Coffee House

Vince puts his aggressive hat on

10 March 2012

Ever since Chris Huhne’s departure from government, Vince Cable
has become a more and more aggressive coalition figure. His deliberately provocative interview with
The Guardian
in which this Keynesian, corporatist lambasts the idea that deregulation is key to growth as "ridiculous and bizarre" has drawn a heated Tory reaction. One source told me
earlier that “BIS [Cable’s department] imposes ten stupid expensive things on business for every one they’re forced to drop. BIS is mired in useless committees that churn out red
tape because Vince loves the EU and hasn’t a clue about small business.’

Just how irritated some Tory Cabinet Ministers are with Cable spilled out into the open last night on Any Questions. With heavy irony Eric Pickles declared that he was sure that the Business
Secretary was ‘mortified’ that his letter lamenting that the government lacks a ‘compelling vision’ was leaked to
the press.

Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • Frank P

    And on the subject of teaching – from my naughty niece:

    After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils to write an essay on how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:

    We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Batemans Bay where everyone lives in nice little houses, and so they don’t have to mow the grass anymore!

    They ride around on their bicycles and scooters and wear name tags because they don’t know who they are anymore.

    They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now. They do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with hats on. At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts!

    Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night — early birds.

    Some of the people can’t get out past the man in the doll house.

    The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.

    My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too.

    When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.

    Remember to send this to all your “retarded grandparent” friends and give them a laugh, too!

  • Frank P

    Fergus Pickering (7.18am)

    Fair comment; but whatever arrangements for schooling the young are instituted, the fact that the teachers will be third generation Gramsci culture warriors, who have been through the mill and probably don’t even know who Gramsci was, will negate any benefits from whatever re-jigging ensues. Particularly as most of the New Conservative party show all the signs of being of a similar ilk. Reversal of the Long March is now impossible, imho.The institutions are all now trampled under the bloodstained feet of the militant Marxist moles. It is a rout.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Grammar schools have never gone. My daughters were educated at one. It was far from perfect but most of what was wrong with it can be traced back to things beyond their control, such as exams and syllabuses. My point is it is no good bringing back grammar schools but leaving A levels in place. They are NO BLOODY GOOD. I would suggest the 11+ becomes the 12+ and that movement into and out of grammar schools remains easy. I would also scrap half the subjects available and make a foreign language obligatory up to the age of sixteen. Ditto mathematics.

  • Sir Everard Digby

    Cable is a perfect example of the expediency over talent strategy which the political classes employ all the time.

    It matters not that he is a clueless,waffling throwback to a period most of us would like to never see repeated.

    The media believe Vince is some kind of soothsayer to be revered. In the real world he would not last five minutes. The easy option is to stick him in the Lords.

    When will we be rid of these malign influences on our every day lives?

  • Frank P

    OO (12.29)

    Probably, but I don’t comment to please or displease Peter v Maidstone; I react to posts where ever they appear whenever I feel like doing so. Whether they remain or disappear is of no consequence, either to me or anyone else , I suspect.

    Incidentally, the remark above is is silly Sussex pejorative which I picked up when I kept a pub there during a rather silly period in my life. It’s derivation is lost in the mists of time, but the silly subject and the silly photo above demanded a silly reaction, imho.

    I hope you don’t expect me to be serious about the worst joke in Government – Cable – particularly when the joke’s on me: I voted for Cameron who is responsible for appointing the wanker to rule over my life in an utterly deleterious way. As for that hat …?? I fear he may be attempting to persuade us to take him seriously. Is it a brown one, btw? It’s not clear from the photo. I wouldn’t be surprised, given the company he keeps.

  • Boyders

    I would happily have Mandleson back if it meant that Cable had gone. He is the Prescott of this Government. It makes me sad and I am fed up with these Lib Dems idiots. They need to be better managed.

  • ButcombeMan

    My disillusionment with Cameron will be complete, when I hear that Cameron & family spend social time with someone as utterly lacking in brains, common sense & talent as, “Uncle” Vince.

    He is an important part of what makes the LibDems unlectable on a serious scale.

    It would be a very good idea never to mention him again in these columns.

  • libertarian

    Dear Charles

    You are deluded. This government has done ZERO to address the deficit, increasing spending and borrowing in true socialist fashion. It has done ZERO to address welfare having scrapped schemes like Surestart and then reintroduced under a different name. As far as education is concerned no one will be taken seriously until Grammar schools are reintroduced.

  • libertarian


    Excellent post, agree with every word and share the same sentiments. Not only for my sons but I even mentioned yesterday to them seriously that even though I’m approaching retirement I’m seriously contemplating taking my businesses, jobs and myself and emigrating.

  • Ostrich (occasionally)

    Frank P

    Would you have got that one past PfM?

  • Ostrich (occasionally)

    If Vince the Cable was so good, how come he only survived at Shell for two years? Or did they twig him for what he was… and hoof him?

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Poor old Vinny; his ego is writing cheques his brain can’t cash.

  • commentator

    Axstane, your comments are true but maybe you should be asking why this hypocritical second-rate Trot (his wife owns a farm) has been allowed such a free rein to drag us back to the 1970’s by the PM whom you support so slavishly.

  • MilkSnatcher

    NorthernGrouse and Fish, I am sad to say I agree and the same with my children. Actually despite being in their teens they have noticed it already, and do not wish to hang around to be stigmatized and then financially abused into the bargain. My eldest remarked that the only kind of middle class this country seems not to stigmatize in the squeezed middle, which they do not wish to belong to.

  • Garibaldi’s Ghost

    “Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Lib Dem. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Lib Dem must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Lib Dem craves not these things. You are reckless.”

    Yoda on Vince. Or Vince on Yoda. Hard to tell.

  • NorthernGrouse

    Fish has it spot on. I am actively encouraging both my 20s year old children (clever and courageous) and all the bright children I teach to get out as soon as they can.
    Unless you are at the bottom of the pile or at the very top in this country you are just treated like a cash cow and despised for your pains into the bargain. Too late for me and my generation who sleepwalked into it but still time for the new wealth creators to leave and take their talents where they might be allowed to flourish.

  • alexsandr

    Widmerpool@March 11th, 2012 7:38am. I’d agree with your idea of putting cable in at DFID if it had its budget removed. WE dont need this dept, the FCO could do whatever residual aid we give after we stop aiding developed nations.

  • Axstane

    The trouble with this tired old political hack is that he is runnig the Department of Vince without any regard at all to what his brief should be.

    I cannot think of any action that he has taken to promote business. Why his department was also given universities is beyond understanding.

  • Charles

    Peter From Maidstone:

    You are being too harsh.

    What this government is doing in reforming Education, Welfare and addressing the deficit is absoloutely critical to the future of the country.

    If the cost is a missed opportunity to reduce some of the red tape afflicting business, plus having to put up with some irritating leaks and interviews from a self-important old fool, then I for one can live with that.

  • Overt Moon

    As Sunday is awards day and on the 310th anniversary of the publication of the first English Newspaper, it is only fitting to give the award in honour of Mr Cable.

    The Strictly Vince award is given for the squeaky clean touchline misinterpretation of the English Language in the usage of the adjective corrupt-see definitions below:

    guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.

    debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.

    made inferior by errors or alterations, as a text.

    infected; tainted.

    decayed; putrid.

  • Widmerpool

    Some difficult choices for Cameron and Clegg over what to do with Cable “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”
    Cable’s continuing grandstanding on Mansion Tax and other interventions in areas outside his remit at Trade coupled with questions of serious underperformance by him at Trade make him look increasingly “turbulent” and vulnerable.
    He should be reshuffled soon before his turbulence becomes corrosive even some Lib Dems realise this now.
    A face saving solution? move him to Overseas Development and put David Laws in to Trade This means Lib Dems pick up another department in exchange for the riddance from Trade of the “turbulent priest”
    The present Overseas Development guy[?Andrew Mitchell who has done a good job IMHO] could be moved into another department run by one of several underperforming Tory ministers -Lansley?

  • Widmerpool

    Are the Ides of March approaching for poor old Vince?
    Typical Mail on Sunday stuff today but possibly no smoke without fire!
    A week can be a long time in politics

  • Fish

    I look at this great country and its past. I look at Vince Cable (a phoney on the true tradition of the left) and the contagion of an old, tired self serving dogma that he infects the coaliton with; a dogma that brought his party only 57 of the coaliton’s 260 odd seats.

    Cable does not represent the future of this country – he does not represent aspiration or achievement, he represents a tired past and someone who would destroy our futures. In short he represents simply who he is.

    How could someone so sour, so self interested, so lacking in ability and vision have achieved such a position of influence in this nation?

    I look at my sons, both full of ideas and ambition ready, to take on the world and ask myself whether it is now time for them to move on, to find a place that is new and fresh and exciting and ambitious, away from this dying land which, because of the likes of yesterday’s men like Cable, is totally unable to transform itself.

  • john gerard

    Frank P,

    You are a genius. If you were standing for election, I’d vote for you, no questions asked…

  • Frank P

    If I had a hat like that, I shit in it and punch it!

  • Moriarty

    It’s sort of obvious, isn’t it, that Cable conducts his life in an orgy of self-regard. The hat is a bit of a clue. As for the speech, my old tutor at Oxford used to invite us to construct “Times Leaders” that ran (logically smoothly) from premise to conclusion. Think his ramblings would pass that?

  • Right On

    I’m still hoping this is a secret plan to show how ridiculous having a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is.

    That way we can easily save £16.5b a year by eliminating it, and hopefully this madman can go with it!

  • Peter From Maidstone

    So if he is causing damage to Business, as he is, why has he not been removed, unless power at any cost is more attractive to the Government than actually providing a competent Business Secretary.

    Corrupt, utterly corrupt.

  • William Blakes Ghost

    The benefit of having toxic Vince as the anti-business secretary is that the banks won’t support him, small business won’t support him, most of the media will steer well clear of him. In fact I doubt anyone with business interests will back him or the Libdems. In the long term that is very good news.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here