Thursday, 23 September 2010
So I've devoted most of the text on this blog to bashing the tory party (and rightly so), but once again I find myself discussing the Liberal Democrats.
Not sure how many of you caught Vince Cable's speech today, but I was listening to it intently and he said some pretty important things giving some pretty powerful impressions. First up is that Cable placed himself to the far left of the lib-dem party, knowingly, and second is that both the lib-dem and tory leadership let him. He addressed the hall of people as 'comrades', obviously a poke of fun at his critics who cite him as being too far to the left, but what was vitally important was his very blatant criticisms of capitalism and his pointing out that currently 'competition' is only speeding up the crushing of new and small businesses, counter to right wing claims. But his solution is to correct this and make a fairer and 'more free' market, laissez faire, still a liberal economy, and hardly what Labourites and lefty lib-dems were hoping to hear, but then again, lib-dems are prepared to accept it as gospel.
I haven't fallen for it. I'd like to trust Vince Cable, heck I think he's a brilliant man and would love to see him as a labour minister, but even if this really are his own words - the fact that Dave and Gideon are happy for a major minister to blurt out policies and intentions (sometimes) counter to the official line is evidence enough that Cable is being used as a lib-dem 'leftist outlet' of sorts. It keeps enough of the further left lib-dems happy to let the con-dem's continue their work.
As ingenious as it is, it's also damaging. Damaging to the progressive liberal agenda and damaging to Labour's chances of converting leftist lib-dems.