So, three weeks in and Vince Cable has resigned his position of deputy leader of the
Liberal Democrats – ostensibly because he will be “too busy” to undertake the non-duties demanded by the post. Do you swallow that? I’m not sure that I do. Meanwhile, David
Davis has emerged with guns blazing over the proposed hike in capital gains tax, with a clever statement which roots his objections in traditional Tory terms; don’t punish hard-working middle
class people in order to make things easier for the feckless, overweight, shell-suited, Big Mac munching skag addled untermensch (or words to that effect). Mr Davis knows that there are many, many
angry and disillusioned Conservative MPs who have been deprived of high or medium office as a consequence of this coalition and wish only to append their wrath to a convenient point of principle.
Davis, with typical shrewdness, has now given them that point of principle. It was a mistake not to have offered Davis a big cabinet post; not only is he a hugely effective and clever politician
with that thing about him that the electorate likes (a notion of principle) – it would have been the pragmatic thing to do, too.
All we need is a vote in the House on an issue which unites Labour with these distrait Tory right-wingers and the government will find itself perilously close to defeat. The 55 per cent business
should do it. And waiting in the wings, as a potential Lib Dem deputy leadership candidate, having been stupidly overlooked for a ministerial post, is Simon Hughes. I don’t think Simon likes
the Tories terribly much. This is already shaping up to be terrifically good fun.