I have to laugh: the usual Tory talking heads are still foaming at the mouth over Vince Cable’s supposed ‘anti-capitalist’ rhetoric which all hinges on a single passage in his speech to conference. The section of the speech in which he proposes to “shine a harsh light into the murky world of corporate behaviour” was joined to the line “capitalism kills competition [where it can]”. This was initially presented on the BBC as a sort of diatribe against capitalism. If only. Dream on…
The Economist has an article with the bizarre headline “Karl Marx meets Adam Smith”.
Business leaders were duly outraged. Richard Lambert of the Confederation of British Industry, an employer’s body, called the extracts “emotional”, and questioned whether Mr Cable had an alternative to capitalism. Pat McFadden, Labour’s business spokesman, accused him of disparaging the private sector that the economic recovery depends on. Others speculated that Mr Cable was undermining Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems’ leader and deputy prime minister, or that he might be destined to quit.
Oh dear, the Director of the CBI was upset. That isn’t anything to lose sleep over. But Pat McFadden? It just goes to show how far the Labour Party has slid to the right. I fail to see how Cable was “disparaging the private sector” when it was pretty obvious he was talking about consumer choice.
Meanwhile the Torygraph goes loopy with this gem
Yesterday, the Adam Smith Institute dismissed Mr Cable as “wrong on capitalism and wrong on Adam Smith”, complaining that “we have a Business Secretary who doesn’t understand business and who misinterprets the founder of modern economics, too”
To tell truth, who cares what the Adam Smith Institute or any of the other creepy right wing think tanks says? Adam Smith would be spinning in his grave if he knew that the ASI had taken his name and distorted his ideas!
In his ‘attack’ on the banks he manages to get a pretty nasty, if ill-informed, dig in,
On banks, I make no apology for attacking spivs and gamblers who did more harm to the British economy than Bob Crow could achieve in his wildest Trotskyite fantasies, while paying themselves outrageous bonuses underwritten by the taxpayer. There is much public anger about banks and it is well deserved.
Bob Crow is a “Trotskyite”? That’s news to me, the last time I checked he was a Tanky. That Vince Cable isn’t a very good Marxist if he doesn’t know the difference between a member of the SWP and the CPB (Marxist-Leninist)! But the worst thing about this swipe is that Crow is actively working on his members behalf. Why should he attract the ire of Cable who, after all, worked as an economist for Shell? My guess is that Cable needed a crowd-pleaser but the man hasn’t got a clue; it’s a cheap shot but this is what we have come to expect from the Lib Dems. Crow has his critics and the only point his critics ever seem to make is in relation to his salary. But is Crow drawing down the same kind of salary as Fred Goodwin? No. To be perfectly frank, Bob Crow is worth every penny of his salary: he’s a hardworking union leader who gets the best deal for his members…unlike Dave Prentis of UNISON.
Cable is a signed up, fully-fledged and functioning member of the capitalist fraternity. He’s not a Marxist and he certainly isn’t a Trotskyite. He’s a slippery Lib Dem politician who was once a member of the Labour Party. He was on the right of that party; he was so far right that he joined the SDP. Remember them?