This weekend it is the Social Democratic Party’s Conference in Brighton. I have always refused to use the appellation ‘Liberal’ as in the inverse takeover of the Liberal Party by the SDP they dumped any remaining classical liberal virtues of the party of Gladstone.
The essentially decent Eurocrat Nick Clegg has apologised for the policy committment made on free tertiary education fees made by his party, never expecting to go anywhere near the levers of power in Whitehall. The ever disloyal Cable says of course ” I always thought this was an unwise policy committment”.
The conference is set for a showdown between Clegg and Cable and his soft left supporters in the SDP wing for the top job.
I cannot think of anybody more untrustworthy to be hold the position that Cable occupies as Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills.
Clearly that is why Cameron in the last reshuffle put Michael Fallon in as a minder at DBIS.Fallon is making statements that Government should step out of the way of business and let it get on with leading us out of recession. Cable with his old Labour hat on wants regulation, regulation and more regulation. The promised business bank will never happen, because most of the big banks have been nationalised, or are in thrall to the State through soft loans. Control of the commanding heights of the economy has been the socialist dream since Marx. As a left wing social democrat why should Cable wish to change that scenario.
I have met with a senior Conservative who has sat across the table from Cable who has told me that with regard to Cable ‘when your fellow politicians tell you you have got an ego problem, you really have got a problem’.
Another senior conservative was quite open with a shared view that be could be charitably summed up in the phrase ‘ he is a stranger to the truth’.
No wonder he has a minder, and is not allowed to make any speeches that have not been cleared first.
The Daily Telegraph clearly sees him as inept. As Secretary of State he is expected to adopt a quasi-judicial role (as in impartial judge), ‘declaring war’ on political grounds on one of the parties is not exactly impartial, and neither is showing off to two pretty faces.
Even Ed Miliband said he would have sacked Cable.
My own dealings with Cable, that will be published in a book when concluded, certainly led me to the conclusion he is unfit to hold office, and the circumstances of which led a senior Judge on the Bristol Circuit to conclude that he found my assertions of Misconduct in Public Office, which he corrected to ‘Misfeasance in Public Office’ the most persuasive’.
He is not averse to breaking the Ministerial Code if it suits his personal political agenda.
1d. Ministers should be as open as possible with Parliament and the public, refusing to provide information only when disclosure would not be in the public interest which should be decided in accordance with the relevant statutes and the Freedom of Information Act 2000;
The Secretary of State’s private office (then under Mandelson) was served with a Freedom of Information and Data Protection request in October 2009. It was ignored. I was trying to find out what had caused DBIS to launch an action against me when in May 2009 their independent assessor had told them there was no reason to launch any action.
In September 2010 the Information Commissioner wrote to Cable’s private office instructing them to release the documentation they had on me. They denied they had anything. In October 2010 I sued Cable in the Bristol Courts under the provisions of the Data Protection Act. The Treasury Solicitor was instructed to defend. Two days before the hearing the Treasury Solicitor wrote to the Court and myself asking for an adjournment and offering an apology, because they had found a file that had been overlooked (??). The Treasury Solicitor paid my legal costs and the file was finally released, after eighteen months, not the statutory forty days.
There sitting in the file was a memo that was a bare faced lie from a solicitor in the payof DBIS, ensuring that evidence I had requested was kept out of Court and forgeries were kept in. This was in the private office of our esteemed Secretary of State.
Also on the 10th November 2010, Cable’s solicitors wrote to a District Judge objecting to my having a elected role in the Libertarian Party. The District Judge and DBIS own counsel had already agreed that Vince had no powers over registered political parties the previous October. In December 2010 solicitors acting for Cable were instructed by the Judge to agree wording to specifically exclude political parties. DBIS have never acted on the Judge’s directions.
Through out 2011,the Libertarian Party was monitored online by DBIS using a ‘Rippers’ software.All of which was recorded and kept by the Party webmaster. There was an admission that they had had an an internal meeting with their legal advisors to see if the Libertarian party was defaming Cable and and officers of DBIS. Finally from November 2011 to January 2012, an investigation was held into whether I had committed a criminal offence in being the leader of the Libertarian Party. All of which was dealt with by a District Judge a year earlier, that Vince had no powers in this area. The consensus is that he was abusing his office for party political ends.
In December 2011, Cable finally issued a personal apology for breaching the Ministerial Code and for withholding evidence properly requested. This was issued to my MP, with the note that lessons had been learned.
I don’t think lessons have been learned, Cable is inept in office, duplicitous and opportunistic politically, he is disloyal and not averse to abusing his office and the Ministerial Code for narrow party political purposes.
An independent body, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, is looking into all of these matters, I do not hold my breath. A national newspaper has the file of documents supporting the veracity of his attempts to use his office to destabilise the Libertarian Party.
If this is the sort of man the Social Democrats want to lead them instead of Clegg, they are making a huge statemement about their ethics and constant tub thumping about ‘fairness’
That Miliband is texting him after saying he should have been sacked over BSKYB is also damning.
The Libertarian Party has an explicit policy on misfeasance in public office and that it is made a statutory offence.
Nick Ridley had another view on the DTI ,DBIS is a successor to DTI- “What is the DTI for?” He added: “I’ve got bugger all to do, and thousands of staff to help me do it.”
Mandelson built it up into a Whitehall empire, Cable uses it to justify his place around the Coalition cabinet table.
Nick Ridley had the right idea, sweep this department away and its Secretary of State with it.