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Vince Cable Is Deluded

May 21st, 2015 Posted in Liberal Democrats by


Vince Cable has written one of the worst election post-mortems of 2015. It buys into a narrative that probably corroborates with his own prejudices and whilst that may be comforting; it is badly, badly wrong and shows a profound level of delusion.

In this article Vince Cable believes that the LibDems were victims of forces beyond their control.

Fear triumphed over hope: fear of “chaos”; fear of Ed Miliband’s socialism; fear of being held to ransom by the Scots. This fear was carefully – brilliantly – mobilised by the Conservatives and used to devastating effect in a targeted campaign that included 23 Tory-facing Lib Dem seats (all lost).

I know; I was a victim of it. My comfortable majority disappeared as thousands of suburban Londoners quietly feared for their (generally prosperous) existence.

For Vince Cable, a veteran MP to portray himself as a “victim” of another party is actually quite pathetic. You lost, Vince, you weren’t mugged.

Also, the Conservative campaign wasn’t that brilliant. It was a steady, measured campaign – it was boring – if anything. Cameron stuck to his mantra – “long term economic plan” – and that not only reminded people that the economy is doing okay but also that the Labour party didn’t have much of a plan under Blair and Brown and didn’t seem to  have much of a plan under Ed Miliband.

Vince’s article also speaks from the position that the LibDems did nothing wrong. The LibDems ran the worst GE campaign of their existence. It was the LibDems who seemed to convince Joe Public of their lack of raison d’etre.


Note: Blank tiles in scrabble are worth nothing…


The LibDem ‘air war’ essentially articulated that LibDems would prop up any loser-government that had failed to achieve an overall majority. The LibDems effectively convinced the public that there was no reason for them to exist. It was a bad campaign. The narrative that they ran with was wrong. Despite the Green’s gaff prone leader, I know exactly what they stand for. I don’t vote for them becuase I find their policies deeply misguided but I know what they’re about. When the LibDems are running a campaign which falls short to a party that looks like a jumped up Student Union effort then you are in trouble.

In this article Vince also portrays Ed Miliband as the victim of the public:

[Ed Miliband] clearly misread the public mood, which was fearful of change, or experiment, and distrustful of promises of a better life, especially when financed by the taxpayer. But he was as much a victim of circumstances as the creator of them. He was the product of a tribal Labour culture that had become severely disconnected from social and political realities.

You don’t have to have read Bastiat to know that someone promising you free money is likely to be a fraudster. Ed Miliband isn’t a victim. He was the leader of a major political party. Again this is talking down to the public. Uncle Vince knows best.

The Tories’ skill was in crystallising the public distaste for Labour’s record and offer.

I’m pretty sure Labour did that all by themselves.

Ukip had a good election, mostly at the expense of Labour and my party. The comical antics of the Ukip hierarchy and the lack of parliamentary representation can’t conceal the fact that Nigel Farage’s team is now in the Champions League of European Nationalists: not quite in the same class as Marine Le Pen’s outfit, but close.

UKIP also didn’t treat anyone with concerns about immigration as a racist underclass.

The politics of fear may come back to haunt the Tories. It has unleashed English – alongside Scottish – nationalism. Ultimately this may prove more dangerous to them than the traditional enemies of Conservatism. They have started a fire and clever Lynton Crosby will no longer be around to advise them on how to put it out.

I didn’t see a lot of fear in the Middle Classes. I saw them looking at Cameron, looking at Ed Miliband then looking back at Cameron and thinking ‘eh, he seems the less bad of the two.’ It was the Left who said things like ’24hrs to save the NHS,’ a blatant and scary lie. I don’t buy the notion that the public were irrationally scared and stupid enough to do whatever Murdoch tells them to do. It’s also incredibly patronising.

It would be so much better if the LibDems acknowledged and took responsibility for a bad campaign. They need to acknowledge that people see them as incompetent, ineffectual and irrelevent. The LibDem brand is deeply damaged and it will remain that way unless the leadership become more self-aware.

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