Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vince Cable: Gangsters and ballroom dancing

Andy McSmith has written a substantial profile of everyone's favourite Lib Dem for the Independent:

His explanation of his success is simple and humble – what else would you expect from Cable? "I think it's partly luck. I happen to have built up a fairly good reputation in economic matters at a time when this became the big issue of the day. Most of that time, people weren't very interested in economic policy, quite frankly.

"The other thing that has worked is that I did anticipate a lot of the problems we are now facing. I was involved in the campaign against the demutualisation of the building societies. Ten years later, we are seeing the effect.

"And I did, a lot, in Parliament, point out the instability of the banks. In 2003, I raised with Gordon Brown the issue around the very rapid growth of British household debt and the bubble in house prices. He swatted all this away at the time. In retrospect, this was the right thing to have said."

In other words, when other politicians were chasing issues where there were votes to be had, Vince Cable was quietly beavering away on a dull, difficult but vitally important subject, on which he has been proved right. He calls it "luck". Others might say that it was hard work and good judgement. It's a shame that there are not more people in Parliament like him.

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