Found on the door of a loo in parliament today…
Found on the door of a loo in parliament today…
Poor old Vince Cable may have survived this reshuffle, but he’s still desperately trying to show a bit of ankle to Labour.
A co-conspirator reports that the Business Secretary was deep in conversation with Miliband consigliere Lord Wood this afternoon. People will start to talk…
In view of the offer being so over-subscribed, the question the committee repeatedly asked was: is the Royal Mail offer undervalued?
Vince Cable said that was the sort of observation made by grey-market, fly-by-night, speculating outliers on the fringes of the financial community and his irresponsible opposite number (Chuka Umunna).
He didn’t carry the committee.
Adrian Bailey in the chair said he had been an auctioneer in a previous life. “If I pitched a price and thirty hands went up I’d know I’d underpriced it.”
The minister thought that to float shares wasn’t an auction. In what way he didn’t say.
Labour and Tory members wanted to know how he would judge whether he had underpriced the issue. If the price went up 10, 20, 40, 50 per cent, would that cause him to blush at all? He was going to ignore such froth, he said. He wasn’t going to take a snapshot seriously.
But what about the 23 acres of prime London property that might be sold for billions by a clever asset-stripping management in a rocketing market?
The minister said such an outcome would assume a serious error had been made in the valuation. “And I don’t buy that,” he said.
Neither do. I can’t afford it.
It has been widely reported today that Danny Alexander and Vince Cable are barely on speaking terms, with the Mail this moring added that the tension boiled over last Tuesday at Cabinet. Guido hears that Vince was giving a presentation on SMEs when Grant Shapps and Oliver Letwin turned on the Business Secretary, suggesting that while the government is ‘bureaucracy busting’ Cable is ‘doing the opposite at BIS’ and ‘creating new red tape’. Much to the surprise of everyone, not least Vince, Alexander then weighed in on the attack, agreeing that Cable should be doing more to tackle red tape. Guido’s eyes and ears in the room say Uncle Fester got incredibly defensive and looked even more miffed than usual by the end. No wonder he’s grumpy this week.
Vince Cable stood, and was elected in Twickenham, on a manifesto commitment to hold an In/Out referendum on Europe yet today he will say such a ballot will “weaken Britain’s ability to deliver more reform inside the EU”. He is planning on slamming the Tories for encouraging “uncertainty” with a vote. Another smashed LibDem promise. And they wonder why everybody hates them…
Vince Cable has gone off Coalition message during his LibDem party conference speech, not wasting the opportunity to twist the knife into Andrew Mitchell. Cable’s speech was almost identical to the copy given out to hacks by LibDem press shortly before, except for one cutting line:
“I’m told jokes about social class are not good for the Coalition, but as a mere pleb I couldn’t resist it”.
With friends like these…
Business Secretary and obvious shoo-in for the next LibDem leader Vince Cable is on the lookout for a new spinner. His department is advertising for new comms man and are offering a generous £80,000 per year to the successful candidate. Apparently “personal credibility, political nous and sound judgement will be essential“. Someone should tell Vince…
Just days after Nick Clegg flew the rainbow flag and declared a “new era of pride” in Britain, Vince Cable has announced that he considers changing the law to allow gay marriage “unnecessary“. Despite committing to voting for the government’s proposals, Vince told a constituent: “on the issue of same-sex marriage, my own personal view is that the status quo is fine, with same-sex couples being able to commit in a civil partnership.” Free vote for the Tories, whipped for the LibDems…
Vince Cable consistently counter-attacks whenever the Tory right bangs on about an EU referendum. Following Dave’s bewildering Sunday Telegraph piece at the weekend, Cable said that talk of a referendum was “horribly irrelevant“. Odd then that back in 2007 before the Eurozone meltdown got going Vince was rather more positive about the idea:
“We see a referendum as an opportunity to have a proper debate about the future of Britain’s relationship with the EU. No-one under the age of fifty – including the current Foreign Secretary – has had a say on Britain’s membership of the EU. An in-out referendum would give people a vote on the broad issue. We trust the people to make a decision about whether we should stay in or get out. We must flush our opponents out of their bunkers and challenge them to make clear their positions on this fundamental issue for the future of our country.”
From a “fundamental issue” to “horribly irrelevant” in just a few years. A LibDem abandoning their principles once they’ve entered the corridors of power – fancy that…
Guido’s Column | Sun
UKIP’s Contempt for Our Free Press | Alex Wickham
Clegg Will Stay Until 2020 | Times
Farage’s Aide and Her Pussy at Work | Times
UKIP Funding Controversy | Times
We Need a Democratic Reinvigoration | Chris Deerin
Clegg’s Patriotic Guff | Quentin Letts
Even the BBC Accepts the Licence Fee Must Go | ConHome
More to Women Than Boosting GDP | Ruth Lea
ThinkProgress Controlled: “I Was an Obamabot” | Zaid Jilani
Free People Don’t Care About Politics | Fraser Nelson
Alan Rusbridger opines…
“One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.”