• Author:Ben Jones
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Vince Cable; wise man or panderer?

In my eyes, Vince Cable has never been the wise sage of the economy that others portrayed him. This was apparent again recently when hearing his pronouncements on the need for “Plan A+”; slow down the deficit reduction effort and increase borrowing. This plan-a naked bit of political grandstanding in advance of his party’s Spring conference- is not worthy of the name. It is simply pandering to his Party’s worse instincts. These instincts are driven by the fear of what will happen in 2015 if the Government’s tough medicine for the economy continues to give the public a sickly feeling. But, it remains the only show in town- something Mr Cable’s Party leader understands- pay down the debt, clear up the mess left by the previous government and hold firm.

This long term strategy may pay off politically by 2015 but if it doesn’t it will still have been the right thing to do. Mr Cable would do his standing with sceptics like me better if he put his country before his Party. For me, this recent episode supports the suspicion that Mr Cable appears happier opposing than governing. That he is better suited to commenting on, rather than shaping events. It also appears he is not fully versed in the conventions of collective Cabinet responsibility. This is the work of a political panderer not an economic wise man. And alongside that, it is very, very tedious.