Yesterday was a very significant day in British politics. A 'peacetime' coalition came through a giant wave that threatened to engulf it. I reckon this coalition is going 'on and on'. In the end (and its what happened in the end that matters) both partners, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats voted in favour of a new regime for tuition fees. These changes were based largely on the proposals of Lord Browne, who had been asked by the previous Labour Government to suggest a fair way forward. A minority of MPs from both parties felt that they should oppose the proposals presented by Vince Cable. However the majority in favour was more than Labour achieved for the introduction of Tuition fees - and was more than most commentators had expected. I voted with the Government. Like many, I had my reservations, but in the end, felt entirely comfortable voting Yes. In the end, it amounted to both parties in a Coalition Government voting for a Government proposal, and the opposition parties voting against it - just as you might expect.
The huge hoohah about how the Lib Dems would vote reminds me of the recovered 'compulsive gambler' who discovered that his hotel was attached to a casino, and that he had been given two free roulette tokens on arrival. He reassured his wife that he would not spend anything but the £2 value of the tokens. Within an hour, and after an amazing streak of good fortune, he was £500,000 up. He decided on 'one more bet', put the lot on, and lost half a million. When he returned to his room his wife asked how things had gone. He replied casually "Lost £2". Vince Cable may well have told his wife "They supported my proposals".