What did you make of Vince Cable’s speech?

It was the speech which revived the Lib Dem conference, oddly listless after Nick Clegg’s speech on Monday: Vince Cable’s rallying final day speech gave members and activists a real lift, and provided plenty of red meat for the media to chew on. Here’s my first impression…

Perhaps what was most impressive about Vince’s conference speech was how unchanged it was from his usual fare: uncompromising, wise-cracking, punchy, intelligent.

The right-wing media has focused on Vince’s attacks on capitalism, with the Daily Mail in typically shrill mood, and ConservativeHome giving it the silly billing of ‘Red Vince Day’.

That’s the thing about some right-wingers: too often they are unable to see past their own dogma which assumes Big Business must always be right. It’s the same blind spot left-wingers have about the unions.

Liberals — and I’m not using that as a party label because it also encompasses Adam Smith — understand that unfettered capitalism is not the same thing as the free market, and capitalism does not automatically promote market competition. That is why liberals, and Liberal Democrats, believe in a regulated free market, to curb the excesses of capitalism and to promote the interests of healthy market competition from which individuals and society can benefit.

Of course we argue plenty among ourselves about where to draw the line. But Vince is a consistent promoter of competition — his relative Euroscepticism (for a Lib Dem) stems from his dislike of its rigging of markets through the egregious CAP. The right-wing press’s, and some Tories’, inability to understand why liberals dislike vested interests always and everywhere is why some of them think Vince is some kind of quasi-socialist.

Vince’s speech was unapologetically trenchant, then, in its re-stating of his belief in the virtues of liberal economics:

The Government’s agenda is not one of laissez-faire. Markets are often irrational or rigged. … Capitalism takes no prisoners and kills competition where it can, as Adam Smith explained over 200 years ago. I want to protect consumers and keep prices down and provide a level playing field for small business, so we must be vigilant right across the economy … Competition is central to my pro market, pro business, agenda.

It says much about the Tories, and just as much about the Daily Mail, that this is seen as ‘revolutionary’ talk.

True, Vince’s rhetoric is colourful, with references to ‘spivs and gamblers’, and to be honest I’m not sure such broadbrush language is helpful or necessary to his cause (however much spontaneous joy it gives party activists). But look at the message, and look at the content, and it’s clear how Vince is delivering a liberal economic agenda in government.

In his verdict, The Guardian’s Tom Clark notes, “It was the speech Clegg could and should have given, for Cable did not budge an inch from the agreed coalition policy. Indeed, he attacked Labour’s deficit-denying, effectively making the case for cuts, but added the necessary caveats to achieve a measured tone that his leader abjectly failed to strike.” He is right.

Looking back on Nick’s speech, it is defensive and dry. In fact the best critique of Nick’s speech was given by Nick himself in an interview with the Observer at the weekend, when he said the last thing he wanted to do was “perpetuate the idea that the point of being in the coalition for the Liberal Democrats is to have a little shopping list of achievements, the assumption being the rest of it is Conservative policy.”

Yet on Monday, that was exactly what he delivered to the party conference. It was an approach that was caustically skewered by Simon Hoggart’s sketch, anticipating how one of Nick’s lines might go down in a doorstep conversation with an ordinary punter:

“Imagine how it will feel to say that Liberal Democrats have restored civil liberties, scrapped ID cards, and got innocent people’s DNA off the police database!”

“I’ve been out of work for four years, and you’re banging on about DNA? Gerroffit!”

Of course it’s only fair to point out that Vince has a lassitude Nick does not. Part of the reason the early talk that the Coalition would collapse within months has gone away is precisely because Nick has worked so hard to show he’s getting on with the job of Deputy Prime Minister in tandem with David Cameron. Had Nick actually given precisely the speech Vince delivered I suspect those stories would have been swiftly revived.

But — oddly, given the media’s repeated attempts to stir by suggesting Vince is on the point of quitting — it was Vince who gave the impression of being more at ease with the Coalition, fronting up to the fact that some policies dear to the Lib Dems had been dropped, but that was also true for the Tories, and besides there were any number of ways in which we are having an influence. And he did it not with lists, but by painting an authentic story of a Lib Dem making sense of Coalition, battling hard and compromising wisely.

Read more by or more about , , , , or .
This entry was posted in Conference and Op-eds.
Advert

68 Comments

  • John Richardson 22nd Sep '10 - 2:45pm

    Definitely the best speech of the conference in all respects. Though I was left a bit confused when he said: “[an alternative] is to shift the tax base to property and land which cannot run away”. Considering the centre-piece of Lib Dem local tax policy is to abolish a property tax and replace it with an income tax – this is a bit strange. Perhaps he only meant on properties of great value? He did use the Mansion Tax as an example.

  • It was a great speech, but too many people outside the Lib Dems won’t realise he’s attacking monopoly and lack of competition rather than capitalism per se (even though he makes that quite clear in the speech) . I know it was a speech to conference, but I think we need to do more sometimes to spell out that this is an ordinary Liberal principle.

  • Stephan Tall wrote “That is why liberals, and Liberal Democrats, believe in a regulated free market…”

    Eh? A regulated free market? I think a libertarian might shout “logical contradiction” at you there.

  • Patrick Smith 22nd Sep '10 - 3:16pm

    Vince Cable`s star has risen in the ascent as a result of an excellent speech.

    The chief merits were that he explained clearly that he sees as his main task to respond to the `national fiscal emergency’ and reduce the mess caused by too much Labour Government that has left a record deficit of £156 B and rising by the day with interest repayments.

    I believe that the reform of the loss making Post Office and the mix of workers rights and stakeholding share ownership with enough capital injection, will pave the way to not only halt the closure local post offices but re-open them as well.

    It is imperative to free up high street borrowing for investment and to create jobs by small firms.Banks must be prepared to make loans at low interest to small businesses that are the life blood of the job making in the private sector.

    The lode star of the speech was the new 50,000 apprenceships and the pledge for progressive taxes for the worst off throughout the next five years of this `Coalition Government’.

  • Couple of interesting points on this – No.10 said they had seen the speech prior to delivery and were happy with the content, and also the CBI seem to be backtracking a bit after reading the whole thing.

    Unfortunately the Mail just can’t see past Vince’s time as a Labour councillor in Glasgow, and the left wing commentators can’t forgive him for leaving, so as long as he’s upsetting both sides then, as he admits, he must be doing something right!

  • david thorpe 22nd Sep '10 - 3:52pm

    its an excellent speach and a speach properly in the liberal traditon.

  • david thorpe 22nd Sep '10 - 3:54pm

    mpg

    I dont see why……….a free society in any field has regualtions, we believe in a free market not an unrestrained one…markets are not inherently free….as adam smith explained…..they will congeal into monopoly if given free reign…so the only way to have a free amrket is to have some regualtion…just as with free speach

  • Andrew Duffield 22nd Sep '10 - 4:54pm

    There ain’t much government can do about irrational market behaviour – although whether it occurs that “often” is a moot point at best.

    As for rigged markets, by far the biggest culprit is government itself – interfering to skew things in what it judges to be a deserving direction, in support of pet policies or ‘special’ sectoral interests.

    The road to the fabled “level playing field” is paved with good intentions, but further regulatory rigging is not the answer. Liberalism is surely about making markets more free – not less. Monopoly is a consequence of advantages conferred by government, not the unfettered operation of a genuinely ‘freed’ market – something the modern world has yet to experience, let alone benefit from.

    Clegg and Cable’s incessant game of Spank the Banker and vague threats over ‘excessive’ bonuses may play well with the crowd, but they fail to address the systemic failings and lucrative privileges that continue to be gifted by government to the banks – most notable being the gratis licence to create money from nothing and charge interest on the same. Rather than pontificate on the size of bankers bonuses, they might spend a moment considering where such massive sums originate – and how the state could reclaim creation of its own currency.

  • John Richardson 22nd Sep '10 - 5:18pm

    a monopolist would still have to provide goods at the market price because otherwise s/he would lose his/her monoploy position because a rival could step in to provide the goods at the market price and under-cut him/her.

    What about monopolies providing goods at less then market price? Less than cost price even. Particularly in the vicinity of a new competitor. A start-up would require immense resources to win a war of attrition against an established, well resourced rival. How could this abuse of market position be overcome without government intervention?

  • @Tom Papworth: If I were the monopoly, I’d simply undercut the competitor in the specific area that they are distributing until they go out of business. Problem solved. You could argue that many such challenges would make the practice uneconomical over time, but where do the challengers get their money? Banks aren’t going to lend freely to ventures that are continual failures, and they may well be making enough on the monopoly that they have no particular desire to rock the boat.

  • @Tom Papworth

    I cannot think of any monopolies in teh truest sens eof the word.

    Yet take Microsoft and Apple (as everyone does). As you probably know the deals that Microsoft strike up with hardware sellers mean that their operating system is installed on most computers. That is because most people are more comfortable with the windows operating system (because they’ve always used it) and Microsoft has the financial clout to either incentivise or blackmail retailers into shipping their products with windows. We won’t get into Microsoft’s many succesful attempts at eliminating rivals.

    Apple is even worse. If you take the Ipod (as well as most apple devices) apple deliberately runs software which means that only Apple can use the sound files you ‘buy’ off, say Itunes. There are plenty of swindeling cases of DRM, where a license to use a product is sold to most people as the product itself (because the legality is so obscure).

    These are not great examples. What they show is that whiilst the consumer, in theory, always has ‘the choice’ the ignorance of abstruse legal issues and technical issues that the vast majority of consumers have is exploited by companies in order to wrangle money from ALL customers for unethical (but ‘essential’) products at unfair prices. Consumer ignorance means that no effective boycots of unethical companies can be made effectively.

    I siagree with your point re the free market (in so far that I am right as to whether this is what you are getting). You could not have a functioning ‘free market’ economy without property laws and market laws.I don’t think deregulation generally leads to ‘freer’ economies but it does lead to more corrupt economies (on balance). There is a strong case for arguing (which Vince was doing) that in order for the market to become ‘freer’ more corporate regulations must be introduced to prevent both abuse of consumers and corporate ‘malpractice’ (legal or not).

  • david thorpe 22nd Sep '10 - 6:21pm

    @ TOM

    Your post is very interesting.
    Firstly the bit of my earleri post you quote is inspired by adams famous quote about businessmen never meeting but to hamr the interests of the general popualce.
    Thats not the exact smith quote, but it highl;ights that what Im saying is at the core oif smiths capitalism. #
    In terms of monop[olies, well no sector that I can think of it fully a monopoly, except those administered byt he state, and thats because there is state legislation preventing that. But there are many uncompetitive, oliopolistic areas, where barriers to entry make competition impossible, and cartles rule the roost,.
    The provisions to become a barrister, the domiannce of the very big accountancy firms, and local bus routes where boig operators wont bed aginst ecah other(this is something I have seen at first hand in bristol where bus prices are uncompetitve and the council cant change it

  • david thorpe 22nd Sep '10 - 6:22pm

    a monopolist wouldnt have to charge market price, they can erecrt barriers to entry to prevent competiton entering.

  • I have to agree that it was a very good speech, reminding those of us on the left why we once saw Vince Cable as an ally. Unfortunately, before the election he said one thing about reducing the deficit and after the election he said something totally different, which is why I now don’t believe a word he says.

  • Lovley speech shame no one I know actually belives a word you lot say and your Tory lords and masters wont allow any real progress on the financial institutions which they own just like they own you.

  • r patey,

    Who “owns” the Labour Partyy? I didn’t notice you refusing donations from the likes of Richard Desmond and Bernie Ecclestone. And I don’t think you spurned the enthusiastic endorsement of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, enabling you to win three General Elections in a row. After all, Peter Mandelson declared that New Labour was incredibly relaxed about people getting filthy rich, did he not? Time to switch your alarm-clock on.

  • The thing that the reaction to Cable’s speech shows is that in this country, for the right win, it is no longer sufficient just be a ‘believer’ in capitalism who believes markets are amoral (as in morally neutral) to not be considered a socialist, you have to be a libertarian free-market evangelist or otherwise you are a Stalinist.

  • MacK – one of the points he makes in the speech is that the whole argument about whether cuts should be this year or next year is dwarfed by the need to ensure that a credit squeeze on businesses doesn’t impede the recovery.

    “The real debate is not ‘cuts versus no cuts’ – an absurd parody of the policy choices – but how we balance cuts with economic recovery and job creation.”

  • Sesnko I realise imagening everyone who slates you Is a Labour party member keeps the horrible truth of what you have done to yourselves at bay but dont insult me.However much as I despise their record they do seem the lesser of two (oops sorry three) evils at the moment.

  • r patey

    “shame no one I know actually believes a word you lot say”

    Ah right. You’ve interviewed them all in depth.

  • Paul McKeown 22nd Sep '10 - 7:41pm

    Cracking speech.

    Vince Cable – GSOH !!

    Also lots of serious points put out with authority.

    That speech will resonate well in the country as a whole.

    Good luck to VC in making it all happen.

  • It was a great speech, but too many people outside the Lib Dems won’t realise he’s attacking monopoly and lack of competition rather than capitalism per se (even though he makes that quite clear in the speech)

    So was he attacking (for example) the monopoly possessed by the Royal Mail? Or the fact that people are required to purchase the services of the BBC before they are allowed to watch any other TV station?

  • Sesnko
    No more than you have however I have lots of friends ralatives and most of all workmates who voted for you to keep the Torys out and will never trust you again.

  • David Langshaw 22nd Sep '10 - 9:18pm

    Surely a system in which all the rewards go to labour and none to the providers of capital (e.g. modern investment banking) should be regarded as Marxist rather than Capitalist?

  • Cable just made himself indispensable to Nick Clegg with that barnstorming speech.

    If Vince is ever forced to walk out the door, so does what remains of the heart and soul of this Party.

    I hope he can make the words a reality as finally getting to grips with some of the square mile’s worst excesses is exactly the right thing to do at the time of the cuts. It would help alleviate at least some of the public anger when the cuts hit hard.

    If Vince ever goes, so does the heart and soul of this Party.

  • @David Langshaw: You may feel that the provider of capital gains far less from the bankers ability to use their money than they deserve, but if your money is in a bank then the institution is providing a number of services to you. It keeps your money secure physically, allows access to it almost anywhere in the country a large proportion of the time, and indeed in much of the world generally, allows you to pay for goods and services easily and quickly, and pays returns at consistent rates. They even count it for you, down to the smallest subdivision of the currency in which your deposit is denominated.

  • This is just a sop to take away the emphasis from the attacks on the poor, makes me wonder how much more of them are to come and this is just a smokescreen. Fine speech maybe, he can ‘talk the talk’ but can he ‘walk the walk’. I think we all know that noises will be made and perhaps a ‘wide ranging review’ set up but that is all that it will be, a review to make the cuts ‘seem’ fair. I have no doubt that Vince believes what he is saying but does anyone else think he may have been allowed this to keep him happy?
    As far as his comments on student loans, “I am doing everything I can to ensure that graduate contributions are linked to earnings” . Maybe, but what will he do if he fails and student fees and/ or interest rates are raised, in fact what will all the Lib Dem MPs who signed the pledge do if that happens? This is close to my heart. If the student fees had been higher neither of my children would have gone to university. The loans they have now are crippling.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Sep '10 - 9:45pm

    “one of the points he makes in the speech is that the whole argument about whether cuts should be this year or next year is dwarfed by the need to ensure that a credit squeeze on businesses doesn’t impede the recovery.
    “The real debate is not ‘cuts versus no cuts’ – an absurd parody of the policy choices – but how we balance cuts with economic recovery and job creation.””

    That’s all very well, but of course it’s not what he was saying before the election. If only he and Clegg had been more honest we might have had a better idea what to expect from them.

  • Nice to see mark Littlebrain of the IEA with a awful article in the Telegraph and still flogging the “I was former director of communications for the Lib Dems” line.

    Well, he was useless at director of communications and ironically his appointment rather shows the limitations of market systems.

  • r patey,

    Save us your infantile “everyone I know thinks” assertions. People who post on this site, by and large, have above average IQs, and are unimpressed with stuff they thought they had left behind in the primary school playground. I am not aiming to insult you, but if you bowl loose ones expect us to knock them for six. Oh, and the same applies to “the electorate will”, “you will be decimated”, etc, and sundry crystal ball claims we get from the other trolls. If you have special expertise in the objective gauging of opinions, then get a lucrative job in the marketing industry.

  • @Valieriet
    “The real debate is not ‘cuts versus no cuts’ – an absurd parody of the policy choices – but how we balance cuts with economic recovery and job creation.”

    I see nothing to disagree with about that. The Labour party has always said that there have to be cuts but the argument is about their depth, their extent and their immediacy. If Vince Cable was chancellor I’d even be willing to hope that economic recovery and job creation might happen. . But he isn’t chancellor and Osborne is going to inflict 600,000 lost jobs on the country through public sector cuts alone. (OBR’s figures) I think that Mr Cable is simply whistling in the dark.

  • Sesenco and R Patey
    Stop bickering or go and stand in the corner!!! Talk about Primary School?
    Do we have to have an IQ test now?

  • Clearly, words are not deeds, but they are still far better words than Clegg’s insipid warblings.

    I simply cannot conceive of the cuts taking place without a concomitant series of measures to prevent the bankers worst impulses and to keep them and the City ‘honest’. As well as a crackdown on the tax avoidance by corporations and those who hide in labythrinthine creative accounting and foreign domeciles.

    It is not merely good politics it is the right thing to do.

    We will see how much clout Vince has in the weeks and months to come.
    I suspect he means business and will not easily roll over for anyone.

    But the fact that it upsets the Daily Mail and is driving the the far right bloggers to apoplexy, as well as unnerving those in Labour who want to pretend they were not beholden to the super-rich, the bankers and the Fred Goodwin’s of the City (thanks to Brown’s wilful ignorance and “light touch regulation”) can only mean he is doing something right.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that what he says strikes a chord with the public and will prove to be very popular.

  • John Richardson, I’ve read here before that the plan is to exempt first homes from the tax.

    Incidentally, wouldn’t a LIT be easier to achieve by the central government just raising each council’s budget from the treasury by the amount they could collect? The page on the libdem site makes it seem a bit bureaucratic.

  • Vince can do a good speech, and he has plenty of great ideas, provided the Tory government allows him to implement a few of them. Plus he knows what he is talking about. One doesn’t get to be Chief Economist for Shell by being an ignoramus in such matters. Vince is more intelligent than Clegg, and it shows. He also has a greater depth of political experience. It must have taken quite some guts for a middle-class man with an English accent to sit on Glasgow Corporation in the 1960s. Clegg, like Cameron, has never really done anything much other than politics. It was a bad mistake indeed to downplay Vince during the General Election campaign in the belief that the Cleggmania bubble was something real. If only we could get Ming Campbell back leading on foreign affairs!

  • Sesenco – I take it you didn’t watch Vince being dismantled by Andrew Neil.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Sep '10 - 11:45pm

    “Sesenco – I take it you didn’t watch Vince being dismantled by Andrew Neil.”

    Well, normally I’m far from being a fan of Vince Cable, but Neil’s line of attack was so demonstrably spurious – the man evidently has trouble with basic English comprehension – that in this instance my sympathy is with him.

  • I loved the speech. Vince hit exactly the right note and gave the LIberal Democrats some clear water between the party and the Conservatives at last. Thank goodness. Clegg sounds like a Conservative echo; they say something, he says much the same thing next day, using much the same words. I was beginning to despair. I want a coalition with genuine differences between the parties as well as necessary business like agreements. In addition the Conservatives have so far been very poor at explaining their vision apart from cuts, cuts, cuts so it was great to have an idea that maybe, just maybe, they are not going all out for laissez-faire, screw the little man, economics. I cross my fingers and hope that Vince’s speech isn’t actually his swan song.

  • Sensco
    So you’ve moved on from Labour tribalist to troll now this is even more offencive as my posts on here are all prompted by fear for my and my familys future and genuine visceral fury at your partys actions.

  • An excellent speech with only one small error i don’t think Bob Crow is a trotskyist.

    That said his whole rational since the election has been we are in the situation we are
    in. It is not one of our choosing but i will fight my corner.

    He is doing his best, where he is and with what he has.

  • Anthony Binder 23rd Sep '10 - 11:17am

    @John Richardson, the tax base must move from income tax to a tax on land if we shall have the ability to finance longer lifes, longer pension period, longer time in education and care, the decrease of the part of a persons life were he/she actively work and tax for an income makes the current income tax system set to crash. The raise in pension age is just as effective as spit on a fire to put it out.

    Land tax has been a liberal idea since the beginning, and it´s a shame that it still lurks in the party closet. A Land Value Tax should be on top of the agenda at the moment, it would actually help solving the problems we have and those we face in the future, both in terms of economy, development as well as fairness.

    I would also like our politicians and the economists stop naming the bond financing ‘debt’ and start talking about ‘investment’

    That would sort the deficit out.

  • “I loved the speech. Vince hit exactly the right note and gave the LIberal Democrats some clear water between the party and the Conservatives at last. Thank goodness.”

    Vince cheered everyone up with some fighting rhetoric. A very necessary thing to do. His heart is in the right place, and it was good to see that he hasn’t lost his spirit. But will it be anything much more than rhetoric? I doubt it, I’m afraid.

  • It was a speech the party needed to hear, I just hope there’s some substance behind the rhetoric and not just words designed to convince us we actually have real influence.

  • Matthew Huntbach 23rd Sep '10 - 2:44pm

    The Bishops and Lords that our political forefathers fought against said much the same sort of thing as we are now hearing whenever multi-million pound bonus earning bankers get criticised. “How dare you attack us – don’t you know who we are? Don’t you know how much your well-being depends on us being who we are? Go away, you uppity peasants, learn to know your place”.

    I am sorry that whereas it appears to be considered acceptable to criticise as much as you like anyone else who you fear is taking out more than they contribute, these bankers are now by many considered beyond criticism. Like the Bishops and Lords before them, we are supposed just to kowtow to them. When they use threats against us “we will walk out – you cannot control us, but we control you” we are told we must just kowtow deeper.

    I feel we must rationally investigate their claims. To what extent are they REALLY creating the wealth they say they are, and to what extent are they exploiting their positions sitting on the pipelines where money is transmitted to take it with little real effort or skill, not much more than many on far more mundane and low paid jobs? We know that in many countries, those who are in government are extraordinarily rich because they can exploit their position to become so. How much are the bankers now the equivalent of this in our society where the state has ceded much control to them? Is it really and inevitably the case that no-one could do their job just as well as them and be satisfied by getting paid thousands when they demand millions?

    I know that those countries where the politicians become enormously rich by being politicians are those where the rest of the people tend to be poor and whole of the country is a mess apart from the enclaves where these politicians reside. How much is this taking a huge share of wealth because they can by these our new Lords and Masters driving our country the same way? This could, I think, be more rationally discussed were it not for the fact that our Lords and Masters also own so much of the media and therefore are able to set the tome of so much discussion.

  • Paul McKeown 23rd Sep '10 - 2:54pm

    What surprises me somewhat is how no one appears to have commented at all on the most important part of Vince Cable’s speech. The bit where he said:

    I’ve come here to account to you for the work I’ve been carrying out in the Coalition

    That was clear: he has to account to the Liberal Democrats for his work in government.

  • Don’t you think it interesting though Matthew, that the people actually calling for more action on money and banking are actually the same advocates of “laissez-faire” (that’s in its proper sense rather than some tub thumping sense in which Vince erroneously used the word yesterday) that you normally tar with the brush of Thatcherite neo-liberalism.

    The problem is thought, that is not the case.

    It might be true that intelligent people who would identify as ‘laissez faire’ do support the regulations.

    But you’ll find far more Tea Party members and Telegraph/Daily Mail readers who identify as laissez faire and oppose the regulations. For them ‘free market’ includes the right to form monoplies etc.

    SO I think it is faire enough to make the case that the leftwing case is for sfiscal responsibility, whilst the right-wing case, mostly made up of self-styled libertarians and people who call themselves ‘free marketeers’ , is against fiscal responsibility.

    In that sense, since the majority of people against fiscal responsibility and good governance of the economy are calling themsleves free marketeers (in otherwords people who don’t want to pay any taxes for personal reasons)… it is acceptable to describe the laissez faire case as being against regulation.

  • Matthew Huntbach 24th Sep '10 - 1:10pm

    Jock

    Don’t you think it interesting though Matthew, that the people actually calling for more action on money and banking are actually the same advocates of “laissez-faire” (that’s in its proper sense rather than some tub thumping sense in which Vince erroneously used the word yesterday) that you normally tar with the brush of Thatcherite neo-liberalism.

    Indeed, my position is rather more sophisticated on this than you usually give me credit for.

    Something interesting is the way the London Evening Standard has covered Vince Cable’s speech. They had the usual “he’s a rabble-rouser, enemy of capitalism, doesn’t realise that’s how this country makes its money stuff”. Then their City Editor wrote a column in full support of Vince. In other words, the sort of ignorant right-wingers who are over-dominant in the media and who are essentially paid by the moguls who own the media to say this stuff pour scorn on what Vince was saying. But those who actually have some intelligent knowledge of the City, maturity and independence of thought, can actually very well see his point.

  • Alex Macfie 26th Sep '10 - 4:51am

    @Rob:

    If you take the Ipod (as well as most apple devices) apple deliberately runs software which means that only Apple can use the sound files you ‘buy’ off, say Itunes.

    Apple abandoned DRM on music files quite a long time ago. Its AAC format is open when not using DRM. I’m no more a fan of DRM than you are, but at least give credit where it’s due to companies that abandon it when they recognize its obvious futility. The main reason I don’t use iTunes to buy music is I’ve found it doesn’t work properly (bad HCI, so I can never buy anything on it.

  • @david thorpe wrote: “I dont see why……….a free society in any field has regualtions, we believe in a free market not an unrestrained one…markets are not inherently free….as adam smith explained…..they will congeal into monopoly if given free reign…so the only way to have a free amrket is to have some regualtion…just as with free speach”.

    Fair point. However I was suggesting that the “free” in free market is interpreted differently within different liberal traditions. Other liberal traditions might say that the rules are decided by the parties involved and the state’s role is to make sure the parties honour their contracts. In addition, some liberal traditions have no problem with monopolies as long as they are ‘fairly’ grown. For these people, Adam Smith is not the last word, rather Nozick and Rothbard.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

    No recent comment found.