Monday, April 26, 2010

Told you so

Vince Cable’s image as economic whiz crumbles under new scrutiny

OK, I'm being a smart ar*e but I made a similar observation about Cable in my comment of 16/04/2010 to the post titled "Well - What did you lot think ?" Before anyone says this is a David Smith article, let me say that I think Smith usually writes garbage but I have to agree with him on this article. Cable would make a good Liebor chancellor, you've been warned!

Posted by mr g @ 06:22 PM (2227 views)
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16 thoughts on “Told you so

  • The last time the Liberals were as strong as they are today, was in 1909 when the magnificent Lloyd George and the young Winston went barnstorming through Britain, demanding the end of the oppression of the working classes ushering in the famous 1909 People’s Budget, the titanic contest between the robber barons of the House of Lords and the disenfranchised dirt poor masses. Perhaps again we will soon see a similar meaningful assault on the still strong bastions of privilege by the long suffering wage slaves of Britain. Yet the disastrous ignorance of the great majority of wage slaves as to the true nature of their economic plight will, in all probability, enable the rentiers to continue to milk their bovine herds awhile longer. We need a clean out.
    After the collapse of the Western banks and the way the cost of it has been imposed on ordinary honest citizens, small shareholders and pensioners. If the voters don’t wake up to all this now, when will they ever wake up?
    Perhaps, our poor huddled middle classes might just lift their eyes from their treadmills this time, long enough for the light of enlightenment to dawn in their minds and enable them to see that there is a third way and that it is better. But it will never be easy.
    Books like Engels’s The Condition of the Working Classes in Britain were still moving the hearts of many to advocate strenuous action to remedy the pain of the blighted lives of the Britons depicted therein. But the House of Lords is still unreformed 100 years after Lloyd George attacked it, like Jack did the Beanstalk and almost bearded the giant in his castle.
    There is no certainty of success yet, but there is a moment in time when progressives might just lift the veil of secrecy and shine the light of truth into the minds of the mostly apathetic or deeply dyed red and blue majority of voters.
    We must work intelligently to promote the third way. Let the greens and the true liberals emerge as a new political block to be reckoned with and we have a better chance of true tripartite discussion instead of the dreadful stalemate of the trench warfare between capitalists and socialists, which has been the stuff of politics for as long as most of us can remember.

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  • krustyatemyhamster says:

    Cretin.

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  • vacuouspolitician says:

    A rubbish article, low brow, vindictive and full of dogma – the ‘home economist’ seriously needs to get some new ingredients and stick it in the oven for longer. Lost the argument and now using scare tactics so that the status quo can be maintained.
    There is nothing in this article to hurt ordinary people. – it’s typical VIs moaning about paying their fair share. Hopefully the gravy train may be hitting the buffers soon for these dinosaurs…

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  • I really hope those who are likely to vote LibDem (out of apathy/hate for the other parties) understand what they are voting for.

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  • I haven’t read David Smith’s article, because he’s always reliably wrong about anything he comments on. I will say though that at worst if you *do* believe what Smith says, this is one economic incompetent calling another one likewise.

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  • I can’t imagine HPC will get many links/articles from the Times once it goes from free to subscription only – I might be wrong but I suspect it will signal the death knell of this particular publication.

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  • “His plan to push capital gains tax to 50% would remove the incentive for entrepreneurs to build businesses” What sort of entrepreneurs is he talking about with regards to capital gains? Are the buy to let now ready to leave the country for Switzerland ?

    Cable was the only politician who warned against the insanity behind financial derivatives. Thanks to some naive politicians in Washington we are sitting on a bomb now and we could easily loose the power to Asia.

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  • Ministers are little more than salespeople. They have armies of advisors who tell them all the technical detail and they need to make a decision based on the facts and their morals. Whether or not Vince is an economic whiz is not the point. I think he has a far better grasp of economics than either of the other potential Chancellors, and as far as trusting their moral judgement is concerned, give me Vince Cable over the other 2 any day. The Lib Dems have my vote for 1 reason; this country’s biggest challenge is its economy and the would-be Chancellor I trust most to sort it is Vince Cable.

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  • @Mander “Cable was the only politician who warned against the insanity behind financial derivatives.”

    I beg to differ.

    In his book The Storm, Cable writes “The trigger for the current global financial crisis was the US mortgage market and, indeed, the scale of improvident and unscrupulous lending on that side of the Atlantic dwarfs into insignificance the escapades of our own banks.” In an interview about the book, Cable was asked whether he had warned about this. Cable replied, “No, I didn’t. That’s quite true. … But you’re quite right, and one of the problems of being a British MP is that you do tend to get rather parochial and I haven’t been to the States for years and years, so I wouldn’t claim to have any feel for what’s been going on there.”

    In other words, it’s easy to be wise after the event.

    His chief claim to reading the financial tea leaves is:

    Cable is credited by some with prescience of the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009. In November 2003, Cable asked Gordon Brown, then Chancellor, “Is not the brutal truth that … the growth of the British economy is sustained by consumer spending pinned against record levels of personal debt, which is secured, if at all, against house prices that the Bank of England describes as well above equilibrium level?” Brown replied, “As the Bank of England said yesterday, consumer spending is returning to trend. The Governor said: ‘there is no indication that the scale of debt problems have… risen markedly in the last five years.’ He also said that the fraction of household income used up in debt service is lower than it was then.”

    As I have said before, anyone with a modicum of financial common sense could or should have seen back in 2003 that the “miracle economy” was built on sand.

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  • mr g,

    You are right Cable warned against house prices but he is the only politician to have had the courage to emphasize how dangerous these financial derivatives can become for the economy.

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  • @mander.

    Yes, I must agree with you that Cable has spoken out and also asked pertinent questions unlike other politicians.

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  • Before entering politics, Vince Cable was chief economist for Shell. That’s more real-world business experience than Darling and Osborne put together. I’m sick of career politicians. Cable is from the old guard – a solid history of experience before entering politics, not years wasted climbing party ranks.

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  • @Drewster “Before entering politics, Vince Cable was chief economist for Shell.”

    Yes for 2 years from 1995 to 1997, prior to that his career was in politics or academia apart from 2 years (1966 to 1968) as a Treasury Finance Officer to the Kenyan Government.

    Refer to the following for more details of his career:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Cable

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  • The Lib Dems are the only ones determined to split the casino banks from regular commercial activity. I can’t understand why this isn’t a more widespread view.

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  • Well from my point of view, it’s time for a change. Lab or Con haven’t shown me anything new or inspirational.

    Argue all you like about VC’s knowledge but he was the one who stood up and forsaw a potential problem back in 2003. Perhaps if we’d had proportional representation back then and the Lib Dems had more say he’d have dug deeper and unearthed the problems and how the bubble was being sustained.

    At least if the Lib Dems get in we’ll get Proportional Representation which will stop Brown Type steamrollers bullying their way through and never admitting they’re wrong.
    Whoever gets in needs to sort out a whole heap of trouble. In some ways it should be Brown, but he’ll simply dig a deeper hole as he’s pathelogically incapable of admittings he’s been wrong.
    In some ways its a pity that what’s coming will be blamed on whoever else gets in as they have to unearth Browns lies and creative accounting.

    But one things for sure we need some sort of change and I just hope the electorate (in safe seats as well as marginals) start listening to what’s being said and use their brains instead of just voting for who they always have as some sort of ‘Football Team Type Religion’..

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  • I think this article shows two things:
    1. The Times is a lightweight partisan rag (but we already knew that)
    2. The Libdems are looking so good the other parties are desperately trying to slag them off

    I could say a lot of good things about Vince Cable, but almost uniquely among politicians he says things that make sense and are just. As others have already observed, where has the two-party hegemony got us these last 50 years?

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