Monday, 16 September 2013
Vince Cable Spends Entire Day Pretending He's Still Vince Cable.
Vince Cable has had a terrible day today. Should he go to the Lib Dem Conference and confess that he's actually a closet Tory like the rest of his party or denounce Nick Clegg for the two-faced hypocrite that he is? Should he stick to the line that Tory economic policy is a disastrous ideologically-driven load of old self-serving tosh as he did when in opposition, or support austerity for the poor and powerless and keep his nice cushy money-for-old-rope job? It was a moment of supreme political tension, a titanic struggle between self-interest and doing the honourable thing. Should he sit quietly as the leader of his party betrayed everything that the Lib Dems are supposed to stand for or take the rostrum and rouse the party in revolt against an austerity policy that serves only the interests of the greedy, selfish and self-serving Tories. What a dilemma, what a challenge to any man's conscience. In the end, of course, dear old Vince did none of these things. He arrived at the conference one hour late and sat well away from Nick Clegg to signal the strength of his opposition and then voted for every nasty measure the Tories demanded as the price for giving the Lib Dems snout room at the trough. Vince Cable not only betrayed the country and the liberal principles he pretends to believe in, he also betrayed himself. Having spent years building an image of himself as the people's champion and an economic guru, he now stands revealed for what he is - just another confidence trickster on the make, a man for all seasons, a limp rag blowing in the wind. Like Richard III, he can exchange shapes with Proteus for advantages.