Monday, June 01, 2009

Cable: another whig in a suit.

Just a moment of your time, if you would. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm rather disturbed by this horrid rumour going around that Vincent Cable is anything other than an establishment bore. Anecdotally, I note that editorials can't seem to get enough of him. His last appearance on Have I Got News For You was probably one of the few in which the politician guest was fawned over. And John Harris reports that he received a rapturous reception at the Hay Festival. Oh, and the pundits apparently love his book about the credit crunch (the cover of which features him looking typically nondescript while an unlikely messianic halo blazes around his bald skull). He is being presented as an 'honest john' who saw the problem coming and knows how to fix the recession. This is sick. Vincent Cable is one of these ghastly 'Orange Book' liberals who was, prior to the recession, looking to privatize everything in sight: everything from the prison system to the Royal Mint and the child trust fund. What is worse, his favourite form of privatization was this immensely costly 'private finance initiative' wheeze, and he had the temerity to claim that this would save the taxpayer money. His political background is in the SDP generation, that group of saboteurs who bear some considerable responsibility for ensuring Thatcher's hegemony in the 1980s as well as for helping destroy the Labour left. His economic background is nothing special: when he wasn't advocating free market economics for the SDP and then the Liberal Democrats, he was working as Shell's chief economist (oh, right about the time it was laden with all those scandals, I'm sure you remember). His instincts are impeccably neoliberal, and his gut reaction is always to move to the right. And he has always, always been devoted to precisely the policies that brought about an economy based on speculation and debt. His solution to shortfalls is to cut public spending. His answer to public sector discontent is to ban strikes in key services. His solution to the credit crunch is to lightly regulate the City and look forward to 'globalisation' sorting out the rest. He's a right-wing quack, in other words. The sight of him going round pretending to be a fucking economic whizz, and the spectacle of so many apparently sane people agreeing with this horseshit makes me ill. I'm just saying is all.