Wednesday 22 September 2010

Calm down dear, it's just a conference speech.

Does anyone else feel as though the reaction to Vince Cable’s speech has been exaggerated?

Yes, he uses some hostile rhetoric – words like “spivs and gamblers”, “murky” and “rigged”. But they are just words.

Most of the outraged voices seem to assume these words will eventually translate into policy which is overtly hostile to capitalism.

But if you actually read the speech on paper, without having to hear a hall of Lib Dems clap at the sabre-rattling rhetoric, there is little in there to suggest Cable is going to implement heaps of policy which is massively damaging to big business or capitalism.

In fact he talks about helping business by prizing more credit out of banks, and even then not by force, but by “carrot and stick”.

That’s something that all three parties have wanted to do.

People who got all uppity about the “capitalism kills competition” line, didn’t seem so bothered when Cable said the more anodyne “competition is central to my pro-market, pro-business, agenda.”

In his piece for the Telegraph website Mark Littlewood got all hot under the collar and said he couldn’t understand why Downing Street had approved the speech.

It was approved – indeed the PM’s office said it was “relaxed” over the text – because there is nothing controversial in its substance, only in its rhetoric.

That Cable gave an uncontroversial speech that fooled some into thinking it was radical, however, does show he is still a canny operator.


Anonymous said...

Oh he's very canny... I think he's by far and away the best minister they have got. That said, I think it's Nick that's the brains at the top, not Dave.

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