So this is the new politics that Nick Clegg promised then? Vince Cable unable to support a policy that he not only helped to prepare but has sitting squarely within his Ministerial remit and the Deputy Prime Minister regretting signing pledges in the same year that he put pen to paper.

It is not only the Liberal Democrat side of the debate that is falling to pieces though. Yesterday marked the third day of action from students, students who appear to be getting younger and younger not to mention fewer and fewer and if a protest doesn’t have momentum then it doesn’t have much. Don’t get me wrong, I am in favour of the protests if they are saying that fees should be paid through general taxation to ensure fairness is guaranteed. However, that message has weakened in concentration, is struggling from a lack of political leadership and is getting lost in the sound and fury of scattershot protests from scatterbrained students.

The declining numbers are getting noisier but they seem to be losing the clarity of their argument. What is the point of students ‘occupying’ university buildings? Does this small minority really expect a counter-insurgency from the Government? I believe Appleton Tower in Edinburgh was occupied last week. Why?

One of the worst thing that some of the students protesting can do is speak directly into a camera or give their views directly. As this Comment is Free article shows, the convenience of not only circumventing national democracy but circumventing student democracy is counter-productive. The zealotry in the article is unnerving and the us-against-the-world mentality, while understandable given that the coalition won’t now change its collective mind (even if some may safely abstain), is not the smartest way to curry favour with a watching public.

Nick Clegg invited questions on tuition fees yesterday and one that I would have dearly loved to have asked is what would happen to a person who went to university with the best will of the world to ‘make it’ in their chosen field but life, as is so often the case, got in the way and the person was ‘stuck’ on the average wage of £25k/year? They are earning above the £21k cut-off but face a mortgage of £27k, not to mention a second mortgage of whatever university living costs were, nor even the third mortgage that would hopefully exist to (1) provide accommodation and (2) form the basis of any meaningful pension?

Wouldn’t such a millstone around a person’s neck be too much to bear, even before adding in any impacts of children to support, relationships that go awry and any compounding of related or unrelated mental health issues?

These questions, pressing concerns for those impacted and a factor that Scotland will learn from before taking its decision, is getting lost in the shuffle.

The Tories are not for turning, the Lib Dems are all over the place, the Greens and SNP are intent on opposing but are on the fringes of the UK debate and the Scottish debate is still some way off so the only meanginful opposition is the students but they lack the experience and strength in depth to maintain a consistent, clear argument through to the end. Ideally Labour should step up in Westminster and fall in line with correct but grating students on the streets.

Protesting is apparently a right lark but it’s difficult to support it when fairness and respect is flagrantly flaunted. The same, of course, can be said for coalitions.