The Moral man

Support for Dr Vince Cable has come from the most unusual of places, Peter Oborne of The Daily Telegraph.

Oborne writes that many hard right Conservatives, like Bernard Jenkin, Peter Bone and others “regarded Vince Cable as the least congenial member of the Coalition government right from the start. A former Labour councillor in Glasgow and special adviser to John Smith when he was trade secretary in the Jim Callaghan administration of the late 1970s, Mr Cable has often seemed mulish and uncooperative”.

Oborne goes on to write that “The notorious Cable scowl has occasionally cast a dark cloud over Prime Minister’s Questions. In a government of chums he is not a chum. Part of the problem is age. The four members of the so-called “Quad” who run the Coalition and get on so well – Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Alexander – are all in their early to mid 40s. Mr Cable was president of the Cambridge Union in 1965, before any of them was born”, adding that “Some of the briefing against Mr Cable has been merciless. One Conservative minister told me that ‘he just doesn’t like or understand business,’ accusing him of failing to listen to Britain’s largest companies. Others accuse him of blocking pro-business reforms. This insidious line of attack finally came out into the open yesterday when The Daily Telegraph carried an interview with the Tory donor and private equity boss Adrian Beecroft”.

Of course this is patently false. The notion that the Tory hard right, that still clings unquestioningly to rabid individualistic neoliberalism, that has so obviously failed, should criticise Dr Cable who aims for a more capitalism that is more ordered towards stable growth with the necessary regulation for the greater good with respect for those who are less well off. As Oborne notes, “I believe that any serious and objective consideration of Mr Cable’s record in office shows that he has been a formidable Cabinet minister, an important ally of enterprise, and, above all, one of the most loyal and supportive members of this Government” adding crucially that “The true test of loyalty comes when a minister’s support is sacrificial, in the sense that it is unpopular with his own political base and therefore damaging to his personal interests. Mr Cable endured just such a test, and emerged with flying colours, when he threw his full-hearted backing behind the higher education reforms, the responsibility of his Tory junior minister David Willetts, in the early months of the Coalition. These reforms, and in particular the proposal to raise tuition fees to an upper limit of £9,000, were toxic among Liberal Democrats. Mr Cable could have stood aside, and there were some who advised him to do so. Instead, he joined the battle”.

Oborne goes on to mention that “he has shown unstinting support for Mr Osborne’s financial strategy, and resisted what must have been a very substantial temptation to set himself up as an alternative chancellor. Accepting that retrenchment was inevitable, he oversaw a significant reduction in the number of his department’s civil servants, once again a hateful move for Liberal Democrats. He has not just acted by the letter, but in the full spirit of this reforming Government, quietly privatising the Royal Mail, standing out against new regulation in the workplace, and becoming a powerful advocate of Oliver Letwin’s ‘red tape challenge’. Mr Cable deserves the bulk of the praise for the recent small surge of inward investment into Britain, though characteristically he has not tried to grab all the credit”.

The Tory hard right are, on this issue, wrong. Cable deserves respect and support from all sides for his excellent work on the debt as well as rebalancing the British economy on a sustainable, moral centre.


4 Responses to “The Moral man”

  1. Worth considering? « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] considers a referendum on EU membership, the level headed Dr Cable thinks now might not be the time. Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  2. Bigger problems « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] only 23 per cent saying the Lib Dems exerted too much sway”. Yet it bears out reality with Dr Cable speaking out against greed and immorality of the financial world to the horror of the rabid […]

  3. Calling Dr Cable « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] for the otherwise honourable and moral Dr Cable, said “that he would ‘probably’ do a good job as chancellor, and last […]

  4. A reshuffle and a row « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] Minister, Michael Fallon has gone to the Business Department as a “counterweight” to Dr Cable, and from the Lib Dems that David Laws will “keep an eye” on Michael Gove at Education. […]

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