When I talked before about the Liberal Democrats showing in public the behind-the-scenes disagreements in the coalition with the Conservatives rather more, this wasn’t quite what I expected…
Vince Cable has privately threatened to “bring the Government down” if he is “pushed too far” during fractious discussions with his Conservative colleagues, The Daily Telegraph can disclose…
He believes that policies are being rushed through by the Conservatives and that ministers should be “putting a brake on” some proposals, which are in “danger of getting out of control”. Mr Cable says that, behind the scenes, the Tories and Liberal Democrats are fighting a “constant battle”, including over tax proposals. Likening the conflict to a war, he says he can always use the “nuclear option” of resignation. His departure from the Government would spell the end of the Coalition, he claims.
The disclosures emerged in a secret recording of a conversation Mr Cable had with two reporters from The Daily Telegraph posing as Lib Dem voters in his constituency.
In a rarely seen move, the Telegraph also criticises a politician for being too honest:
Mr Cable’s comments are likely to raise serious questions over his judgment. He spoke frankly to the reporters posing as young constituents during his first and only meeting with them.
In addition to the political substance of the report, it does also raise a question about journalistic ethics – is a sting operation in which journalists try to fool someone by faking personalities acceptable in cases where there is no allegation of law breaking?