Saturday, September 02, 2017

Vince Cable: Dancer, novelist (and politician)

Henry Mance has interviewed Vince Cable for the Financial Times.

There is a lot about dancing, but some politics did slip through:
Cable became a Liberal as a teenager, rebelling against his far-right father. He married Rebelo, whose family was of Indian origin, at a time when his home town of York was virtually “monocultural”; the couple was ostracised by his parents and hers for several years. For him, leftish liberalism was a choice, and he does not take it for granted. 
“I’m just as radical now as I was at the beginning,” he says. The anti-immigration sentiment around the Brexit vote was a sign that “we’ve gone back a long way . . . The potential for societies when they’re under stress to start turning on minorities — you’ve seen quite a lot of that in recent times, and that is alarming.” 
Yet having worked around the world, he is less pessimistic than many western liberals, who see the power of Trump and the ascendance of autocratic China as the beginning of a dark era. “The rise of [emerging] countries out of extreme poverty and isolation is a phenomenally positive development.” The west is “no longer the centre of gravity of the world”, but western Europe still has the power to be “a major counterbalancing force”, says Cable.
I am not sure York would take happily to be called a "town", but Mance does make the important point that Vince "represents a form of progressive politics that isn’t built on privilege".

Meanwhile, Sam Leith has reviewed Vince's novel Open Arms for the Guardian.

"Perfectly readable" is about as enthusiastic as he gets, but then this is the Guardian talking about the Liberal Democrats.


Anonymous said...

“I’m just as radical now as I was at the beginning,” he says. Oh really? I suspect that the young and hopeful Cable of yore would be shocked if someone got in a time machine and went back to tell him about the coalition with the Tories, the privatisation of the Royal Mail and other such cases of "radicalism".

Admin said...

You appear to be confusing radicalism with statism