Vince hits out at Gordon’s ‘Big Tentism’

by Stephen Tall on September 25, 2007

Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable has delivered a typically withering-yet-courteous assessment of Gordon Brown’s determination to assemble a ‘government of all the talents’.

Speaking at a Fabian Society fringe meeting at the Labour party conference in Bournemouth, he’s quoted by the BBC saying:

“I am concerned about what I would regard as big tentism – this attempt to get everybody into the same fold. I think it is an attempt to create – in the nicest possible way – a one-party state.”

He likened Mr Brown to Jomo Kenyatta, former president of Kenya, for whom he once worked and who engaged in big tent politics.

“It was about sucking out of opposition parties any potential source of dissent – giving them a role; giving them a state regardless of colour or tribe or ideology,” he said.

“It was superficially very attractive but ultimately it is dangerous because it destroys constructive opposition and we are very concerned about it for that reason.”