Vince on living in Africa, love against the odds and helping people

Vince Cable has been talking to the Telegraph about his varied and interesting life. From meeting his first wife while both were working in a mental hospital in York, to their romance meeting parental disapproval and succeeding despite that, to his empathy with his constituents’ problems, it charts the key moments of his first 70 years.

Illustrated with photographs of items which mean a lot to him, including a recording of his son Paul performing at a concert in Prague. HE also confesses a liking for James Blunt.

As  former MP’s caseworker, I completely understood what he said about how he is affected by his constituents’ problems:

I struggle when it comes to saying no to people. I find it very difficult to emotionally disconnect from my constituents. I meet people with terrible problems and they’ve been failed by the state, or the government. They’re often angry, confused, they blame you, and then you realise there isn’t a great deal you can do about it. I get wound up about that.

His first experience of helping people in that way came as a Labour councillor in Glasgow:

 In 1968 Olympia and I came back to Britain, out of money, and pitched up at my parents’ house. There was a blazing row with my father, who didn’t accept the marriage. So we went to Glasgow, where I got on to the city council. I was active in Labour politics in those days and it was a real university-of-life experience. I represented quite a tough working-class ward called Maryhill, involved in protests around factory closures and increasing rents. That was my baptism of fire in politics.

Also interesting is his assertion that the train to London is more reliable than a ministerial car. So, he might be a petrolhead, but he can take the green option too.

You can read the whole article here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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