The Lib Dems leadership might have hoped that it had moved on from tuition fees. But tonight’s League of Young Voters fringe was dominated by the topic.
Lynne Featherstone, a Lib Dem Minister, says that she would like to shoot the Lib Dem negotiating team for not making the issue a red line in the coalition negotiations. Quite what her Lib Dem ministerial colleagues who were on that team—Danny Alexander and David Laws—will make of that remains to be seen.
Tim Farron, the party president, was more judicious in his language. But he did say that the negotiating team should have realised that the electorate’s sense of what the party’s red lines should have been, should have been taken into account more. Farron pointedly said that he voted against fees not because he thought it was bad policy but because he thought it important to keep a promise.
One issue where there was harmony was votes for 16 and 17 year olds, a Lib Dem policy. Interestingly, when the Youth Council rep urged the Lib Dems to break with the coalition and team up with Labour to pass votes for 16 to 17 year olds in this parliament, Farron nodded vigorously. With this issue rising up the political agenda following the Scottish referendum, some mischief might be in the offing.