Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cable Unplugged : Cut Out of Media Role, Stays at BIS

Downing Street says:

“Following comments made by Vince Cable to the Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister has decided that he will play no further part in the decision over News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB. In addition, all responsibility for competition and policy issues relating to media, broadcasting, digital and telecoms sectors will be transferred immediately to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. This includes full responsibility for OFCOM’s activities in these areas. The Prime Minister is clear that Mr Cable’s comments were totally unacceptable and inappropriate.”

The crosshairs image will be saved for another day…

UPDATE : Vince says

“I fully accept the decision of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. I deeply regret the comments I made and apologise for the embarrassment that I have caused the Government.”

Cable will still be the Minister responsible for tuition fees and banker bashing. Not totally humiliated, but pretty humiliating…

+ + + Rumour: Cable Sacked/Quitting/Dithering + + +

Guido is four hours into lunch but word is going round that Cable might not be long for this world. Politically that is.

He’s in a meeting with Clegg…

UPDATE: Mr Cable has just walked into Downing Street. Looking as miserable as ever.

UPDATE II: Last tango in Whitehall. Seems Cable held the rose in his lip and bit too deeply.

UPDATE III: Corks popping in Tory circles.

UPDATE IV: Seems the nuclear option bombed… or did it, is he “un-fireable”?

UPDATE V: Grovelling apology at the eleventh hour? It’s chaos… Guido is hearing twenty different rumours, either way Cable is deeply wounded and set to be demoted. BBC says he won’t be waltzing away, not that Nick Robinson’s record at calling things has been up to scratch recently.

Osborne’s Reckless Mincing

Word reaches Guido of yet another party invitation that got lost in the post. George Osborne last night hosted mulled wine and mince pies for his favourites. There was no jelly on offer, but those who happened to attend Dave’s meeting next door with the TUC leaders earlier in the day noticed the tiny austerity mince pies offered to the brothers were minuscule in comparison with the hefty, bonus filled, jumbo pies offered to friends.

Hitting the unions where it hurts.

Why Did the Telegraph Hide “War on Murdoch” Story?

Good journalism is about revealing the truth about those in power. Robert Peston’s scoop is that the Telegraph kept back the bigger story, that Vince Cable the minister with a quasi-judicial role in deciding if News Corporation can increase its holding in Sky, had told the Telegraph’s undercover journalists that

“I have declared war on Mr Murdoch and I think we are going to win”.

The Telegraph is of course locked in a corporate battle with Murdoch’s newspapers, its chief executive, Murdoch MacLennan, is publicly lobbying Vince Cable to block the takeover.

Somebody with a conscience at the Telegraph has risked their career to get the truth out, they can hold their heads high. The editor and the management of the paper should be ashamed of themselves for covering up and cheating their readers of the truth. Their venal self interest is a disgrace to journalism…

UPDATE : Lot of action on the next cabinet exit and David Laws to return bets on Smarkets.

Quote of the Day

Misery Index : Jump in Government Borrowing Adds to Misery


Today’s release showing a shock rise in borrowing means Osborne is now at risk of missing his fiscal target for 2010/11. The increase is blamed on higher NHS and defence spending plus more money going to the EU.

The Misery Index calculation reflects the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics and is based on the inflation and unemployment rates plus public sector borrowing in terms of GDP. More government over-spending means more misery…

Eye Spy Evans

It was the who’s who of the Westminster gay scene at the Speakers apartment last night for the launch of “ParliOut”, though Lembit Opik was sure to never lose physical contact with his latest blonde, just in case anyone got the wrong idea. There were huge cheers for the popular Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, who came out in to the Mail on Sunday, joking that IPSA no longer let him claim for a closet.

More amusing was his suggestion that it was the bored researchers and hacks favourite, EyeSpy.MP, that had triggered his move. Evans had recently been spotted in Soho’s gay Ku Bar drinking champagne. Apparently he was more concerned about being grassed up for the banned fizz than his choice of company…

Guido Poll : Could Cable Bring Down the Coalition?

Old Uncle Vince Ruins Coalition Christmas

It seems all it takes is a fake beard and a pair of sandals to get old Vince chatting away about his delusions of grandeur. The Business Secretary has been stung by the Telegraph’s Holly Watt and Heidi Blake, posing as LibDem activists and shown himself to be a vain old fool:

“Can I be very frank with you, and I am not expecting you to quote this outside. I have a nuclear option, it’s like fighting a war. They know I have nuclear weapons, but I don’t have any conventional weapons. If they push me too far then I can walk out of the government and bring the government down and they know that.”

Lord knows what nonsense he  would say after a couple of sherries…

Downing Street has put the boot in and the old man has admitted he is “embarrassed” by his comments. It might come as a bit of a shock to the  man who predicted seventeen of the last three recessions if he does one day decide to quit. Guido doesn’t think there would be quite the fall out the once revered “sage” likes to think…

UPDATE: At least Telegraph’s top totty Heidi Blake is trying a little harder with her stitch ups these days. Guido can’t think why Cable would be so chatty.  You have to laugh at the fact Clegg and Cameron are giving their end of year joint press conference today. Perfect timing from Vince. The more Guido thinks about it the more he thinks Cable should be sacked. Yes he was claiming to speak the truth, but if he is not prepared to do that publicly how can anyone trust him? It would be the ultimate way to prove him wrong…

UPDATE II: Money is pouring in on Cable to go, sadly more likely to be an element of wishful fluttering.


Seen Elsewhere

Speaker Bercow Defeated | BBC
Nigel Farage is Bigger Than Jesus | Speccie
Year of Sleaze | City AM
Top 10 UKIP Donors | London Loves Business
Tory Candidate Leaflet Blooper | Get West London
Why Aren’t Middle Class Voting Tory? | Sun
UKIP Do Not Have Monopoly on Fruitcakes | Danny Finkelstein
Ed Must Stop Dithering | Mary Riddel
Ed Cannot Rebuild Trust From Westminster | Rafael Behr
An Open Letter to Russell Brand | "Jo"
Merry Bin-Mas From the Greens | Speccie


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