LDV readers say: a big no to Vince becoming Gordon's chancellor

by Stephen Tall on January 14, 2009

Cast your minds back 10 days, and there was a sudden eruption of fevered speculation, mainly in the right-wing blogosphere, that Vince Cable might be tempted to accept the post of Chancellor if it were offered to him by Gordon Brown. LDV was always dubious about the claim, even if it would prove popular with the public, as well as business leaders, as well as ‘money-saving experts’. But we decided to see what our readers thought of the proposition, asking: if offered the job by Gordon Brown, should Vince Cable accept the post of Chancellor?

Your answer was pretty clear-cut:

* Yes – 33% (126)
* No – 61% (232)
* Don’t know / Other – 5% (20)
Total Votes: 378. Poll ran: 3rd-13th January 2009

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It is fascinating the difference a week makes. Last week, the rightwingers were calling Cable Brown’s poodle for going along with everything he says. Now they’re claiming that Brown just goes along with whatever Gideon Osborne says.

If confidently expect Oborne to now predict Brown will now be replacing Darling with the Annoying Talking Donkey.

by James Graham on January 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm. Reply #

There is a consensus that Dr Cable would be the best Chancellor for Britain at the moment, inside the LibDems and outside. So why would such a healthy majority of us oppose the idea that he could join up and apply his obvious abilities in Government? Is it really sensible for us to look at the UK in economic crisis and insist that Dr Cable sits on the sidelines, sniping away while the economy heads downward? What’s more important, safeguarding jobs or making Labour look silly with a well-aimed press release?

by Russ on January 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm. Reply #

Russ, come on. The issue is whether Cable could achieve anything by actually doing the job, or whether he would be hopelessly compromised by Gordon Brown and the 20 other cabinet members who would be able to veto every single thing he wanted to do.

Yeah, sure, if Brown had a personality transplant and Labour had a policy transplant, then it might be an option. But that aint gonna happen.

by James Graham on January 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm. Reply #

I don’t think for a moment Brown would make such an offer, but if he did it would certainly be something of a poisoned chalice.

If he took the job with the party’s blessing, it would be portrayed as another Lib-Lab pact.

If he took the job without the party’s blessing, well … !

But I think this is definitely in the realm of fantasy politics.

by Anonymous on January 14, 2009 at 8:15 pm. Reply #

Hi James. For all the fantasy politics involved in discussing this at all, I’m afraid I don’t agree with you.

Firstly, Dr Cable as Chancellor would be invested with massive power. As Gordon Brown showed, if you control the Treasury then you ARE the veto. It’s not as if we’re discussing a LibDem being given responsibility for, say, DEFRA. This would be a serious politician being given a serious job.

Secondly, you ask what Dr Cable would achieve in cabinet, but I’d rather ask what is he achieving where he is? Nick Clegg is right that he has a front bench of quality, but shadowing Government mistakes is a long way removed from actually making the decisions that govern the country.

by Russ on January 14, 2009 at 9:28 pm. Reply #


As per my previous post …

“Now let me see. One of your worst enemies makes an absolute mess of things and you know it’s going to get substantially worse before it levels out. He then offers you the job of being fall guy and taking the blame for him.

An absolute no brainer.”

by David Evans on January 16, 2009 at 11:42 am. Reply #

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