Monday, January 23, 2012

Labour Chuka Spanner in Works

Credit where credit is due: Chuka may not be so hot on polling, but he has ruined Vince Cable’s week. The Social Market Foundation website has a heavy trail for Cable’s speech tomorrow lunchtime on reforming executive pay. So heavy that you might wonder why such an announcement was not being made to Parliament first. Well now it will have to be, as Cable’s shadow has been granted an Urgent Question forcing the Business Secretary to bring the announcement forward to this afternoon and give it to the proper audience – parliament. There goes the grid…

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Balls Claims the Mantle of Keynes
Cable Says Keynes Would Support the Coalition

Ed Balls told the Fabians that one of his most precious material belongings is a first edition of a Keynes pamphlet, “The Economic Consequences of Mr Churchill”. Keynesianism is the chosen intellectual mantle that Balls is trying to use with the Labour base to justify pivoting towards the voters and away from union demands for ever more deficit spending and borrowing. Already the Labour left are screaming “sell-out“.

Earlier this year Vince Cable argued that Keynes would not support the demands of latter day über-Keynesians. Cable reminds us that the politicisation of Keynes as a heavy spender is misplaced because Keynes was a liberal, not a socialist and he was writing at a time when the level of state spending in the economy amounted to half of today’s level. Keynes was not a friend of socialism, his policies were intended to save capitalism. Would Keynes have believed government deficit spending at twice the share of GDP as in the 1930s was desirable or sustainable? Cable thinks not, does Balls?

The proof will be in the policy pudding, Labour politicians reflexively oppose every reduction in welfare spending, they are conditioned to do no other. Even when senior Labour politicians know it is electorally toxic, for example opposing the £26,000 housing benefit cap, the “progressive” logic of maximum welfarism that grips their activists brooks no reason. Ed Balls can’t command credibility until he accepts that the deficit is a problem that has to be addressed rather than just acknowledged in theory. In interviews he now says vaguely that he wants to bring down the deficit, yet he is on the record during the Labour leadership election, where he ran from the left, as opposing even Alistair Darling’s modest deficit reduction proposals. Balls ideologically opposes as “too fast, too far” spending restraint by the Coalition. It is hard to believe that Balls isn’t now repositioning towards the centre again for purely electoral reasons, rather than some Damascene rejection of deficit denial.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Sorry Chapter in the Cable Fable

When doorstepped this morning, Vince Cable ruled out resigning saying: “I’m just getting on with my job as I always do.” So he limps on to fight, and lose, another day, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been banging his steel mug against the bars of his cell this weekend. With Clegg initially saying he was behind the national interest, Cable’s voice on the outside, also known as the spectacularly irritating Matthew Oakeshott, was deployed to stir things up.

The Observer reported: “One of Vince Cable’s closest allies, Lord Oakeshott, has refused to rule out a possible resignation by the business secretary. Cable’s comrade Will Hutton had clearly had a direct earful too: “He will speak out aggressively against Cameron’s veto; his decision is whether to resign to do so or say so in office, courting his sacking.” Will Hutton being wrong about something comes as no surprise, but him making something up would. Yet again Cable has clearly threatened that often cited nuclear bomb, yet failed to push the button. When push comes to shove, he’s yellow to his core…

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cable Said to Be Quitting

According to Will Hutton in the Observer, after being ignored in Cabinet, Cable was “furious when he learned what had happened. He will speak out aggressively against Cameron’s veto; his decision is whether to resign to do so or say so in office, courting his sacking.”

See ya, mind the door on the way out…

UPDATE: Vince’s office now saying he has no intention of resigning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Forty Cases of Financial Mismanagement in Cable’s Expenses

Dr. and St. Vince Cable has said he made “an honest mistake” over his VAT avoidance and that it was “embarrassing and I should have spotted it sooner”. He’s attempting to make this look like a one-off piece of financial mismanagement in order to minimise the obvious “if he can’t run his own business affairs, why should anyone else listen to him” line of questioning. But is this case really a one-off? 

A look at Vince’s parliamentary expenses claims from the last few years show a trail of financial mismanagement. His claims are littered with with late fees, reminder letters and overdue notices. His electricity supplier, British Gas and BT have all sent letters stating their intention to disconnect him for non-payment. It appears he also thought it appropriate to charge the taxpayer for £240 of fines for not paying his fees on time. By Guido’s count there were nineteen late notices or threats in 05-06, thirteen in 06-07, and eight in 07-08. Were these honest mistakes too, or complete incompetence? 

VAT Vince Dodged Full Fine


With St Vince reeling from another scandal, Guido and several co-conspirators have noticed that he has got away with this one surprisingly leniently. If this tax-avoidance had gone on while he was in government it would have ended him, but given it was so long ago, surely he should have paid more than the £500 slap-on-the-wrist for his £25,000 “oversight“? The Treasury’s rules are perfectly clear:

10% is £2,500, not £500. Pay up Vince, or are the rules different for Ministers over the small businesses they punish?

Friday, October 21, 2011

BIS Officials Bite At Vince’s Briefing

Vince Cable has taken to the pages of the FT to brief against Thresesa May and Iain Duncan Smith:

An ally of Mr Cable said: “Vince really wants to come forward with a good package for business this autumn but we want to see other departments putting their weight behind these efforts. They need to bring something to the table.”

His line is that they do not realise how serious the growth situation is, however Vince might want to make sure his own department is in order before he whispers into hacks ears. Guido understands that some officials at Business Innovation and Skills are none too happy with the drop in stature their department has had since the old man took over from Mandy. Although he had his faults, they feel Prince of Darkness made the department’s presence felt in every nook and cranny of Whitehall. They are moaning at a lack of “kudos” these days and gently remind the Minister in charge of growth that it’s going to require more than just sniping against others for not cutting enough red tape…

Friday, September 23, 2011

Will Vince Stick to Plan A or Go Nuclear?

As the economic outlook turns from tough to terrible the pressure on the coalition is going to increase. Conservative governments have in their history and temperament the capability to stick to a tough, inevitably unpopular, fiscal line. This is not a Conservative government.

The LibDems have no such history, and in the case of Vince Cable, no such inclination. Reportedly he is already lobbying for an alternative economic strategy, a Keynesian Plan B. George Osborne is not going to alter the fundamental economic mission of the government, nor should he. So will Vince use his “nuclear option” and quit at some point? The bookies have him at 15/1 to resign from the cabinet.

Might be worth a flutter…

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vince Attack Shafted By History

The most memorable sound-bite from Vince Cable’s speech will be his attack on his coalition partners and the right in general:

“What I will not do though is provide cover for ideological descendents of those who sent children up chimneys.”

Like his attack on “spivs” last year, this one will stick for all the wrong reasons. Who was it that brought an end to children being sent up chimneys? Lord Shaftesbury and his 1864 Act for the Regulation of Chimney Sweepers. Shaftesbury was a Tory. You would think Vince would remember voting on it…

Monday, August 8, 2011

Seer Vince Cable said last week…

“Britain is an oasis of calm”


Seen Elsewhere

Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette
Jenni Russell and Her Child’s Godfather, Ed Miliband | Breitbart
Labour’s Left and Right are Growing Restive | Staggers
Corrupt, Incompetent UN Has No Right to Lecture Us | Dan Hannan
Mirror’s Lazy Lie | Guardian


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Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)


Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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