Rachel Smith talks to the Telegraph about the Coalition, being a politician’s wife, and how she’s a fan of Nick

In 2001, Rachel Smith, went along to a local meeting in the New Forest at which Vince Cable was speaking. She asked him a question and the rest is history. They were married in 2004. Last year about this time, she gave an interview to the Telegraph. This year, she’s done it again. She comes over as very warm, human and honest – just the same as she does when you meet her.

She had this to say about Vince’s supposed leadership ambitions:

She pre-empts questions about her husband’s alleged bid to oust the Lib Dem leader. “When people mutter about Vince being leader, I ask: ‘Has it occurred to you that the opprobrium Nick currently suffers will be our lot? I’m not wild about that!’ I’m quite a big fan of Nick’s. He was an anthropologist and did the same course as me at Cambridge. We both have a Dutch connection (my ex was half-Dutch). Nick is personally so resilient. I admire that.

She goes on to be pretty scathing about UKIP and their ilk:

She hopes that Clegg will be as “electrifying” when he takes on Nigel Farage, in the televised debate scheduled for next month, as he proved in the party leaders’ debate during the 2010 general election. “Ukip? They belong to that land of lost content, people, like Peter Hitchens, who just cringe from the world the way it is now. I think in politics on the whole you have to be upbeat. You’ve got to have a positive message. If you are forever going on about immigration it’s so negative. So yes, I hope Nick goes for him.

She also expressed some solidarity with Sally Bercow and the pressures which wives of politicians face generally:

No wonder she admits to feeling “sympathy, yes sympathy” for politicians’ wives who rebel. “I feel for Sally Bercow. She obviously does need to be herself and to be out there in the public domain, but I remember Sandra Howard saying: ‘As a wife you don’t make a campaign, but you can very easily, inadvertently break a campaign.

And she expressed “fellow-feeling” with Chris Huhne’s ex wife Vicky Pryce:

The “fellow feeling” stems from Rachel Smith’s painful experience with her first husband, who deserted her for another woman after 30 years of marriage and three children, leaving Smith to manage the family farm alone. But, she says, referring to Pryce’s grand revenge: “I wouldn’t have done that.” Instead, Mrs Smith threw a jam pot at the other woman’s door, and then “did my best not to get in the way of the children’s relationship with their father.

“I think Vicky would now almost admit it was wrong. Almost, because it is not in her nature to do so. But I’m so glad she is back doing what she’s good at – economics. Even though she’s against the Mansion Tax. I try not to connect this with her ‘dwelling’… have you seen that house?” (The Huhnes’ home in Clapham, south-west London, is worth an estimated £2.3 million.)

You can read the whole interview here.

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