Charles Kennedy is Revolting
Scottish MP Charles Kennedy is doing a Braveheart, leading the revolt against the planned tuition fee hike in England, in defence of Scotland's interests.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy appeared to be leading the revolt last night against the coalition government’s plans to lift the cap on university fees in England.
The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber acted as student leaders warned that Scottish universities could suffer if the radical plans proposed by former BP boss Lord Browne are backed.
Do I detect a certain schadenfreude among the English that 'English reforms' may have a devastating effect on the Scottish university sector?
...as I am aware no equivalent in Gaelic, or for that matter in English, to the word schadenfreude, a useful German expression meaning to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others. But it is not an emotion exclusive to the Germans.
Do I detect a certain schadenfreude among Scots at the apparent current turmoil among the English over their sense of national identity? If so, it is given extra savour because that crisis of identity is provoked at least in part by the creation of the Parliament in Scotland and the Assembly in Wales. Suddenly it is Scotland which is forging ahead in a grand constitutional experiment, and England which is poring over its national navel and asking: who are we ... and why?
Charles Kennedy: Lecture to the Scottish Council Foundation, 30 June, 1999
Ah yes, there was a time when asymmetric devolution appeared to have no downside for Charles Kennedy:
Scotland has a Parliament.
Wales an Assembly.
Northern Ireland, soon I hope, a working Assembly too.
In England, regionalism is growing as never before.
Calling into question, as it happens, the idea of England itself.
In the process of devolution, we are creating throughout Britain, a new way of doing things.
Just look at what I can’t talk to you about today.
In the past, a Federal leader could come to Scottish conference and wax lyrical about all the dreadful things that were being done to our education system in Westminster.
MSPs, in a Scottish government, in a Scottish Parliament, answerable only to the people of Scotland, decide our education policy.
So you’ll not hear anything from me today on that subject.
And that’s as it should be.
Charles Kennedy: Speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference, Dunfermline, 16th October, 1999
Yes, that is the way it should be, so piss off Charlie.
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The bad news is that English students are to become the most indebted in the entire world.
On the plus side, those of us who have long opposed the undemocratic meddling of Scottish MPs in England's affairs can engage in a spot of schadenfreude.
John Curtice, writing in the Scotsman, sheds some light on Charles Kennedy's panicky hypocrisy:
The Scottish Lib Dems claim credit for having ensured in the early years of devolution that up-front tuition fees were abolished in Scotland. More recently th