Millionaire Liberal Democrat John “three homes” Hemming has told Radio 4 he would vote for  a rise in tuition fees to punish students who occupied his constituency office. His extraordinary exchange with Eddie Mair came after an embarassing argument with a protester live on local radio:

EM: How are you going to vote on Thursday?
JH: At the moment I’m very likely to vote for the increase simply because we cannot reward the bad behaviour from today. I have … [interrupted]
EM: Just a second. Part of your thinking might be to punish protesters?
JH: The problem you’ve got is this. If you reward this form of behaviour, if it has any effect which is a positive effect, you’re encouraging the behaviour in the future.
EM: Part of the reason you’re going to reach your decision is based on the protests?
JH: Part of the reason has to be based on the protests because I cannot allow that to influence me in any favourable manner whatsoever.

[wpaudio url=”http://politicalscrapbook.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/hemming_john_bbc_radio_wm.mp3″ text=”John Hemming challenged by student on BBC Radio West Midlands” dl=”1″]

[wpaudio url=”http://politicalscrapbook.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/hemming_john_pm_radio4.mp3″ text=”John Hemming interviewed by Eddie Mair on PM” dl=”1″]

What a complete Jeremy Hunt!

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  21. Serenus Zeitblom says:

    Funnily enough, when I first met John Hemming at Oxford thirty years ago, he was leading a rent strike at Magdalen College. Is there anything much more pathetic than someone who apparently once believed in something turning into a sclerotic old reactionary? But then as a Lib Dem perhaps he never believed in anything much, and was more interested in getting attention than effecting change.

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  36. “…[p]art of the reason has to be based on the protests because I cannot allow that to influence me in any favourable manner whatsoever….”

    Nice to see our elected representatives have a fair-minded approach to the views of the people whose lives are affected by their decisions.

    Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, the Suffragette movement, Chartists, Levellers and Diggers… the list is endless. In Mr Hemmings view, they shouldn’t really have bothered, should they? I hope the people of Birmingham are paying close attention to his unconsidered remarks.

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  49. SOLIDARITY!

    FROM THE SICK AND DISABLED OF BRITAIN FOR OUR COUNTRY’S FANTASTIC YOUNG PEOPLE! LONG MAY YOU RUN AND ALL POWER TO YOUR ELBOWS! WE SHALL OVERCOME!

    PLEASE VISIT US AND SUPPORT US IN SOLIDARITY.

    BRAVO AND WELL DONE! KEEP IT UP! WE’RE ALL PROUD OF YOU, AS MUST BE YOUR MUM’S AND DAD’S!

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  51. How can you possibly vote on something based on something else that upset you.
    He does realised he’s not a headmaster right? He works for the people, if he does things purely to punish the people then the people shall punish him by not voting for him or his party again.
    Clearly gaining a tiny amount of power has gone to his crackpot head.

  52. SOLIDARITY!

    FROM THE SICK AND DISABLED OF BRITAIN FOR OUR COUNTRY’S FANTASTIC YOUNG PEOPLE! LONG MAY YOU RUN AND ALL POWER TO YOUR ELBOWS! WE SHALL OVERCOME!

    PLEASE VISIT US AND SUPPORT US IN SOLIDARITY.

    BRAVO AND WELL DONE! KEEP IT UP! WE’RE ALL PROUD OF YOU. ‘MAZEL TOV!’ TO YOUR MUMS AND DADS !!!

    BLACK TRIANGLE ANTI-DEFAMATION CAMPAIGN IN DEFENCE OF DISABLED CLAIMANTS
    ON FACEBOOK AND BLOGSPOT

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  55. That defies reason. He clearly doesn’t have the intelligence to understand he just said.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that we are governed by idiots with more money than commonsense.

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  59. I am surprised that anyone thinks it is right for a demonstration to hit the poor and defenceless. My office was prevented from handling a number of important cases and at least one constituent was driven out of the office.

    Even when the demonstrators were told of the damage they were doing to other people they refused to go.

  60. Simona Brinkmann says:

    I am surprised that John Hemmings doesn’t even seem to have the slightest idea of how gravely and irreversably the fees rise is going to hit the poor and defenseless in the first place. I am surprised at his pretence of ignorance about the crucial importance of the case that the protesters are putting forward. I am surprised at his complete and utter hypocrisy. Atually, no. I am not surprised. He is a Lib Dem politician after all.

  61. Simona Brinkmann says:

    I am surprised that John Hemming doesn’t even seem to have the slightest idea of how gravely and irreversably the fees rise is going to hit the poor and defenseless in the first place. I am surprised at his pretence of ignorance about the crucial importance of the case that the protesters are putting forward. I am surprised at his complete and utter hypocrisy. Atually, no. I am not surprised. He is a Lib Dem politician after all.

  62. @John Hemming

    That is the most specious, self-serving, argument I have heard in a long time. Were the cases that could not be dealt with in your office so time sensitive that they could not be dealt with the next day? If so was there no possibility that you, or your staff, could deal with them away from your office.

    Lets not forget the context here – you signed a pledge before the election to scap, scrap no less, tuition fees. Then you get elected and renage on that. You then introduce legislation which will mean a degree costs £27k. I mean, are you not a touch ashamed that you garnered votes on a false prospectus? thinking about it probably not, because the principle means so much to you that you are prepared to jettison it to “punish” not just those who occupied your office but all students. You are clearly a man of deep principle.

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  64. Is the raised student fees the root to secure an endless debt and interest to keep the banks alive and afloat?
    This is not only about fees. Its about the future. Future debt future interest only beneficial to the banks and the apalling government that we collectively have chosen, this to give its people a voice. What a joke. Crap goes in crap comes out. Sell out.
    Cheaper labour (so far) elsewhere, faster and streamlined education abroad creating services to the West. What do we do? We make sure we can sell out everything the U.K had when it comes to engineering, industry, skills and knowledge. Can we see a reversal here? Soon it’ll be our children that stiches blouses til their finger bleed for profitable companies, maybe rightly so to fully understand the impact of the greed flourishing in the west with little consciousness.
    We should have an interest free world. Exchange for what its worth, not the gambling to secure obscene pensions for a few. Mr Hemming’s comments transcends the dumbness that is controlling our lives.

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  68. Democracy – if the people don’t demonstrate, you do what you like. If the people demonstrate, you do what you like and blame the people for it. How beautifully ironic.

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  72. So Happy you students don’t get your socialist dream.

    Please go live in China or North Korea if you are so hell bent on taking my money.

    I never got to got to Uni, I make a shedload of money now, its called hard work, its called following a dream. You don’t need Uni for that.

    Thanks god I’m off to Oz in 4 days and I’m taking all my money with me.

    The best part, is that when you are all older and paying taxes, you are gonna be just like me.

    from Former Hippy Socialist.

    Goodbye and Fuck you 🙂

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