Vince Cable’s transformation from national treasure to national disgrace has been staggering in its speed. I remember when I was hoping that he’d get the Chancellor’s job rather than Osborne. Now with the latest scandal to hit the Tory-led coalition, courtesy of the Torygraph, he just seems like a joke. He’s truly transformed into Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin, from Batman).
Now, for my own part, he lost all credibility with the debacle over tuition fees. He flip-flopped over whether he’d vote for, against, or abstain. This all despite the fact that he was elected on a longstanding policy and a pledge not to increase them, but rather to abolish them. That moment, along with all of the Lib Dem MPs who voted for the rise, he lost all legitimacy in my mind.
The latest scandal has seen a recording of him saying that he could bring down the coalition and would do so if they pushed him too far. When I heard this, I wondered what exactly would be too far, given that he’d already u-turned on tuition fees, cuts, the EU, and countless other things. But hey, I don’t care. It pissed off Tories more than anyone.
And now today, immediately after a bland press conference held by Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Cameron and Clegg) on “how brilliant the coalition is, and doesn’t everyone agree?”, the BBC breaks the news that he also made claims about Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take over BSkyB. Apparently he’d said that he was “at war” with Murdoch, and was going to use all of his powers to stop the takeover.
This matters more to me. Rupert Murdoch already has near monopoly over the print news media,
and Sky News’ weird Fox News impersonation caters to the right-wing audience, but Mr Murdoch has never been one to settle. He won’t be happy until he has complete monopoly over the media, and controls all news access.
But now Mr Cable has come out and declared that he won’t let Murdoch take over BSkyB. Fantastic. Except that he’s the Secretary of State for Business, and is supposed to be making impartial decisions. Now he’s tainted his own impartiality, and given Murdoch and his advocates (i.e. Sun-reading, Sky News– watching, Conservative-voting right-wingers everywhere) ammunition with which to argue for his removal from the case and the decision.
So as much as I agree with him being against Murdoch, he’s still an absolute idiot for bringing personal bias into the matter, and even more for publicly announcing it. He’s set back the movement against Murdoch-isation massively, and quite possibly handed BSkyB over to the closest thing to Darth Vader walking around in the real world.
I remember when Vince Cable was acting leader of the Lib Dems (during the election campaign that led to the appointment of Clegg), he said of Gordon Brown, “The House has noticed the Prime Minister’s remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean.” Personally, I think that’s very bloody rich considering his own transformation from loveable OAP, to utterly incompetent berk.
Well done, Mr Cable.