Today proved to be a fascinating one. I was asked to speak to school children in Henley along with representatives of the Tories and Labour. As usual the questions from the students were of a high quality and really challenged us. Not surprisingly they rather laid into me as the Lib Dem representative, which I fully expected.
If they heeded what the Tory leader of South Oxfordshire District Council told them, the Lib Dems are responsible for all the ills of the coalition, while the Tories agree with everything the students say. I hope those present saw through that approach. My job was to explain a bit more clearly and fairly the policies that they are rightly concerned about, including student fees and the changes to the educational maintenance allowance.
The event gave me the opportunity to explain our role in the coalition, which will hopefully have made some of the students pause for thought, even if it will take some time to regain their confidence. One step at a time...
The overriding impression we all took away was the maturity of the questions and the challenge we received from the students. The future's fine, folks.