The real winner of today’s fiscal tussle, however, was Vince Cable. He published a pamphlet that I doubt will be widely read, but which offers some specific and credible ideas for restraining public spending. It isn’t all Liberal Democratic policy yet, but much of it is likely to be. Neither Mr Brown, in his belated admission of reality, nor Mr Osborne, with his vague triumphalism, were as sensible as Saint Vince.
And, as if all that isn’t enough, today also saw the publication by The Times of a Populus poll showing Vince to be the most trusted British politician:
Populus asked voters to rate politicians on a scale of nought to 100, from totally mistrust to trust absolutely. There are no Labour figures in the top six. … Mr Cable, at 52.8, is not only rated higher by Lib Dem voters than Nick Clegg, his own party leader, but he is trusted more by Tories than by Lib Dem supporters. … Among Tories he is ahead of all the party’s leading figures apart from David Cameron.
Dr Cable is more trusted among Tories than not only Mr Osborne but also William Hague (just), Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and Michael Gove. … Mr Cameron is second among all voters, at 50 … Next come Mr Hague and Mr Clegg.