The cult of Cable

by Stephen Tall on December 2, 2007

It’s been hard to avoid acting Lib Dem leader Vince Cable in this weekend’s papers – almost every single look back at Gordon Brown’s latest week from hell has highlighted Vince’s “from Stalin to Mr Bean” gag at last week’s PMQs. There are three feature profiles in:

The Observer: Is it funny? Try it out on Mrs Cable;
The Indy: Cult leader; and
And BBC.co.uk: Lib Dem Cable reveals dance dream.

Lest Vince get too carried away by his transformation from serious-minded anonymity to wise-cracking celebrity, there are those willing to add a dose of perspective:

Paul Owen on The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog: Elevated Cable: The Lib Dems will thank their shrewd Treasury spokesman for ruling himself out of the party’s leadership race; and Armando Iannucci in The Observer – here’s an excerpt:

In years to come, most of us will remember what we were doing when we first heard acting Lib Dem leader Vince Cable compare Gordon Brown to a comedy character. Certainly, by the end of the week, Cable’s witticism had already been lauded by every political commentator as ‘the Funniest post-Baldwin Gag Ever Uttered in the House of Commons’ and by most newspaper literary editors as ‘Possibly the Single Finest Line Ever Written by a Human Being Since Lincoln At Gettysburg’. There are even plans to reward it later in the week with the presentation of a ‘Special Award for Incomparable Brilliance’ at Wednesday’s British Comedy Awards, while a West End musical version of the line is also being planned.

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And (I promise I don’t read it) there is his own piece on Gordon Brown in the Mail on Sunday, which I found linked to approvingly on the Adam Smith website:

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/misc/cable-on-brown-20071202317/

by Giles on December 2, 2007 at 9:33 pm. Reply #

From the Mail story mentioned above:

…and I now fear the taxpayer will face catastrophic losses if Richard Branson’s hedge-fund friends get their hands on Northern Rock and take the hapless Treasury to the cleaners.

Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money will float off into the sky in one of Branson’s balloons.

Cable’s gift for visual imagery is, frankly, amazing.

by Rob Knight on December 3, 2007 at 9:10 am. Reply #

Just as Generals generally fight the last war, we hacks generally fight the last election. We need to fight the next one. Vince is an excellent stand in, but to fight the next election we have to make the choice between Huhne and Clegg. It’s as simple – and as complicated – as that.

by Martin Land on December 3, 2007 at 10:36 am. Reply #

“Cult of Cable”? I hear that a local schoolteacher plans to name a teddy bear ‘Vince’.

Does anyone here have any objections?

by Simon Titley on December 3, 2007 at 11:32 am. Reply #

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