Cable versus Murdoch

Standards in public life and other stories

If only!If only!
Oh how complicated! The tale of Dr Vince Cable, (see right) the Business Secretary, has enough twists and turns to be, under normal circumstances, the plot of an airport novel. However, with air travel being especially fraught at the moment most readers might prefer the central character to be more deserving of sympathy. For Cable is just self serving and his own worst enemy. Funny how it goes but the last Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, was the same and mad too. The Daily Telegraph did us all a service when it printed, leaked if you prefer, the details of the MPs expenses' scandal. Just to remind you it was Labour in government then and simple souls might have thought that they were motivated by politics alone; wrong, journalism was the driving force and the fallout, still evident, from that story did damage to parliament and not just one party.

Even so, the charge, levelled by some, against the Telegraph for printing the Cable story is wholly misplaced. At the time the MP expenses' story was in full flow and the Guardian was in a dilemma. Continued support for Gordon Brown was impossible, it would make them look foolish. The whispered dream, 'Gordon will go, another person takes over and Labour will pull a victory out of the jaws of defeat', was risky too. So they and other like minded people began looking at the Lib Dems. What they saw they liked, but then did they look further than Nick Clegg? At 50 paces on a dark night Clegg would look just like David Miliband, the man they hoped would replace Brown. Faith in David Miliband was misplaced and had anyone with time looked further they might have seen his brother in the shadows. It's the same with Clegg, he and the rest of the Lib Dems deserved careful scrutiny, for over Clegg's shoulder scowled Cable.

So with undue haste and in desperation the Guardian swung behind the Lib Dems. Thus now they are having to defend ' their man' Cable against what they see as an attack from a rival newspaper of a different political leaning. The Assistant Editor, Michael White, never slow to show his faint grasp of reality, even suggested that Cable sue the Telegraph. All this from a newspaper in the midst of giving us Julian Assange and the Wikileaks story. Now we like Wikileaks see HERE, we also like what the Telegraph has done in exposing Cable. To pretend that one is bad and the other is not is foolish, they are the same. In both cases what was supposed to be hidden is now on show for all to see. Again, in both cases, Assange and Cable, a remark from our post on Assange illustrates the point -

I challenge anyone to find a single revelation as opposed to confirmation here.

It was well known that Cable was a pompous twit with mouth trouble and Clegg too weak to do anything about it before the coalition was formed. That Cable was caught yapping like a demented parrot to a couple of yummy mummies in his constituency office makes him look deranged. Some really silly excuses are being put up on behalf of Cable but really he is less than ideal for public office. Also, as Cable is still part of a coalition, it's hard to pretend that Cable and only Cable is a bit of a joke and not the whole coalition too. A chain is as strong as its weakest link? Even so the Tories will try to pretend that the damage is to the Lib Dems alone; we shall soon see if this is so. In terms of damage limitation the Lib Dems have not seemed to even bother to try. Today for example BBC radio had ex-Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik explaining to a phone-in programme how wonderful Cable really is. Opik sounded genuinely surprised to find his thesis rejected.

The Lib Dems always like to present themselves as some kind of superior moral force, the party that cares. Yet this is the party that, for example, is passionate about all things EU, this would include the European Arrest Warrant, which is both unjust and immoral in its application. How can a party present itself as superior when its second highest official is vain, petty and vindictive, liberal it, or he, is not. Yet these EU initiatives are the sort of things Cable would have helped come into UK law. Whatever you think of Rupert Murdoch, his business interests deserve a better judge than Cable. The fact that Cable still has any job within the coalition is a remarkable show of weakness that again sends the wrong signals about standards in public life.

Cable said he was "at war" with Murdoch, well it looks like he may have lost the battle, 'home before Christmas' etc, -

Shares in BSkyB hit their highest level since 2004 at one point on Wednesday as City traders bet that Business Secretary Vince Cable's controversial comments had improved the chances of News Corp's bid for full control of the satellite broadcaster being approved.

Link to that story - HERE.