Tag Archives: vince cable

Vince’s manifesto shows just how far Tim took us

When Tim Farron stood for the leadership two years ago, his winning manifesto was quite internally focused. It had to be. We’d just had what could have been a mortal blow from the electorate. We were all in shock, devastated at the psychological impact of the loss of so many of our heartlands.

We knew we had to pick ourselves up, but in those early weeks, every time we tried to get ourselves off the floor, we couldn’t quite manage it. Then along came Tim with a jolt of electricity, a motivational message that energised us and got us going again. A lot of his manifesto was internally focused – about picking a ward and winning it, about tackling diversity, about how he’d make decisions in the party (with a diverse group of people in the room), and about having a festival of ideas. It was a time of innovation when newbies developed initiatives like Lib Dem Pint and Your Liberal Britain. But it was mainly internal.

Tim has left us in better shape and grew the size of the parliamentary party in an incredibly difficult election for us.

Vince’s manifesto is much more outward looking. He doesn’t really talk about internal stuff at all. It’s all about our positioning to the world.

He uses language about being ambitious for party and country that reminds me of Willie Rennie’s optimistic campaign in Scotland where we won two seats from the SNP. Where we could get that message out in sufficient volume, people liked it. It was full of heart and authenticity and optimism. People want something to look forward to.

Vince concentrates on five policy areas:

Posted in Op-eds | 18 Comments

Vince takes the stage with a strong “Exit from Brexit” line

Vince is not our almost leader any more. Just after 4pm, Sal Brinton announced that there had only been one nomination received and therefore he was our actual leader.

Having one of the country’s most credible and authoritative experts on the economy at a time when the economy is at risk is no bad thing.

We will certainly see a change in style from Vince. He won’t be as Tiggerish as Tim, but he’ll fight the recklessness of the Tories and Labour and promote our Liberal Democrat values with energy and optimism.

Vince has huge intelligence, a way of telling it like it is that makes sense to people and a wicked sense of humour. I feel much more optimistic than I did on 9th June that we can actually get somewhere.

Watch this afternoon’s proceedings here. You can see speeches from Sal, Tim, Jo and Vince.  Some key points from Vince’s speech are below.

There is a huge gap in the centre of British politics and I intend to fill it. As the only party committed to staying in the single market and customs union, the Liberal Democrats are alone in fighting to protect our economy. It will soon become clear that the government can’t deliver the painless Brexit it promised. So, we need to prepare for an exit from Brexit.

Theresa May wants to take Britain back to the 1950s while Jeremy Corbyn wants to take Britain back to the 1970s. I will offer an optimistic, alternative agenda to power the country into the 2020s and beyond.

We have a government that can’t govern and an opposition that can’t oppose. Labour and the Conservatives have formed a grand coalition of chaos, driving through a hard Brexit which would deliver a massive blow to living standards.

Both parties have abandoned mainstream economics. I want to put economics back centre stage.

Under my leadership the Liberal Democrats will be at the centre of political life: a credible, effective party of national government.

We have doubled our membership and our new members have given the party enormous energy. I want to give leadership to that energy, hitting the headlines and putting our party at the centre of the national debate.

 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

Cable: Hammond’s position on public sector pay unsustainable

Chancellor Philip Hammond was quite happy to tell Andrew Marr that his Cabinet colleagues didn’t trust him on Brexit, but not so quick to deny that he’d said that public sector workers were overpaid. Our shadow Chancellor and almost leader Vince Cable had this to say:

I am very surprised by Philip Hammond’s reported comment the public sector workers are “overpaid”. Who exactly is he talking about? Nurses? Teachers? Police officers? Servicemen and women?

There is very clear evidence of chronic shortages and recruitment difficulty in many of our essential services. Basic economics, let alone wider ideas of fairness suggests that Hammond’s position is totally unsustainable.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 33 Comments

No country for old men?

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the trend was for younger political leaders.

We had Blair, then Cameron, Clegg and Miliband.

Our American cousins elected the youthful Barack Obama as their President.

Ming Campbell one of the Lib Dem leaders in this period was thought too old by some and his age was clearly a major factor in his stepping down.

He was 66 at the time.

Oh how things have changed.

Labour’s Corbyn is in his late sixties, in the US the President is 71 and arguably his main opponent the excellent Bernie Sanders is 75!

As Britain’s Liberal party undertakes a leadership election it looks like the septuagenarian Vince Cable may be the only runner.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 30 Comments

Vince Cable on Lib Dem prospects: You could come from third to first really quickly

In an interview with the Guardian published tonight, Vince Cable sets out some lofty ambitions for the party:

I ask him what would constitute success for his leadership. “If there is a significant improvement in our vote share, and a sense that we are back in the frame as a serious party being listened to,” he says. He is not looking merely at picking up the odd seat – his age doesn’t permit him that incremental approach – but is more interested in driving up popular support. “You could come from third to first very quickly.” He is encouraged by Emmanuel Macron’s remarkable ascent and the appeal of “radical centrism” in France, and draws parallels with Britain. “The right had become discredited in France, while here the Tory brand is becoming discredited by the day, and there was also a reaction against the Mélenchon left.”

That’s a long way from where we are now, so under what circumstances can we get there? Well, the true cost of Brexit is going to become apparent:

Cable stands by his suggestion that we may never leave the EU. “The Brexit process is going to get very messy. I meet a lot of senior civil servants and they’re trying to be loyal, but their eyebrows rise. They just can’t see how it can be done. The government haven’t taken on board the complexity of unwinding 40 years of regulatory activity.” He says the row over Euratomis a taste of the chaos to come. “The Brexiteers are only just beginning to understand the enormous can of worms they have opened up.”

Does he see any form of Brexit that can work? “I’m increasingly pessimistic,” he says. He thinks there is a 50-50 chance that Britain will get a deal and transition period that safeguard the economy. “That could happen,” he says. “But I think there’s a very high risk of the whole thing falling apart and crashing out, with all the costs associated with it. It’s at that point that the second referendum becomes absolutely essential.”

If you like that kind of thing, there’s a delicious put-down of Corbyn:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 15 Comments

It’s time for an All Party Parliamentary Group on Land Value Taxation

The rioting in Hamburg on the occasion of the meeting of the G20 this month highlights the oftentimes violent confrontation that exists between alternative theories of capitalism and socialism, as represented by the established orthodoxy and those that would seek to tear it down.

 At the heart of this conflict lies differing interpretations of economic theory, often depicted simplistically as left v right; Keynes v Hayek; socialism v capitalism; social liberalism v economic liberalism; or progressives v conservatives.

Henry George’s Progress and Poverty envisioned a capitalism that would allow all people to own the product of their labour, but that things found in nature, particularly land, belongs equally to all humanity. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 35 Comments

Leadership hustings – a chance to discuss the future of the party with Vince Cable

The first Leadership hustings will take place this Saturday in London.

Why a hustings, I hear you ask, given that there is only one candidate? Technically nominations close next Monday, so until then the advice is that we cannot assume that there will not be a contest (although, of course, the chances of a challenge are minimal).

The Social Liberal Forum Conference is holding the hustings at 1.30pm at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA. Vince Cable has agreed to take part. If any other candidates do come forward before Saturday then they will, of course, be invited.

Whilst any party member is welcome to attend the hustings for free, we would love it if you could sign up for the whole day’s conference. In the morning the theme will be ‘The Retreat from Globalisation’ with some eminent speakers, while the afternoon will be devoted to more local issues including the Leadership election and a review of the General Election. You can register here: www.socialliberal.net/slfconf2017.

Posted in Leadership Election | Also tagged | 8 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 22nd Jul - 10:45am
    Before any "referendum on the deal" it would be necessary for the 27 to agree that any decision by the British people to support the...
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 22nd Jul - 10:19am
    I have no doubt now that it will in the end be considered necessary for the electorate to be given the final say and Vince...
  • User Avatarjayne Mansfield 22nd Jul - 9:57am
    @ Joe Bourke, As wealth becomes ever more concentrated in fewer hands, I find your comments about choice and freedom a sign of the pervasiveness...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 22nd Jul - 9:36am
    The blatant incompetence of the people allegedly in charge of exiting from the EU is nothing less than shocking. One of the reasons given for...
  • User AvatarThomas 22nd Jul - 7:40am
    Libdem needs a leader who does not merely aim to become a junior coalition partner but the main party governing alone. The last leader with...
  • User AvatarNick Thornsby 22nd Jul - 7:36am
    Joe Bourke - very well put!