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Tony Grist

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Vince Cable [Dec. 22nd, 2010|10:20 am]
Tony Grist
Silly old man trying to look good in front of a couple of encouraging young women. They flatter his vanity and lead him on. It's a honeytrap without the sex.

I'd have fallen for it too. Like Vince I'm the kind of senex who wants to be down with the kids. If you really, really wanted to hurt me you'd call me a sell-out.  I value the shreds of my youthful attitudes more than I value my dignity.

I like Vince all the more for knowing he's this sort of man. Power embarrasses him. He hates the loss of freedom it entails. 

First he squirms over tuition fees. Then he spills his heart to the girls from the Telegraph.

How odd that a man should be undone by his own decency. We want our politicians to be human and real and warm, but when they act that way we call them twits.  

And with reason. If Vince had hidden his true feelings, he could have stopped Murdoch. By blabbing them he's made it much more likely that Murdoch will win.  

If you want to wield power in modern Britain you have to boiler-plate your soul. We complain about our leaders being absolute bastards but if they're not absolute bastards we tear them apart.

Poor Vince: he's too weak/too good for the job. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-12-22 11:06 am (UTC)
I know - but to be a politician you have to be politically savvy, and the Lib Dems have not had much practice.

Edited at 2010-12-22 11:13 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 11:26 am (UTC)
The qualities that served them so well in opposition are turning out to be liabilities now they hold office.
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[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2010-12-22 11:12 am (UTC)
Ah, but is he undone by it? Or merely transformed into a martyr for the forlorn Lib-Dem cause?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 11:27 am (UTC)
Possibly. He might still succeed in bringing down the Coalition.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-12-22 11:38 am (UTC)
I feel far less forgiving, I'm afraid. If I discussed, say, what marks I was thinking of giving one of my students with another student, let alone putting my decision in the context of my personal antipathy, I would expect to be disciplined for lack of professionalism. The same would apply to a judge discussing a forthcoming court ruling (and let's remember that Cable was acting in a quasi-judicial role here, not just a political one - as he himself pointed out). In Cable's case the stakes are far higher, and the damage he has cause is far more serious. Giving Murdoch a stranglehold on the British media is a pretty big mistake to make.

Yes, he's only human, and human beings are weak. But one of the advantages of professionalism is that it can act as a constraint when your own strength isn't enough. ("I'd like to stay for a drink, but I've got an ambulance to drive." "I really fancy this man - but I'm his therapist!" "I'd love to impress this coquettish constituent with what I know, but that would be an abuse of process.") This isn't the same as boiler-plating your soul, in my opinion, let alone being bastard.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-12-22 11:39 am (UTC)
Sorry about the multiple typos, there - my fingers are frozz!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 01:51 pm (UTC)
I take the point about professionalism.

My sympathy for the guy probably stems from my having once found myself is a rather similar position- as an unbelieving clergyman. I eventually resigned. I suspect that's what Vince will have to do in the end.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-12-22 04:06 pm (UTC)
I do agree. In corporate life we are held accountable for our positions of responsibility. We use discretion on what we say to whom, and we don't leak company confidential information. It has always suprised me that some people expect MPs to be rebellious and speak out of turn against the party who selected them to represent their ideology in a constituency. I know that they are sometimes torn because they are also duty bound to represent constituents. but that was not the case here. You would think that the parties would train new MPs by giving them a talk called "How not to embarrass your party and damage your political career". Lesson 1: The Press is Sneaky.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2010-12-22 04:13 pm (UTC)
It reminds me of when Sophie Wessex was conned by an "Arab Sheik" into slating the Queen, the Blairs, and a few others nine or so years ago. Everyone heaped bile on the journalist who'd stung her - no-one actually pointed out that she'd been indiscreet and should have kept her opinions to herself.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2010-12-22 04:10 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. Plus it was also a discussion of confidential information with third parties, which in my job (and I work in education myself) JI would expect to be disciplined for.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2010-12-22 12:53 pm (UTC)
>> We complain about our leaders being absolute bastards but if they're not absolute bastards we tear them apart.

More commentary on human nature!

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 01:52 pm (UTC)
I decided some time back I didn't want to have power over any other person. It's too corrupting.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2010-12-22 02:53 pm (UTC)
I would love to have the ability to make that decision, too. Unfortunately, everyone in the esoteric discipline I follow is called to heal. And to heal someone, I must exercise power over them. If I had to look at it from a "silver lining" angle, I suppose I could: it is part of the discipline to sleep with one's sword, yet not rise with wounds.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 04:31 pm (UTC)
I only know that when I had power I misused it. Renouncing power is something I needed to do for the good of my soul- here- in this incarnation- now. Maybe in another lifetime I'll be able to wield it harmlessly.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2010-12-22 04:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing that. :D
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-12-22 01:13 pm (UTC)
I value the shreds of my youthful attitudes more than I value my dignity.
That, sir, speaks very well of you.

I think staying young of heart and mind is the greatest challenge we face.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 01:53 pm (UTC)
I made a pact with myself when I was in my teens that I would never forget what it felt like to be young.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-12-23 12:46 pm (UTC)
That pact has served you well.
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[User Picture]From: aellia
2010-12-22 02:36 pm (UTC)
You thought he would have twigged when the girls were giggling
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 04:14 pm (UTC)
He probably thought he was in on the joke too.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2010-12-22 03:26 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't really agree.

What Cable did was downright stupid. He should - and could - have told them, politely, that he couldn't discuss it due to it being a legal issue. Its not a case of a politician being a human being, its a case of a politician revealing their personal agenda when they are supposed to be remaining neutral. Whatever Cable's feelings about Murdoch, he should keep them to himself and voted in the way he saw fit.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 04:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, it was stupid.

It was equally stupid to blow hot and cold over tuition fees.

These are the actions of a man who has placed himself in a false position- and feels it acutely.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2010-12-22 04:25 pm (UTC)
I would say they are also the actions of a man who cannot decide whether to follow his own agenda or his party's. If it is the former, he should resign.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 04:42 pm (UTC)
Yes. But I think it's more complicated than that.

He was elected on a Lib Dem platform and is having to implement policies that are essentially Tory. Where do your loyalties lie when your party asks you to break the promises you made in its name? Should you stand by your party as it was- or as it now is?

I agree he should resign. I think his position has become untenable.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2010-12-22 05:01 pm (UTC)
But thats part and parcel of being in a coalition. I would contend the lib Dems are not in power - they are a party to the Tories being in power.

Cable backtracked on tuition fees and has compromised a legal case. As far as I can see, he isn't standing by anyone.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-22 05:15 pm (UTC)
He's in a tizzy. He should go.
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