James Forsyth

DD joins the tuition fees rebels

DD joins the tuition fees rebels
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Now, there’s a Tory rebel too. David Davis has told the BBC that he’ll be voting against the coalition at the end of Thursday’s fees debate. Those Lib Dems who do vote for tuition fees can now expect to be mocked as being to the right of David Davis.

So far, there’s no sign of other Tories following DD’s lead. One friend of his fears that his decision to rebel against the government on this issue makes him look like a serial rebel and will undermine the effectiveness of his interventions on the constitutional and civil liberties issues he cares so deeply about it.

But I expect DD’s stance will strike a chord with more people than the Tory leadership expect. Intellectually, there’s a strong right-wing case for tuition fees and ending universality in the welfare state—it is one I’m persuaded by it. But too many, the overriding emotion is that the middle class (really, the upper middle class) pay a huge amount of tax and get little in return.