Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mad, Boring and Unconstitutional

As I've been preoccupied with getting a new story - True Blue Movies - up on The Sleaze this evening, I haven't had time to come up with a proper post. Nonetheless, I can't let Vince Cable's latest extraordinary political manoeuvrings pass without comment. In his latest desperate attempt to retain some shred of credibility, the Business Secretary is now saying that he might abstain during the vote on increasing university tuition fees - a measure which he himself proposed - so as to show 'solidarity' with his fellow Liberal Democrat MPs, (who had, Cable included, signed a pre-election pledge not to increase fees). This really is quite extraordinary, particularly as Cable has admitted that his natural inclination would be to vote for the measure. Sadly, far from restoring some of Cable's credibility, (which is in shreds after he has reneged on just about every economic policy he was advocating during the election, instead doing a complete volte face to embrace the policies of George Osborne, which he had previously vilified), this just reinforces the impression that he is simply a political opportunist.

All of this follows Cable's bizarre attempt to justify his party's abandonment of its manifesto promises on the grounds that it was not bound by them, only by the coalition agreement it had signed with the Tories. Whilst it has been established that governments can't be legally bound by their manifesto pledges, (obviously, changing circumstances can render these obsolete), the idea that a political agreement cooked up in private between two parties, (neither of which had obtained a parliamentary majority), which the electorate hadn't had the chance to debate during an election campaign, should take precedence over policy promises which had been put to the electorate, strikes me as being constitutionally dubious. But the fact is that Cable, like his Lib Dem compatriots, was so desperate to taste power, that he is prepared not just to abandon his long-held economic beliefs, but also reasoned argument, it seems. Mind you, some of us never found Cable that credible in the first place. I heard him speak once, and I can honestly say that he is one of the most boring public speakers I have ever heard, (an opinion shared by the BBC's Andrew Neill, who had Cable as a lecturer whilst at university). Believe me, you quickly lose track of anything he' said, he is so dull. Personally, I suspect that this is where his reputation for economic credibility comes from - many commentators confuse dullness with gravitas. Moreover, because they can't remember what he said, they assume it must have been important. After all, important stuff is always boring, isn't it?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home