Apparently, Vince Cable, considered up to now to be a prophet, an economic soothsayer who predicted the banking crisis, is now considered a complete and utter idiot for daring to reveal his heart to those he understood to be constituents rather than the undercover Daily Telegraph reporters he confessed all too.
In failing to predict this, I’m sure he feels a little worse for wear
and regrets that his psychic ability doesn’t quite stretch to
that of Derek Acorah.
I’m not a fan of the Liberal Democrats, and to be fair this is not a new phenomenon brought on by their ascendency to government. I’m single-mindedly unimpressed by their politics and suspicious of what exactly they stand for. However, concerning the Vince Cable incident, I’d make a counter-argument to
most I’ve read along the lines of…. if Jeremy Hunt doesn’t
now turn down the News Corporation bid for overall control of Sky, he and the tories run the risk of the decision looking like a
negative judgement, by them, on both Vince Cable and the Lib Dems generally.
The fact that Cable is to remain in his post, just unable to make a decision on this particular issue, will absolutely
guarantee that this entire sorry incident will form a huge part of
the decision making process.
The decision on Sky will be a purely political, not objective one. Of course, whether it was ever going to be anything other than political now seems unlikely given Vince Cable’s off the cuff remark declaring war on the Murdoch Empire and the threat of a nuclear detonation at the heart of government.
The Lib Dems have single-handedly been the thin yellow line holding this coalition government together since its inception. They’ve taken a brutal and effective beating from the Parliamentary Labour Party (the only effective thing that labour has achieved since the General Election). They’ve lost almost half of their support (according to opinion polls), been hammered over tuition fees and broken promises; faced the rage of tens of thousands of students…and all this so soon after their shot-gun wedding with the tories.
Vince Cable, chatting with ‘constituents’, and wanting to impress upon them that the Lib Dems are still their own party with independence of thought and with their own ideas of destiny, lets slip a few home truths – or at least conveys that
which he expects his ‘constituents’ would like to hear. Heaven
forbid that any politician should do such a thing….
It’s easy to underestimate what the Lib Dems have been going through and the psychological pressure that has been mounting within their ranks. Remember, they are few in number and are taking an absolute battering. With the defences breached the cracks appear, the truth outs – for want of a nail Rome may fall.
The tories have done little to bolster them, and have effectively kettled them into a choice of coalition government or electoral obliteration.
Yet, in one way, this fiasco has played into the hands of the Lib Dems. The tories are now faced with a choice following this incident. Do they ease the pain of their coalition partners or face the consequences? Is the relief of the Lib Dems in sight?
On balance, I suspect Hunt may well turn down the News Corporation bid……depending on when that decision is due or how soon this incident can be forgotten – as such incidents invariably tend to in politics; given time.
What interests me now though is what will happen to the winter fuel payments in light of Cable’s revelations; dare the tories freeze or cut them and face the inevitable backlash? And, unrealistic a question as it may seem, is there a chance that the coalition government may not last another year, and is Labour prepared for that possibility?
Tony Blair, interviewed by Andrew Marr this September, said something that has stuck in my craw ever since, “these are times of low probability”, he said, “anything can happen….”. In that I believe him to be absolutely right.
As to the second question; Labour needs more
time….and a miracle.