David Blackburn

Both Labour and the Tories need to get stuck into Vince

Both Labour and the Tories need to get stuck into Vince
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The public remains infatuated with Vince Cable. A Politics Home poll reveals that 31 percent want Cable to be chancellor. It’s a crushing endorsement: Don’t Know is his nearest rival on 24 percent, followed by Ken Clarke on 16 percent. Cable’s reputation rests on his sagacious airs and an apparent contempt for party politics.

His eminence is baffling. Fleet-footed fox-trotter he may be; economic guru he is not. Andrew Neil's interview shattered Cable’s invincibility. The Sage of Twickenham admitted to changing his mind over the HBOS Lloyds merger and his constantly shifting position on cuts was exposed. Add to that the ill-thought out Mansions Tax and Cable begins to look leaden.

The Tories and Labour should emphasise Cable’s intellectual shortcomings. Also, Cable’s self-important brand deserves scrutiny. Modesty and teamwork were the casualties of his growing renown. Cable is ungovernable, ventilating ideas independently of his party – his Reform pamphlet on public spending and the Mansions Tax are cases in point. Cable is understood to be sounding out the Treasury for his inevitable inauguration as chancellor in a coalition government. Certainly, the implications of a hung parliament merit discussion, but Cable and the Treasury will have no say in the formation of a Cameron or Brown government. The last politician possessing such a sense of entitlement now stalks Number Ten. Need I say more?