficit reduction putting the burden on students for the sake of cutting the deficit by 0.7% is hardly worth it. Especially when it has the potential to deter students from pursuing higher education and the fulfilling life that might be led as a result of it. Though if you consider that debt was 260% of GDP just after World War II you might start to question whether or not any of these cuts are necessary. It was austere policies based on liberal economic theories which led to and exacerbated the Crash of 1929, which in turn led to the Great Depression. The debt is not a crisis but a problem that can be dealt with over time by boosting economic growth which will increase tax-revenues. It is taxes that are the key to the current predicament, as public spending became unsustainable due to a collapse in tax-revenues during the recession.
 
Cutting public spending will only lead to a negative multiplier effect and pull the rug from under the feet of all reliant on the state - except the very rich who benefit from a slack tax-system. For every job lost in the public sector one could easily be lost in the private sector, as the two are interdependent and the economy has been mixed for decades. The impact of these cuts on our society could be dire in the long-term. For instance the systematic erosion of the welfare state will create a coercive welfare-to-work system dominated by private interests and a decrepit training scheme. At the same time the growth of the private sector is meagre and the Coalition needs a serious policy to create jobs. Instead of a serious policy the Con-Dems are cutting national insurance to reward businesses for hiring the unemployed, but these subsidised jobs will be at the minimum wage and will most likely drive down wages across the workforce.

Of course, most people who go to university will earn far more than the minimum wage which begs the question "Why should a postman pay for your university education?" Because a greater access to education is beneficial to society, greater access to education leads to greater freedom for all. The UK spends less than the US and Poland on higher education, Sweden spends 1.4% of it's GDP on higher education and has far better results than our system. Science and maths have been prioritised in this country because there is high demand, in finance, for workers skilled in those areas. This is part of the financialisation of the economy, which is currently being intensified. There are no signs are serious regulations and taxes being levied on the banking sector anytime soon. There is not going to be a serious crackdown on tax-evasion and avoidance, let alone white-collar crime. At the same time the abandonment of capital investment, e.g. building and modernising schools and hospitals, could result in greater job losses in construction.

Revolutionary.

It has been said that the resurgence of student radicalism has surpassed the militancy of 1968 when enormous student demonstrations rushed across the West. Although the student movement in this country has not come close to the French movement of '68, that almost toppled the government, in terms of spontaneity the movement is greater. It took over many years for serious opposition to Vietnam and de Gaulle to emerge. It is a misconception that today people are less radical and activism is less common than it was in the 1960s. The 2003 invasion of Iraq faced tremendous opposition even before it was launched, the millions of people who demonstrated against the war in London is a testament to the progress made since Vietnam. Today demonstrations often pre-empt the opposed policy, that is true in the case of the Iraq war as well as the cuts to education and raising of tuition fees.

Students can be seen as a barometer for the pressures and tensions building up in society. This is the reason that the 1960s student movement had such a massive impact in France and across the West. Though the cultural revolution of the 60s led to calls for sexual and gender liberation, a shift towards greater freedoms and rights, some of which has since been assimilated into the dominant ideology in the form of cheap hedonism. The radicalism which emerged against the Coalition has not instigated a cultural revolution, it could be a sign of things to come and a revolutionary shake up of the establishment is well overdue in this country. But it's difficult to say what the legacy of this movement will be. It is only in retrospect that we can look back at the 60s as the source of the individualistic tendencies that would be seized upon by the Thatcherites in the 1980s. So it is possible that we are entering a new phase in British politics.

The student movement is quite varied and somewhat schismatic, you can find yourself marching alongside communists and liberals, there is no one leader and no solid ideology. This is appropriate as the student body consists of all classes and is in a liminal state of transition. Thus, the body is fluid and has volatile potential. In another sense the students are mostly devoid of political baggage, though the conditions in society have disposed many of us to cynicism and pessimism. It is difficult to say what will come of this movement. But what we can learn from the 1960s is that student movements cannot win alone. France was brought to the brink of revolution in 1968 before the movement was defused and the government made massive concessions. Those concessions would not have been made if it weren't for the invaluable role the general strike played, as students do not have access to economic power. A movement to defend the welfare state is needed.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Who said "Aye" to Raising Tuition Fees?


This is a list of all the MPs who voted "aye" to raise tuition fees, including the slim amount of Lib Dems who voted for the proposal. You may notice some prominent names here and even your own MP. If you're concerned with what is happening to our society you should act, even if it is just a letter or an email to the MP. There have been numerous demonstrations in recent weeks and there will be more to come in 2011 no doubt. Feel free to join us on the streets against this morally bankrupt government and help cut the democratic deficit. The format for emails being alexanderd@parliament.uk to take Danny Alexander as an example. First up are the Liberal Democrats who were vital in squeezing this proposal through Parliament.

Danny Alexander
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
LDem
aye


Norman Baker
Lewes
LDem
aye


Alan Beith
Berwick-upon-Tweed
LDem
aye


Gordon Birtwistle
Burnley
LDem
aye


Tom Brake
Carshalton and Wallington
LDem
aye


Jeremy Browne
Taunton Deane
LDem
aye


Malcolm Bruce
Gordon
LDem
aye


Paul Burstow
Sutton and Cheam
LDem
aye


Vincent Cable
Twickenham
LDem
aye


Alistair Carmichael
Orkney and Shetland
LDem
aye


Nicholas Clegg
Sheffield, Hallam
LDem
aye


Edward Davey
Kingston and Surbiton
LDem
aye


Lynne Featherstone
Hornsey and Wood Green
LDem
aye


Don Foster
Bath
LDem
aye


Stephen Gilbert
St Austell and Newquay
LDem
aye


Duncan Hames
Chippenham
LDem
aye


Nick Harvey
North Devon
LDem
aye


David Heath
Somerton and Frome
LDem
aye


John Hemming
Birmingham, Yardley
LDem
aye


Mark Hunter
Cheadle
LDem
tellaye


Norman Lamb
North Norfolk
LDem
aye


David Laws
Yeovil
LDem
aye


Michael Moore
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
LDem
aye


Andrew Stunell
Hazel Grove
LDem
aye


Jo Swinson
East Dunbartonshire
LDem
aye


Sarah Teather
Brent Central
LDem
aye


David Ward
Bradford East
LDem
aye


Steve Webb
Thornbury and Yate
LDem
aye

Here are the names of Liberals who voted against the proposals:
Annette Brooke
(Dorset Mid and Poole North)
Sir Menzies Campbell (Fife North East)
Michael Crockart (Edinburgh West)
Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Andrew George (St Ives)
Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South)
Julian Huppert (Cambridge)
Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
John Leech (Manchester Withington)
Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne)
Greg Mulholland (Leeds North-West)
John Pugh (Southport)
Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute)
Dan Rogerson (Cornwall North)
Bob Russell (Colchester)
Adrian Sanders (Torbay)
Ian Swales (Redcar)
Mark Williams (Ceredigion)
Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central)
Simon Wright (Norwich South)

Lib Dem Abstainers: Lorely Burt (Solihull), Martin Horwood (Cheltenham), Simon Hughes (Bermondsey and Old Southwark), Chris Huhne (Eastleigh), Tessa Munt (Wells), Sir Robert Smith (Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine), John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) and Stephen Williams (Bristol West). Note that Huhne and Horwood would have voted in favour of the proposals but were unable to make it to Parliament.

Here are the few Conservatives who rebelled from the party-line:
Philip Davies (Shipley)
David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden)
Julian Lewis (New Forest East)
Jason McCartney (Colne Valley)
Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole)
Mark Reckless (Rochester and Strood)



Now here are the Tories voting almost unanimously for higher tuition fees and cuts for higher education. But they couldn't have done it without the Liberals.

Nigel Adams
Selby and Ainsty
Con
aye


Adam Afriyie
Windsor
Con
aye


Peter Aldous
Waveney
Con
aye


David Amess
Southend West
Con
aye


Stuart Andrew
Pudsey
Con
aye


James Arbuthnot
North East Hampshire
Con
aye


Richard Bacon
South Norfolk
Con
aye


Louise Bagshawe
Corby
Con
aye


Steven Baker
Wycombe
Con
aye


Tony Baldry
Banbury
Con
aye


Harriett Baldwin
West Worcestershire
Con
aye


Stephen Barclay
North East Cambridgeshire
Con
aye


Gregory Barker
Bexhill and Battle
Con
aye


John Baron
Basildon and Billericay
Con
aye


Gavin Barwell
Croydon Central
Con
aye


Guto Bebb
Aberconwy
Con
aye


Henry Bellingham
North West Norfolk
Con
aye


Richard Benyon
Newbury
Con
aye


Paul Beresford
Mole Valley
Con
aye


Jake Berry
Rossendale and Darwen
Con
aye


Andrew Bingham
High Peak
Con
aye


Brian Binley
Northampton South
Con
aye


Bob Blackman
Harrow East
Con
aye


Nicola Blackwood
Oxford West and Abingdon
Con
aye


Crispin Blunt
Reigate
Con
aye


Nicholas Boles
Grantham and Stamford
Con
aye


Peter Bone
Wellingborough
Con
aye


Peter Bottomley
Worthing West
Con
aye


Karen Bradley
Staffordshire Moorlands
Con
aye


Graham Brady
Altrincham and Sale West
Con
aye


Angie Bray
Ealing Central and Acton
Con
aye


Julian Brazier
Canterbury
Con
aye


Andrew Bridgen
North West Leicestershire
Con
aye


Steve Brine
Winchester
Con
aye


James Brokenshire
Old Bexley and Sidcup
Con
aye


Fiona Bruce
Congleton
Con
aye


Robert Buckland
South Swindon
Con
aye


Aidan Burley
Cannock Chase
Con
aye


Conor Burns
Bournemouth West
Con
aye


Simon Burns
Chelmsford
Con
aye


David Burrowes
Enfield, Southgate
Con
aye


Alistair Burt
North East Bedfordshire
Con
aye


Dan Byles
North Warwickshire
Con
aye


Alun Cairns
Vale of Glamorgan
Con
aye


David Cameron
Witney
Con
aye


Neil Carmichael
Stroud
Con
aye


Douglas Carswell
Clacton
Con
aye


William Cash
Stone
Con
aye


Rehman Chishti
Gillingham and Rainham
Con
aye


Christopher Chope
Christchurch
Con
aye


James Clappison
Hertsmere
Con
aye


Greg Clark
Tunbridge Wells
Con
aye


Kenneth Clarke
Rushcliffe
Con
aye


Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
The Cotswolds
Con
aye


Therese Coffey
Suffolk Coastal
Con
aye


Damian Collins
Folkestone and Hythe
Con
aye


Oliver Colvile
Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport
Con
aye


Geoffrey Cox
Torridge and West Devon
Con
aye


Stephen Crabb
Preseli Pembrokeshire
Con
aye


David Davies
Monmouth
Con
aye


Glyn Davies
Montgomeryshire
Con
aye


Nick de Bois
Enfield North
Con
aye


Caroline Dinenage
Gosport
Con
aye


Jonathan Djanogly
Huntingdon
Con
aye


Stephen Dorrell
Charnwood
Con
aye


Nadine Dorries
Mid Bedfordshire
Con
aye


Jackie Doyle-Price
Thurrock
Con
aye


Richard Drax
South Dorset
Con
aye


James Duddridge
Rochford and Southend East
Con
aye


Alan Duncan
Rutland and Melton
Con
aye


Iain Duncan Smith
Chingford and Woodford Green
Con
aye


Philip Dunne
Ludlow
Con
tellaye


Michael Ellis
Northampton North
Con
aye


Jane Ellison
Battersea
Con
aye


Tobias Ellwood
Bournemouth East
Con
aye


Charlie Elphicke
Dover
Con
aye


George Eustice
Camborne and Redruth
Con
aye


Graham Evans
Weaver Vale
Con
aye


Jonathan Evans
Cardiff North
Con
aye


David Evennett
Bexleyheath and Crayford
Con
aye


Michael Fabricant
Lichfield
Con
aye


Michael Fallon
Sevenoaks
Con
aye


Mark Field
Cities of London and Westminster
Con
aye


Liam Fox
North Somerset
Con
aye


Mark Francois
Rayleigh and Wickford
Con
aye


George Freeman
Mid Norfolk
Con
aye


Mike Freer
Finchley and Golders Green
Con
aye


Lorraine Fullbrook
South Ribble
Con
aye


Richard Fuller
Bedford
Con
aye


Roger Gale
North Thanet
Con
aye


Edward Garnier
Harborough
Con
aye


Mark Garnier
Wyre Forest
Con
aye


David Gauke
South West Hertfordshire
Con
aye


Nick Gibb
Bognor Regis and Littlehampton
Con
aye


Cheryl Gillan
Chesham and Amersham
Con
aye


John Glen
Salisbury
Con
aye


Zac Goldsmith
Richmond Park
Con
aye


Robert Goodwill
Scarborough and Whitby
Con
aye


Michael Gove
Surrey Heath
Con
aye


Richard Graham
Gloucester
Con
aye


Helen Grant
Maidstone and The Weald
Con
aye


James Gray
North Wiltshire
Con
aye


Chris Grayling
Epsom and Ewell
Con
aye


Damian Green
Ashford
Con
aye


Justine Greening
Putney
Con
aye


Dominic Grieve
Beaconsfield
Con
aye


Andrew Griffiths
Burton
Con
aye


Ben Gummer
Ipswich
Con
aye


Sam Gyimah
East Surrey
Con
aye


William Hague
Richmond (Yorks)
Con
aye


Robert Halfon
Harlow
Con
aye


Philip Hammond
Runnymede and Weybridge
Con
aye


Stephen Hammond
Wimbledon
Con
aye


Matthew Hancock
West Suffolk
Con
aye


Greg Hands
Chelsea and Fulham
Con
aye


Mark Harper
Forest of Dean
Con
aye


Richard Harrington
Watford
Con
aye


Rebecca Harris
Castle Point
Con
aye


Simon Hart
Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
Con
aye


Alan Haselhurst
Saffron Walden
Con
aye


John Hayes
South Holland and The Deepings
Con
aye


Oliver Heald
North East Hertfordshire
Con
aye


Chris Heaton-Harris
Daventry
Con
aye


Gordon Henderson
Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Con
aye


Charles Hendry
Wealden
Con
aye


Nick Herbert
Arundel and South Downs
Con
aye


Damian Hinds
East Hampshire
Con
aye


Mark Hoban
Fareham
Con
aye


George Hollingbery
Meon Valley
Con
aye


Philip Hollobone
Kettering
Con
aye


Adam Holloway
Gravesham
Con
aye


Kris Hopkins
Keighley
Con
aye


Gerald Howarth
Aldershot
Con
aye


John Howell
Henley
Con
aye


Jeremy Hunt
South West Surrey
Con
aye


Nick Hurd
Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner
Con
aye


Stewart Jackson
Peterborough
Con
aye


Margot James
Stourbridge
Con
aye


Sajid Javid
Bromsgrove
Con
aye


Bernard Jenkin
Harwich and North Essex
Con
aye


Gareth Johnson
Dartford
Con
aye


Jo Johnson
Orpington
Con
aye


Andrew Jones
Harrogate and Knaresborough
Con
aye


David Jones
Clwyd West
Con
aye


Marcus Jones
Nuneaton
Con
aye


Daniel Kawczynski
Shrewsbury and Atcham
Con
aye


Chris Kelly
Dudley South
Con
aye


Simon Kirby
Brighton, Kemptown
Con
aye


Greg Knight
East Yorkshire
Con
aye


Kwasi Kwarteng
Spelthorne
Con
aye


Eleanor Laing
Epping Forest
Con
aye


Mark Lancaster
Milton Keynes North
Con
aye


Andrew Lansley
South Cambridgeshire
Con
aye


Pauline Latham
Mid Derbyshire
Con
aye


Andrea Leadsom
South Northamptonshire
Con
aye


Jessica Lee
Erewash
Con
aye


Phillip Lee
Bracknell
Con
aye


Jeremy Lefroy
Stafford
Con
aye


Edward Leigh
Gainsborough
Con
aye


Charlotte Leslie
Bristol North West
Con
aye


Oliver Letwin
West Dorset
Con
aye


Brandon Lewis
Great Yarmouth
Con
aye


Ian Liddell-Grainger
Bridgwater and West Somerset
Con
aye


David Lidington
Aylesbury
Con
aye


Peter Lilley
Hitchin and Harpenden
Con
aye


Jack Lopresti
Filton and Bradley Stoke
Con
aye


Jonathan Lord
Woking
Con
aye


Tim Loughton
East Worthing and Shoreham
Con
aye


Peter Luff
Mid Worcestershire
Con
aye


Karen Lumley
Redditch
Con
aye


Mary Macleod
Brentford and Isleworth
Con
aye


Anne Main
St Albans
Con
aye


Francis Maude
Horsham
Con
aye


Theresa May
Maidenhead
Con
aye


Paul Maynard
Blackpool North and Cleveleys
Con
aye


Karl McCartney
Lincoln
Con
aye


Anne McIntosh
Thirsk and Malton
Con
aye


Patrick McLoughlin
Derbyshire Dales
Con
aye


Stephen McPartland
Stevenage
Con
aye


Esther McVey
Wirral West
Con
aye


Mark Menzies
Fylde
Con
aye


Patrick Mercer
Newark
Con
aye


Stephen Metcalfe
South Basildon and East Thurrock
Con
aye


Maria Miller
Basingstoke
Con
aye


Nigel Mills
Amber Valley
Con
aye


Anne Milton
Guildford
Con
aye


Andrew Mitchell
Sutton Coldfield
Con
aye


Penny Mordaunt
Portsmouth North
Con
aye


Nicky Morgan
Loughborough
Con
aye


Anne-Marie Morris
Newton Abbot
Con
aye


David Morris
Morecambe and Lunesdale
Con
aye


James Morris
Halesowen and Rowley Regis
Con
aye


Stephen Mosley
City of Chester
Con
aye


David Mowat
Warrington South
Con
aye


David Mundell
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Con
aye


Sheryll Murray
South East Cornwall
Con
aye


Andrew Murrison
South West Wiltshire
Con
aye


Bob Neill
Bromley and Chislehurst
Con
aye


Brooks Newmark
Braintree
Con
aye


Sarah Newton
Truro and Falmouth
Con
aye


Caroline Nokes
Romsey and Southampton North
Con
aye


Jesse Norman
Hereford and South Herefordshire
Con
aye


David Nuttall
Bury North
Con
aye


Stephen O'Brien
Eddisbury
Con
aye


Matthew Offord
Hendon
Con
aye


Eric Ollerenshaw
Lancaster and Fleetwood
Con
aye


Guy Opperman
Hexham
Con
aye


George Osborne
Tatton
Con
aye


Richard Ottaway
Croydon South
Con
aye


James Paice
South East Cambridgeshire
Con
aye


Neil Parish
Tiverton and Honiton
Con
aye


Priti Patel
Witham
Con
aye


Owen Paterson
North Shropshire
Con
aye


Mark Pawsey
Rugby
Con
aye


Michael Penning
Hemel Hempstead
Con
aye


John Penrose
Weston-Super-Mare
Con
aye


Claire Perry
Devizes
Con
aye


Stephen Phillips
Sleaford and North Hykeham
Con
aye


Eric Pickles
Brentwood and Ongar
Con
aye


Christopher Pincher
Tamworth
Con
aye


Daniel Poulter
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
Con
aye


Mark Prisk
Hertford and Stortford
Con
aye


Mark Pritchard
The Wrekin
Con
aye


Dominic Raab
Esher and Walton
Con
aye


John Randall
Uxbridge and South Ruislip
Con
aye


John Redwood
Wokingham
Con
aye


Jacob Rees-Mogg
North East Somerset
Con
aye


Simon Reevell
Dewsbury
Con
aye


Malcolm Rifkind
Kensington
Con
aye


Andrew Robathan
South Leicestershire
Con
aye


Hugh Robertson
Faversham and Mid Kent
Con
aye


Laurence Robertson
Tewkesbury
Con
aye


Andrew Rosindell
Romford
Con
aye


Amber Rudd
Hastings and Rye
Con
aye


David Ruffley
Bury St Edmunds
Con
aye


David Rutley
Macclesfield
Con
aye


Laura Sandys
South Thanet
Con
aye


Andrew Selous
South West Bedfordshire
Con
aye


Grant Shapps
Welwyn Hatfield
Con
aye


Alok Sharma
Reading West
Con
aye


Alec Shelbrooke
Elmet and Rothwell
Con
aye


Richard Shepherd
Aldridge-Brownhills
Con
aye


Mark Simmonds
Boston and Skegness
Con
aye


Keith Simpson
Broadland
Con
aye


Chris Skidmore
Kingswood
Con
aye


Chloe Smith
Norwich North
Con
aye


Henry Smith
Crawley
Con
aye


Julian Smith
Skipton and Ripon
Con
aye


Nicholas Soames
Mid Sussex
Con
aye


Anna Soubry
Broxtowe
Con
aye


Caroline Spelman
Meriden
Con
aye


Mark Spencer
Sherwood
Con
aye


John Stanley
Tonbridge and Malling
Con
aye


Andrew Stephenson
Pendle
Con
aye


John Stevenson
Carlisle
Con
aye


Bob Stewart
Beckenham
Con
aye


Iain Stewart
Milton Keynes South
Con
aye


Rory Stewart
Penrith and The Border
Con
aye


Gary Streeter
South West Devon
Con
aye


Mel Stride
Central Devon
Con
aye


Graham Stuart
Beverley and Holderness
Con
aye


Julian Sturdy
York Outer
Con
aye


Desmond Swayne
New Forest West
Con
aye


Hugo Swire
East Devon
Con
aye


Robert Syms
Poole
Con
aye


Peter Tapsell
Louth and Horncastle
Con
aye


Edward Timpson
Crewe and Nantwich
Con
aye


Justin Tomlinson
North Swindon
Con
aye


David Tredinnick
Bosworth
Con
aye


Elizabeth Truss
South West Norfolk
Con
aye


Andrew Turner
Isle of Wight
Con
aye


Andrew Tyrie
Chichester
Con
aye


Paul Uppal
Wolverhampton South West
Con
aye


Edward Vaizey
Wantage
Con
aye


Shailesh Vara
North West Cambridgeshire
Con
aye


Martin Vickers
Cleethorpes
Con
aye


Theresa Villiers
Chipping Barnet
Con
aye


Charles Walker
Broxbourne
Con
aye


Robin Walker
Worcester
Con
aye


Ben Wallace
Wyre and Preston North
Con
aye


Robert Walter
North Dorset
Con
aye


Angela Watkinson
Hornchurch and Upminster
Con
aye


Mike Weatherley
Hove
Con
aye


James Wharton
Stockton South
Con
aye


Heather Wheeler
South Derbyshire
Con
aye


Chris White
Warwick and Leamington
Con
aye


Craig Whittaker
Calder Valley
Con
aye


John Whittingdale
Maldon
Con
aye


Bill Wiggin
North Herefordshire
Con
aye


David Willetts
Havant
Con
aye


Gavin Williamson
South Staffordshire
Con
aye


Rob Wilson
Reading East
Con
aye


Sarah Wollaston
Totnes
Con
aye


Jeremy Wright
Kenilworth and Southam
Con
aye


Tim Yeo
South Suffolk
Con
aye


George Young
North West Hampshire
Con
aye


Nadhim Zahawi
Stratford-on-Avon
Con
aye