A wounded champion of social liberalism
December 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
Well, what a day it has been.
Marked by some private comments by the Business Secretary Vince Cable becoming public, thanks to so-called ‘undercover’ journalists (I could think of other names for them!), the Daily Telegraph newspaper-who seem, perhaps unsurprisingly, to detest the idea of Lib Dems being in coalition with their beloved Tories, and the BBC’s Business Editor Robert Peston (who, by the way, has one of the worst broadcasting voices in recent memory.)
Though some of his comments were ill-advised-I happen to agree with him re the dreadful Rupert Murdoch-I’m glad that sane heads prevailed and that he was allowed to remain in office as Business Secretary, albeit that he has had some of his responsibilities stripped from his department and given to rising Tory James Hunt, the Culture, Media and Sport Secretary.
There’s no doubt that he’ll probably keep his head down for a while…or hope to…and has seen a dent to the way some people will perceive him, especially as both David Cameron and Nick Clegg saw right to publicly do him down, but it is important…very important…that he is still in office, because his the most senior advocate of the left-wing or social liberal wing of the Liberal Democrats, the wing of the party with which I am myself allied.
The reason I am a Liberal Democrat is because of our party’s long-held belief in social liberalism, in ensuring the Government and the State is always there to help the least, the last and the lost.
This has led, over centuries, to a number of profound, progressive and positive changes to our country…from the beginnings of the modern welfare state-brought in by a Liberal Government-to the first thinking through of an idea which later became the National Health Service.
The more right-wing-also known as the ‘Orange Book’-element of the party is very well represented in the upper echelons of the Government, but we social liberals don’t have many people at Secretary of State level to represent our views.
Vince Cable is one of those.
He may have made a bad mistake here, but he is an excellent Minister and deserves to remain in Government for many years to come and help to ensure this Government delivers on its promises to be fair and progressive and to help the poorest and weakest people in our midst.