Tag Archives: vince cable

Vince Cable is working on a novel

According to the Daily Fail, Vince Cable is working on a novel, a political thriller:

Cable, 72, is already deep into the tome, having already bashed out 40,000 words.

It will apparently be a political thriller, set around a controversial arms contract affecting India and Britain. Details thus far are scant, but a friend informs me the prose will be quite ‘pared-back and spare’, in the style of Irish novelist William Trevor. Cable certainly has insight into Anglo-Indian relations, not just because he is a former government minister. His first wife Olympia, who passed away in 2001, was Goan. ‘I am indeed well advanced on a novel,’ Cable tells me sheepishly. ‘But there are a few hurdles before it gets to publication stage.’

Paddy Ashdown apparently had a 120,000 novel turned down for publication. We’d be happy to serialise it, of course…

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A tale of two Lib Dem knights

Twice in the last 8 days a former Liberal Democrat Cabinet Minister has headed to the Palace to kneel before Prince Charles to formally receive their knighthood.

Last week it was the turn of Sir Danny Alexander, who said:

It was a great honour and a wonderful ceremony and it’s all rather humbling.

It was something I didn’t expect but it is a real honour to have the recognition for the work I did in the coalition government – turning the economy around and getting the country on the right track.

Today, Sir Vince Cable had his big day. The Yorkshire Post has the story:

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IfG interviews former Lib Dem ministers, feat. Browne, Swinson, Hughes, Featherstone, Cable, Huhne

The Institute for Government did a lot of work during the coalition looking at how this (by English standards) unusual arrangement was working, and could work better. Now we have (for now at least) moved beyond coalition, the IfG has been interviewing ministers who served in the last government, seeking their reflections on their time there.

The IfG website has transcripts of a number of interviews with both Conservative and Lib Dem former ministers. The Lib Dems featured are:

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Vince Cable on “decaying” relationship with “bloody-minded” Osborne in government

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LibLink: Vince Cable: Britain’s economic recovery is precarious and an economic storm is coming

Vince Cable has form for predicting economic disaster, so you take notice when he says that there could be another one on the horizon, even if he qualifies it with an anecdote from his professional life:

I use the word “could”. I am always mindful of the day 20 years ago when I was greeted in my role as chief economist at Shell with a plaque, in Arabic, which translated meant “Those who claim to be able to forecast the future are lying even if, by chance, they are later proved right”. The reputation of economic forecasting as a science, which makes astrology looks respectable, reflects the same scepticism. And that scepticism was greatly reinforced by a total failure of standard economic models based on efficient financial markets to anticipate the last disaster.

Writing in the Independent, he outlines the factors which could indicate that all is not well: the high level of debt, the asset bubbles which have been created particularly in housing and the international economy, particularly any shock waves from a Chinese slowdown.

One side-effect of keeping economies growing through cheap money and credit creation through quantitative easing has been the generation of asset bubbles, especially in property markets. Britain demonstrates the problem in an extreme way, magnifying underlying imbalances between housing demand and supply. Double-digit housing inflation is not merely creating appalling social problems and division between classes and generations but grossly distorting investment from productive activities to property holding. The Bank of England has tools of macro-prudential management to curb this inflation but the extreme timidity in using them reveals the high level of dependence on this precarious and dangerous form of growth.

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Cable: Counter-extremism bill will lead to “bland exchange of views” in universities

The Guardian reports:

The onus placed on universities by the government’s new counter-extremism strategy will lead to inoffensive and bland campus debates without preventing any student radicalisation, according to the former business secretary Vince Cable.

The former Liberal Democrat MP instead says that banning extremist speakers from universities may in fact exacerbate the problem by driving underground hitherto non-violent extremists.

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Vince Cable’s “After the Storm – The World Economy & Britain’s Economic Future”

after the stormWider in scope and more ambitious in its reach, “After the Storm” is the acclaimed sequel to “The Storm” published after the financial crisis of 2008.  Having spent the last 5 years as Business Secretary within the Coalition Government (2010-2015), Vince has the added clout of first-hand experience introducing economic policies that have steered us out of the storm, not least an industrial strategy.

His professed motivation for penning a sequel were to update readers on the state of Britain’s economy in “a climate of guarded optimism,” and to share his insights, no longer bound by collective responsibility as Secretary of State at the Department of Business Innovation and Science.  Whilst the US and UK are expected to record 3% growth this year, Vince’s previous analysis of the underlying weaknesses still apply, such as UK’s over reliance on the banking sector and on the housing market for recovery and growth.

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  • User AvatarRoland 11th Feb - 1:44am
    Stephen Hesketh - "So Roland, you believe that before we had political parties, the wealthy men in Parliament represented their constituents and placed constituent’s interests...
  • User AvatarChris_sh 11th Feb - 1:21am
    @Denis Mollison You may not like the terminology but it is a fairly standard phrase and it's not particularly rude I think. "if a party...
  • User AvatarLorenzo 11th Feb - 12:58am
    P.S. Suart I liked your approach , it is a subject very dear to my heart . Your patience with my level of gusto, previously...
  • User AvatarRoland 11th Feb - 12:47am
    We can’t complain as much over snap referendums like what happened with Crimea if we then have a snap referendum of our own. Strange concept...
  • User AvatarRoland 11th Feb - 12:39am
    John - Is it just me who is offended when those trained at considerable expense to the state threaten to take their newly (and not...
  • User AvatarLorenzo 11th Feb - 12:36am
    Stuart Thank you for your measured response.I agree and disagree .First clarity .Gradewas unacountable when at the BBC , and is again as a Tory...