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

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vince at a Loss

Panic stations over at the British Library this morning after a doddery old man caused a security scare by losing his rucksack. A mundane every day occurrence was made somewhat more embarrassing by the fact the culprit was Vince Cable. Witnesses couldn’t help but point out the irony that at a press conference about protecting other peoples’ property, all be it intellectual, the Secretary of State was unable to look after his own.

Guido is waiting to hear back on whether it ever turned up…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

The Sun mocks Cable’s “attack” on red tape…

“Way to go, Vince Cable. As the economy flatlines, the Business Secretary saves the day – by cutting regulations on the sale of chocolate liqueurs. ‘This is very radical – we are moving fast,’ declared Mr Cable as he went further by axing rules on fly spray and lowering the age for buying Christmas crackers… Thank goodness the Business Secretary didn’t do anything rash, like tackling the high taxes and red tape destroying enterprise.”


Seen Elsewhere

How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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