Junior lawyer who led march against £9k tuition fees when he was at Cambridge says it’s time to forgive the Lib Dems

Former SU president will be voting in line with majority of rookie lawyers surveyed in Legal Cheek General Election poll

A City solicitor who in his uni days was instrumental in the march by 50,000 students against rising tuition fees thinks it is time for us to forgive the Lib Dems.

In autumn 2010, the time of the student uprising, Rahul Mansigani had just finished his law degree at the University of Cambridge and was the president of its Students’ Union. Reflecting seven years on, Mansigani wrote last week in The Independent:

[L]oudspeaker in hand, with an obligatory sense of wounded betrayal, I would never have thought that I would ever encourage people to vote Liberal Democrat again.

Now a junior associate at a City law firm, Mansigani is proud to say he’ll be voting Lib Dem next month. Not only that, he has become a member of the party.

Why? He believes Brexit is the “defining issue” of this general election, and that the Lib Dems are “the only party that is fighting for an open, tolerant Britain in Europe”. He concludes:

For those of us who felt so keenly betrayed in 2010, it is time for us to forgive the mistakes that the Liberal Democrats made in office.

Mansigani will not be the only young lawyer voting for Tim Farron and co next month.

A recent Legal Cheek poll of over 1,000 law students and junior lawyers showed 30.8% of you are planning on placing your crosses by the Lib Dems. Theresa May’s Conservatives bagged second place with 29.8%, while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour secured third with 24.4%.

But for those law students bucking the Lib Dem trend, Mansigani has a message. He told Legal Cheek:

While tuition fees were and are an important issue, the government’s approach to Brexit is now the most significant political question students and universities have faced in a generation. Law students should vote for representatives who oppose a hard Brexit, and the Liberal Democrats are the only party that is clearly and proudly pro-European.

He continued:

A ‘hard’ Brexit will affect law students in many different ways, including their ability to study, work and live in other European countries, for their peers across Europe to study and work here as lawyers, and for the funding of British universities and their work with other European institutions… We’ve all studied constitutional law and appreciate the vital importance of a principled, credible opposition to hold government to account — only the Liberal Democrats will provide proper scrutiny of May’s plans.

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61 Comments

Rupert; a US firm trainee

They dishonoured one of their key pledges in the past, so what makes you think they’ll not do exactly the same again?

(31)(6)
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Anonymous

It wasn’t a key pledge. It wasn’t even in their manifesto. It was a moment of short-sightedness from Clegg holding up a placard handed to him at an event.

(3)(16)
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Ginger Beer Snail

“moment”

you mean him preaching to students everywhere and posing in front of placards which said no to rises in tuition fees. It was his main policy and to be honest its what got him and the LD’s elected in such large numbers.

I’m all for forgive (once time has passed), but lets not forget the ridiculous U-turn and dishonesty that Clegg & Co did to their voters.

(15)(3)
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Anonymous

I think you’ll find that the 2010 manifesto went further than the pledge.

“Scrap unfair university tuition fees for all students taking their fi rst
degree, including those studying part-time, saving them over £10,000
each. ”

The pledge itself was much more watered down and was merely to ‘vote against any increase’. It also wasn’t short-sighted and handed at an event – it was widely distributed and signed by many lib dem candidates during that election.

(9)(0)
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Anonymous

They won’t be in majority government, so they would never have to ‘honour’ a pledge anyway.

My theory is, kick them all out – just vote for whomever has the best chance of beating your incumbent MP, Labour, Conservative, LibDem or whatever else. They’ve all disgraced themselves by allowing this election anyway.

(0)(1)
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Why just hate for Lib Dems, all parties fail their promises?

The same reason everyone forgets that the Tory’s failed a number of their pledges but cannot bring themselves to criticise them.

They were only ever a minority in a coalition, why is it that they were expected to deliver 100% on their manifesto when we have been stuck in a cycle of Labour/Tory/Labour/Tory all continuously failing to deliver their promises.

It is brilliant that people are attempting to hold the political parties to their promises, but people only focus on the Lib Dems, ignoring the fact that the Tory’s have failed to reduce the Deficit, support the NHS etc.

(3)(0)
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Trumpenkrieg

Forgive the Lib Dems who want to bring in 50,000 syrians and have not a care in the world as to who will pay for their absorption and, more importantly, which communities will be made to absorb them (Clue: it’s not going to be Lib Dem luvvie hummus and falafel eating areas, that’s for sure).

(10)(29)
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Anonymous

Let’s invite the entire world here. Everybody’s welcome. Even somebody who underwent lobotomy would not have voted for such nonsense.

(6)(14)
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Trumpenkrieg

I presume that every cuck who downvoted this is willing to take at least 4 Syrian men of low educational attainment into their home for the foreseeable future?

(4)(15)
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Anonymous

Why do you assume they have low education? Most who enter Europe already have degrees in engineering, medicine, computer science – far better than your average bloke down the street

(8)(6)
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Anonymous

“Most who enter Europe already have degrees in engineering, medicine, computer science” – and you have a doctorate in Kool-aid.

Have you checked the employment statistics for those welcomed into Angela “wir schafen uns” Merkel’s Germany? Even with Germany’s political will and financial resources, the societal and economic consequences look bleak.

(5)(5)
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Trumpenkrieg

Ah, the old “they are all brain surgeons and rocket scientists” canard.

That’s a good canard, almost as good as the “Bana Alabed writes her Tweets herself” canard.

Not quite as good as the “Assad used Sarin in his own people” canard, though.

(0)(4)
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Anonymous

People are barking up the wrong tree with Lib Dems and tuition fees. It was a useful stick to beat them with, but in reality that is not the half of it, in terms of how they sold out and betrayed most of their 2010 voters.

They did a lot worse. Free or low value university education is in any event a middle class subsidy, or a subsidy for future higher earners, particularly when compared with a policy which sees them gradually pay back over time, when earning a certain amount.

That, and they are a bunch of sandal wearing beardy weirdies.

(5)(6)
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Anonymous

It seems people are forgetting that the Lib Dems were the minority party in a coalition government. We all know that when it comes to negotiations concessions are often needed. If we wanted the Lib Dems to implement all their policies we should have voted to give them the majority. Common sense tells you that any promises by a political party can only be put into practice if they have the majority.

I’m also convinced that the Tory attack on a human rights would have been a whole lot worse if the Lib Dems were not in coalition. Sometimes you have to pick your battles wisely

(10)(4)
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Sarah Connor

‘2010, time of the student uprising’

Clearly somebody was sent back in time from the future to kill the real leader of the uprising, in order to prevent it happening . We must be glad that somehow KK retains the knowledge…

(8)(0)
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Anonymous

Reading the comments on articles like this remind me that the readership of Legal Cheek (or at least the majority of those who comment) seem to be slightly to the right of UKIP and not at all representative of the pro-business, pro-single market, pro-EU legal profession. Bit weird.

(10)(3)
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Anonymous

Allow me to share a secret with you. What people say in the office / corporate setting is one matter. Everybody wants to appear open minded and, above all, politically correct. To do or say to the contrary can cost you your job or even your whole career. With that in mind, you can see how what people say is one one matter, and how they actually vote in elections and referenda is a totally different matter – as there’s simply nobody there to judge them or hold their hands.

We’ve seen with Brexit, conservativ majority, trump etc.

(11)(0)
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Anonymous

From my experience, lawyers are usually quite open about voting Tory. In fact, of those I’ve spoken to, most admit to voting Tory.

Brexit is another matter. You’re looking at about 5% of lawyers in my firm who admit to having voted Brexit. I’m still amazed that highly intelligent people think that there are clear economic arguments in favour of it. It’s simply baffling. Do you seriously think that EU migrants are doing harm to our economy? That single market membership is bad for business? That our rebated membership fee will be re-invested sufficiently to negate the lost benefits after having left? That the generation-long process of leaving will be worth the expense and the strain? It’s simply ideology-driven madness, and patriotism/nationalism ruling the head.

(10)(4)
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Anonymous

The problem we have at the moment is that we don’t really have a clue what it is the Tories are trying to do. Theresa May gave the game away a little, when she said that she understood that our businesses would be subject to rules we’d no longer be able to influence the creation of.

That’s either acceptance of the UK being in the single market, like Norway, or that we’re going to have some other deal that makes us subject to EU rules.

Nearly a year after Brexit and I’m still waiting for the Brazilian cavalry to show up and save our bacon (ie where are all those promised deals with the BRICs? I know we cannot formalise them, but there isn’t even a hint of their imminent arrival).

And year, you are right, this is a generation-long process – no one believes that, but it will be shown to be true.

(5)(0)
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Not Amused

The idea that lawyers are all in favour of a ‘single’ market from which they were almost entirely excluded, always struck me as mildly odd.

As did the belief that if people hadn’t yet come around to your political view, that was only because you hadn’t yet called them a racist often enough …

(6)(12)
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Anonymous

It’s not even putting aside the ‘self’ though. If it benefits clients and the economy then it also benefits the lawyer. But some people have such an entrenched hatred of the EU that they cannot see it no matter how apparent it is.

(5)(0)
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Anonymous

I have a household income of about £130k. Why would I vote anyone other than Tory? I already pay enough tax and for what I do pay, I get very poor services e.g. education, health and transport. All three are dreadful.

(2)(9)
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Anonymous

Exactly. You should be able to opt out from the NHS and pay lower tax on the condition you get comprehensive health insurance. I am sick to death of subsidising others with my hard work.

(5)(10)
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Anonymous

No, you really shouldn’t.

You’re a selfish idiot who wants to live in a country even more divided by privilege than it already is, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

(16)(5)
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Anonymous

What happened to the great values that made this country great? Self-reliance, striving to be better off than your parents, and responsibility for your own actions to name a few…

Oh and by the way, I do not owe you anything, you arrogant cretin.

(6)(5)
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Anonymous

You’re quite right, you owe me nothing.

You do owe the country that provided that platform and infrastructure for your success a great deal however.

A healthcare system free at the point of use is now fundamental to our country’s DNA and its greatness. To me, the desire to opt-out of funding a system that ensures nobody is forced into great debt because they can’t afford health insurance is utterly shameful and immoral.

(7)(0)
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Anonymous

Not really, I am afraid. My parents worked abroad, so I grew up in Germany. In terms of my success, the only people I owe it to are my parents and my very own hard work.

Again, nobody is saying the NHS should be scrapped. However, we should have a choice whether we want to use it or pay for our own private health service arrangements. surely you don’t think giving people a choice is bad, do you?

(5)(7)
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Anonymous

You are a dope, you benefit from that ‘platform and infrastructure’ whether you grew up here or not.

Feel free to pay for your own health insurance if you want something better. But you don’t get to opt out. The primary reason for this is that your first port of call, should you require immediate care, will be the NHS – there aren’t private ambulance services to come and pick you up at the side of the road. Secondly, the benefits of the NHS, even if you never use it, are to the health of the entire country – that affects you in the services you receive from other people and/or the people you might employ (or work with).

(8)(0)
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Maggie

The NHS will implode and they will have to privatised it sooner or later anyway. It will be similar to what happened with British Rail. Just wait.

(1)(2)
Anonymous

Bravo. I cannot believe you had to spell it out to the idiot above.

(0)(0)
Anonymous

If you are earning that sort of money you are already getting a tax break on National Insurance contributions. Most people will be paying 12%, you will be paying 2% above the Upper Earnings Limit (ie over £45k p/a).

Stop whining.

(5)(0)
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Anonymous

Seven years of Tory mismanagement – what do you expect? If these services are terrible for you, do you think they are any better for anyone with a lower income?

(1)(1)
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Just Anonymous

I can’t vote Lib Dem.

I am a Remainer, not a Remoaner. The Lib Dems have quite clearly chosen to represent the latter. Their policy, if not to overturn Brexit entirely is to water it down so much, it becomes Remain in all but name.

I cannot agree with that stance. The country has chosen to Leave. We need leaders that will respect that reality and do the best they can to make Brexit work for us.

(19)(13)
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Anonymous

Correct. Anyone who says the referendum was anything other than a clear mandate to leave the EU, cut the UK off of the continental shelf and tow us into the middle of the Atlantic is an Enemy of the People.

(6)(7)
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Anonymous

Believe it or not, sometimes the people get it wrong. Unlike general elections there’s no chance to change your mind in a few year’s time. I really don’t think those who voted leave thought it through properly. Those I know who voted leave wanted to blame every ill on the EU (after decades of media propaganda why wouldn’t they?), but when you pointed out that the problem they were describing had nothing to do with the EU they’d just say ‘I don’t care about that, I’m voting leave’.

The people talking about great opportunities probably will have great opportunities – those with money and contacts and opportunities already. The majority of those hoodwinked into this process are just going to suffer.

(6)(6)
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Just Anonymous

@ Anonymous 1:38pm

Nice straw man. I won’t waste my time on it.

@ Anonymous 2:54pm

And what if the vote had gone the other way, and a Leave supporter were arguing that we should ignore it and leave anyway because ‘the people got it wrong’ and ‘didn’t think it through properly.’

I’ll throw back at you precisely what you would say in that situation:

The issue has been settled. The people have voted. You don’t get to ignore that vote just because you disagree with it.

(13)(2)
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Pantman

And what if the vote had gone the other way, and a Leave supporter were arguing that we should ignore it and leave anyway because ‘the people got it wrong’ and ‘didn’t think it through properly.’

That is really easy – late in the evening of 23 June 2016 Nigel Farage conceded defeat in the referendum with the words ‘We may have lost this batle, but we will win the war’. I think that it is clear enough that eurosceptics were never going away, so it’s perfectly reasonable to argue that the referendum was a daft outcome, and will only damage this country.

Also, it’s clear that after any election it is perfectly reasonable to campaign against the government and any policies it tries to implement. We don’t have to accept the will of the people in any of these cases, we’re all free to make up our own minds.

(1)(2)
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Just Anonymous

What? Nigel Farage is a hypocrite so Leave was a daft outcome?

That’s a complete non-sequitur.

As for your second point, I didn’t say that people couldn’t make up their own minds. The Lib Dems are free to exist and to represent the Remoaners. I’m just saying why I won’t vote for them and why I think the Remoaners are completely wrong.

(7)(2)
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Anonymous

Rahul Mansigani comes across as an arrogant little squirt, telling students how to vote.

Typical deluded Liberal, thinks he knows best…

(6)(6)
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Anonymous

Tuition fees blah, blah, blah. The Lib Dems, as a minority partner in a coalition, did far more good than bad – the likes of which we have seen since 2015 when they haven’t had any sway.

(5)(1)
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Anonymous

It’s a wasted vote. They’ll never win and all they can hope for is to be absorbed into a larger coalition in which they’ll have to sacrifice everything that made people vote for them. Lovely people, sure, but it’s a hopeless endeavour.

(3)(6)
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Anonymous

I’d rather have a coalition of Labour, LibDems and SNP than these Tory idiots.

We should have proportional representation anyway, then we’d always have coalitions.

(7)(0)
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Anonymous

That presumes that under a system of proportional representation eveyone would vote the same. I think that’s unlikely. It’s more likely that minority parties like UKIP would get radically fewer votes – reflected in the umber of seats they actually won (1) – because they wouldn’t be a ‘protest’ vote.

It also relies upon the Tories wanting to be in a coalition with UKIP – which again seems an unlikely outcome given that the entire rationale for the referendum was to wipe out UKIP (which, with the outcome of the referendum, seems to have happened).

It’s also worth remembering that proportional representation systems tend not to be strictly proportional – in that there is a cut-off percentage (5%). Parties need over that level to gain seats. That way you don’t end up with hundreds of factions – and again tis affects the way people vote.

Even if it were a Tory/UKIP coalition, the unior partners wouldn’t have much weight, and it’s likely it would have collapsed pretty quickly due to byelections.

(2)(0)
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Tim

Any party that entices people to vote for it with promises and then turns around once in government and defaults on those promises has lost the right to govern. Period.

This silly argument about how the Lib Dems had to compromise in government, and put the brakes on the worst Tory excesses, is just that – silly. It’s like the arsonist’s accomplice protesting that he persuaded the arsonist to only pour petrol in some rooms, not all. You didn’t have to go with him at all.

(2)(5)
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Anonymous

I don’t agree with the point made here about the LibDems, but we’ve got to remember that the Tories have been promising immigration in the ‘low tens of thousands’ since 2010.

They aren’t any closer to achieving that today.

(2)(0)
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Anonymous

Sounds like your typical over privileged highly irritating ‘we know what’s best for the peasants don’t we’ liberal. I am a law student from the east of England who has seen first hand the effect unlimited European migration has had on my town and no way will I be voting Lib Dem. And no I don’t blame the migrants, before anyone plays the wayyy-cist card.

(1)(2)
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Anonymous

What effect has it had, are you all much richer now, both financially and culturally speaking?

Do give us some numbers and references to back-up any claim you make.

(2)(0)
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Anonymous

The main thing is that I get the chance to have a middle class lifestyle far beyond my professional skill level. This is the case whether I am, under my own steam, a civil servant in the European Commission or a Junior Associate at a City Firm. The short cut to enhanced status is, learn what people want to hear – either from the door step or a think tank, tell them what they want to hear or what the Party wants them to hear and, somehow, communicate to the selection committee of any of the major political parties that you don’t mean it other than as a means to an end.

That way the selection committee will know that you do not have true passion or charisma such that you are not really equipped for the task of ‘giving the people something different’ in 2010 or whatever it is that the public mind wants this time around. Provided they know you do not have passion or charisma, the Selection Committee of whichever party can be reassured that you are not a budding environmental communist. It seems that none of them want such a character, even though that is the sort of politician we actually need.

The only student worth remembering from the student protests, in my opinion, is not this Lib Dem chap, but the one linked to a member of the band Pink Floyd who vandalized a Churchill memorial while on LSD. He was a character ! I wonder if the Lib Dems could persuade him to join them ! Perhaps they tried, but were knocked back, and this guy from Norton Rose got the break 🙂

(0)(0)
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