Fraser Nelson

Cable begs for protection

Cable begs for protection
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Vince Cable is announcing to Metro that "We do not want to make such deep cuts to transport, energy, science research and universities." Really? According to whom? The science budget, which has shot from £1.3bn to an indefensible £3.7bn, is a prime example of a cost that should not be borne by the taxpayer. Scientists are best left to get on with this themselves, and companies are more than capable of funding research. On energy, again, there are many expensive vanity projects just begging for the axe.

Given that Cable is in charge of the universities brief - the most important part of his otherwise non-job - you can expect him to want to protect it from cuts. But to lobby openly like this is not something that Theresa May or Liam Fox would do. Cable had best behave himself. As Cameron might  remind him,  we're all in this together.

UPDATE: As I suspected, some CoffeeHousers seem to agree that the taxpayer should be forced to fork out more on scientific research than we currently do for the entire diplomatic corps. This takes us into a new realm about what the government should and should not do - another blog post entirely, but I thought I would, once again, yield the floor to Sam Seaborne:

Joey Lucas: "The Federal Government shouldn't be directing scientific research."

Sam Seaborne: "Why?"

JL: "Because you stink at it. 'If it was up to the NIH to cure polio through a centrally directed program. . . You'd have the best iron lung in the world but not a polio vaccine.'"

SS: "When did you get an M.D.?"

JL "I was just quoting Samuel Broder. . . . The former director of the National Cancer Institute."

real