Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How has Cable defied political gravity?

I am a loyal Conservative; very loyal, in fact, and I support the work of David Cameron specifically as Prime Minister and the Tory-led coalition generally. They are a much better government than Labour could ever have formed. However, tonight, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have made a big mistake and even loyal Conservatives have to say this.

This morning, the Cable story (I thought) was a light hearted pre-Christmas story about a puffed up LibDem in government; let's remind ourselves that Mr Cable said if he ever quit, or was forced from government, that he had the nuclear option of bringing down the administration. Tough talking (and in my view, wholly wrong, but never mind).

By this evening he has had a chance to prove himself to be correct. If any other Minister, let alone a Tory one, had done what Cable did then they would be out. The PM could have re-shuffled him, he could have quit or even been sacked. But he hasn't been - how? Do they really fear losing Vince Cable that much, or as some have suggested had they just not wanted to give into media pressure? Many are speculating that Cable fought his corner well and clung on because neither Clegg nor Cameron want a lightening-rod for the anti-coalition voices on the government side of the House.

So what now? Well, a lot depends on tomorrow's headlines ... the media will go for this, the commentators are working as a pack tonight, Labour scent blood and at the very best we have a weakened and even lame-duck Business Secretary.

Some Conservatives are lining up behind Vince tonight, but I feel that I have to say how much I believe this decision to be wrong and could potentially yet backfire on the whole government. I am not alone; Twitter is alight too, with loyal Conservatives saying the same thing.

Cable has defied political gravity today, but my feeling is that to save one man, the whole government is damaged.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

That's the difference between a single Party Government and a coalition. Of course Cable is virtually unsackable - and despite the pressure on him, Clarke is in the same boat.