Vince Cable has given an interview to the Guardian this morning. Some of it seems to be Vince trying to reclaim his mantle of old. I fear that’s tarnished.
This is why:
He predicted the impact on people’s lives will not come primarily from government spending cuts, but the squeeze in living standards caused by world prices and a 20% devaluation of sterling against other major currencies.
Oh come on! So it’s all someone else’ fault now he’s in office. That is absurd. If there’s one over-riding characteristic that the Cabinet of which he’s a member shares it is their absolute lack of willing to give any indication of why they wanted to be in office.
Cameron accepts responsibility for nothing.
Lansley wants to strip the Dept of Health of its responsibility for health.
Hammond wants to devolve trains to local government.
And now Cable says if people are going to badly off it’s anyone’s fault but his – and there’s nothing he could do about it.
That’s gross irresponsibility.
It’s also a great line of attack. If these people really don’t want to be in office because they don’t think they can do any thing when they’ve got it why on earth did they want it – except for the ego trip? The moral is simple: kick them out.
Of course there are some things government can’t do a lot about. The incompetence of business and its refusal to invest. The refusal of bankers to bank. The lack of demand in the economy. The fact that the exchange rate was over valued and no isn’t. They can’t stop these things. I’m not saying they can. But dammit, it’s their job to manage the consequence of these things – not just shrug their shoulders as Cale is doing and say ‘bad luck’. Very politely – that’s nonsense.
The Condems did not need to increase VAT to increase inflation and decrease demand.
They don’t need to make hundreds of thousands redundant to fuel fear and keep the savings ratio high.
They don’t need to let bankers carry on, unregulated.
They could – as I have suggested – require that pension funds invest 25% of their contributions in new employment creating activity.
They could promote a Green New Deal.
It’s utter nonsense that the cuts won’t impact people. It’s utter nonsense that we just sit back and take the crap that might flow our way.
The state has a role.
A powerful role.
And if Cable doesn;t know it (and he clearly doesn’t) then he needs to retire soon and let those who believe that the state is an essential component in getting us out of this mess get on and do the job.