How others see us: “Vince Cable leads the charge to reverse Brexit”

Vince makes Time magazine this week.

In the wake of the 700,000 strong People’s Vote march, he sat down with Time’s Billy Perrigo to discuss all things Brexit.

The article starts at that incredible march where Vince had the line of the day:

London has a reputation for bad weather, but on Oct. 20 at about midday, the sky was a perfect blue. That was good news for Vince Cable, the leader of the U.K.’s centrist Liberal Democrats party. Buoyed by the lack of rain, he and roughly 700,000 others marched on the Houses of Parliament to call for a “People’s Vote,” or second referendum, on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

“We’re all here,” Cable told the assembled marchers, “because we can see that Brexit is a potential disaster and because we believe it can be stopped.” Although he spoke alongside politicians like London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Green Party former leader Caroline Lucas, it was his line that drew some of the wildest cheers: “It’s not inevitable.”

And the march itself helped make it more likely:

“Critics of the People’s Vote campaign thought there would be a token march with a few thousand people,” Cable says of the recent 700,000-strong protest. “But it was on a scale that far surpassed any realistic expectations.” That, he thinks, reflects a broader change in Britain — one that could simultaneously reverse Brexit and sweep the Liberal Democrats to relevance once again. It might sound like wishful thinking, but Cable is confident. “It’s very clear that there has been a change in the mood,” he says.

Sometimes it is interesting to see ourselves us others see us. Certainly liberal in a US sense is not quite as progressive as many of us in this party imagine ourselves to be:

Cable’s Liberal Democrats may see good fortune ahead by aligning themselves with the People’s Vote project, but they are also driven by staunch liberal convictions, as their opponents love to point out. Cable doesn’t necessarily hide that. “It’s very difficult to see how Brexit can have a positive impact on Britain’s role in the world,” he says. “Britain was seen as a progressive force and it was influencing the whole of Europe, and we’ve lost that or will be losing it.”

And then he gets into talking about political movements and how we’re going after the success of Macron and Trudeau’s parties;

But, in the U.K. and across the world, Cable says the polarization of politics just might eventually allow centrist parties to thrive. “Brexit is one manifestation of this populist movement which is very damaging to international cooperation,” he says. “It’s certainly true that moderate, liberal social democratic parties have been under pressure in recent years but it’s very far from a simple story.”

President Emmanuel Macron in France and prime minister Justin Trudeau in Canada, he points out, are both moderates who have both benefited from the new hyperconnected political environment of the late 2010s. “The successful movements,” he says, “have realized they’ve got to adapt their way of communicating to the electorate.”

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18 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 6th Nov '18 - 11:08pm

    A fine coverage, that article in the magazine demonstrates, that moderate and centre ground references are not mush, the too often heard taunt, that American journalism is fair and does not sneer or add the view of the interviewer as often as here, and that there is life in the old dog Sir V ince yet!

  • Yeovil Yokel 6th Nov '18 - 11:19pm

    Time is wrong when it states that “52% of the electorate voted for Britain to leave the EU”. The figures are 52% of the popular vote and 37.4% of the electorate.

  • Yeovil Yokel
    So what percentage voted to Remain? It was certainly less than either 52% of the popular vote or 37.4 % of the electorate.

  • Yeovil Yokel 7th Nov '18 - 7:28am

    Let me help you with the answer then, Glenn: 48% & 34.7% respectively voted to Remain. But Time wasn’t writing about the Remain vote and therefore neither was I.

  • Yeovil Yokel.
    Time wasn’t making the 52% the most important part of the article. . It was a brief reference to referendum result which you decided to nit pick. People who didn’t vote are irrelevant to the result and using them to invalidate the result amongst those that did is little “playful”. You could read it as meaning 62.6% population didn’t vote for Brexit or 65.3% didn’t vote to stay in the EU.

  • Glen/Yokel, It feels like intruding but Yokel’s remarks are hardly ‘nit picking’.

    After all, if only 3 people bothered to vote (two for leave; one for remain) you could hardly describe the result as “66% of the electorate voted for Britain to leave the EU”.

  • Expats
    I’m not making that argument. You’ve also distorting what I said. I did not say that 66% voted to leave the EU. I said you could argue that that roughly that number did not vote to remain or alternatively that they didn’t vote to leave. People who can’t be bothered to vote shouldn’t be used to bolster either number. Apathy is not proof of intention. If only three people had voted then that would be indictment of wide spread apathy rather than of the idea of voting. This was not an election with different political parties offering alternative policies that could have split the vote thus letting the least unpopular Party win by default.. It was a simple binary question which could only go one way or the other.

  • Come, come, boys and girls! This is fun, but surely the point we should concentrate on is the roughly 30% who did not vote at all?

  • Yeovil Yokel 7th Nov '18 - 10:14am

    Glenn – the Leave vote reached high neaps at 52%. That was 28 months ago. Since then that tide has been ebbing and the Leave sandcastle is crumbling before the eddying waters.
    Anyway, you can tack against a lee shore if you wish to but the rest of us want to talk about the Time article.

  • Yeovil.
    You weren’t talking about the article. You were nit picking a stat. A couple of years after the 1975 referendum a majority would have voted to leave it. It took 40 years for a second referendum on Europe and we were signed up to the EU with no vote on it at all.
    As for the content of the article. The political systems in France is very different to the UK. It resulted in Macron facing off against an actual fascist. Not someone from the right or left of an established party. It would be more like pitting the lib Dems against the EDL than against Labour or The Conservatives. A two horse race between a multi-millionaire business man who sees himself as Jupiter and a card carrying Nazi is hardly a victory sensible politics.

  • @ Roger Lake,
    Perhaps the more important question for me, is why 32% of liberal democrat supporters voted leave.

    The 30% who chose not to vote may well have been more honest and responsible than those of us who did vote with little grasp of the complexity of the issues. I voted remain by the way .

  • Gone are the glory days of the Brexiteers. Most of them have long ago abandoned the fight, unable to deal with reality they have fled too friendlier climes. Even the fly by Brexiteers have abandoned this site. Only the diehards remain and dammed few are they, beset by the reality of never ending Brexit with no good news only bad, desperately trying to spin bad news as good; hoping against hope that come Brexit day everything will stop and be forgotten. Tis sad because even their Dear Leader Mr Gove has said negotiations are likely to take another fifteen years. I fear that reality will have destroyed them long before fifteen years are out. Their fate is to become the Tony Blair’s of the future, forever reviled and dismissed for one bad (OK very bad, nay catastrophic) decsion.

  • A die hard ‘Bexiteer’ taught me a new word, yesterday.

    “Brino”…From his ‘moaning’ (he was not happy) description I can only describe it as, roughly translated, “We lose most of the advantages of being ‘in’ and we don’t get to walk among unicorns in the sunlit meadows of ‘Outland’…”

  • Frankie and Expats/
    People just get bored and go back to their own political homelands. I’m on here because I’m a Lib Dem voter, not because I’m a brexiteer. However , I suspect there is going to be no second referendum and certainly not the one proposed by the ridiculous people’s vote . As for unicorns and sunny uplands. If we can just hope and believe and repeat the mantra we will stay in the EU, a great saviour will rescue the Lib Dem Vote and tinkerbell will come back to life? Really, I don’t think so. Eventually, British liberals will have to adopt to life outside the EU.

  • paul barker 9th Nov '18 - 5:03pm

    Boris Johnsons brother has resigned from The Cabinet & called for a Peoples Vote/2nd Referendum, I dont think anyone saw that coming.
    Whether there are more divisions in the Government below the surface is an interesting question.

  • nvelope2003 9th Nov '18 - 8:04pm

    Mrs May has said there will be no second referendum in any circumstances but she said there would be no General Election shortly before calling one last year.

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