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

PoliticsHome reports comments by Vince Cable on his relationship with George Osborne in government:

The former business secretary said although his relationship with the Chancellor began well, it worsened throughout their five years tied together in Government.

“Relations became increasingly frayed – initially they were very good and then they decayed – partly because I was increasingly disgruntled with some of the ways he was pursuing economic policy,” Sir Vince told the Institute for Government.

“I made it clear I didn’t agree with it, particularly cuts on capital investment, and he would then retaliate by being bloody minded. So it started off very well but kind of decayed.”

Sir Vince also said he had to become “the blocking minister” to stop some legislation going through.

“Towards the end of the Coalition it did get quite ragged and frustrating. But I don’t think it was about the mechanics of government, it was the politics.

“Towards the end, we were scrapping the whole time. First of all, I was having to block a lot of stuff the Tories wanted to do for political reasons: immigration, labour relations, strikes, things of that kind…

“The other area was of course endless, endless fights over who gets the credit for things.”

He added: “So you’ve set up a new Catapult, so who opens it, right? And you’ve no idea the amount of emotional and political energy that goes into fighting over who is going to crack the champagne bottle, and particularly in the last year or two of government that kind of stuff became all-consuming.”

You can read the full article here.

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  • Osborne is still more of a liberal than Corbyn.

  • @ Stimpson “Osborne is still more of a liberal than Corbyn.”

    Tell that to the good people of Kendal :


    “A major flood defence scheme for the Cumbrian town of Kendal, which was submerged in up to 5ft (1.5m) of water by Storm Desmond, was repeatedly postponed, the Guardian can reveal.

    The £4m project to protect 440 properties from flooding from the river Kent, which runs through the heart of the town, was in line for funding in 2011. But the Conservative-led government sharply cut flood defence spending that year.

    Subsequent plans were made to start funding the scheme in 2014 and then in 2015 but were again postponed and 2016 is now the earliest proposed start date. The economic benefits of the protection provided by the project in Kendal’s LA9 postcode are estimated at £15m by the Environment Agency.

    The Desmond deluge in Kendal has left 1,397 people homeless and a clear-up bill of several millions. Tim Farron, the local MP and Lib Dem leader, is writing to David Cameron to demand a meeting to give the go-ahead for the postponed scheme.”

  • nigel hunter 8th Dec '15 - 9:57pm

    You can tell by the arrangement of knees that Osborne and Vince were not ” friends” unlike n of Haig and Osborne. Also he was looking straight at the camera loving the attention Reading the article it seems that Osborne not getting his way acted like a sulking child wanting his revenge. Indeed if they Tories don’t get their way the get nasty. Look at the Guardian article for example.

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