Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Why Does the Media Give Vince Cable an Easy Ride?

Vince Cable has been hugely successful in building up a media narrative as the only politician who 'gives it to us straight'. He tells it like it is, apparently.

Today’s Daily Mail editorial praised Vince Cable for being bold on public spending. In particular, it states that ‘he even has the courage to question Labour's aim to put 50 per cent of young people in higher education, saying it's “almost certainly not affordable”’. That might be right, but the LibDem position is that savings achieved in reducing the numbers at university will be used to fund another LibDem policy, endorsed last month at their recent Spring conference, of scrapping tuition fees. In fact, far from being ‘bold’ on public spending in the areas of higher and further education, the Lib Dems have a host of spending commitments which can be found HERE.

I think it would be fair to say that these commitments are ‘almost certainly not affordable’. And if scrapping the 50 per cent target is to be used to reduce borrowing (as Vince Cable implied) how will these commitments be funded? I do hope Vince Cable will give it to us straight.

39 comments:

Childprotector said...

More important in the public's perception that he comes over as decent and honourable and not stuck in the groove of traditional attack/defence politics. All politicians know that this is what it is all about but can't stop themselves.

Demetrius said...

Well, he is good at watching his back. Moreover he prefers to use reliable sources. Try the Tax Justice Network home page, and look at the two blogs top right, they are both worth the effort. This organisation is not the usual crew of political activists but people who have been there and done the work, that is insiders who know the game.

niconoclast said...

Cable is regularly feted and indulged by Communist George Galloway on his radio programme.(Go figure as they say.)

GGaann said...

The media stills feels guilty about hounding Menzies Campbell out of office because of his age, only to witness VC as able, politically savvy, funny, with a dignity they had dismissed in MC, and can't now find.

Advanced Media Watch said...

The Liberals always give it strait because they will never be in power so they will never need to lie.

Also with the average age of a Lib Democrat MP around the 85 mark then the media could hardly shout at them in case they collapse in a heap in front of them with a heart attack.

strapworld said...

Perhaps the media want a real contest at the next general election and are deciding to back the Liberal Democrats?

Saint Vince cannot do anything wrong! Although in a recent economic debate (called by the tories) I saw Ken Clarke, John Redwood and especially Michael Howard cut him to pieces. Showed him to be a typical blow in the wind liberal, facing all ways at once.

Michael Howard was particularly outstanding followed by John Redwood in his cold clinical manner and Ken Clarke.

Cameron should have them all around him now.

Dr John Crippen said...

Because he's a nice guy, and seems honest, Iain.



John

Inspector Morse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Grim Reaper said...

Iain, your link to the Daily Mail editorial doesn't work. This is the correct one:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1168156/MAIL-COMMENT-The-Lib-Dem-gives-straight.html

Do I win a prize for spotting this? ;-)

Iain Dale said...

Blame Shirley Williams for it. I was educated under her government.

Seriously though, I think it is perfectly acceptable to say 'do' or 'does' in this context. It's a bit like saying Politics is rather than are.

Inspector Morse said...

Medium. Noun, singular. 10 GCSE A++ points

Media. Noun, plural of medium. 20 GCSE A++ points

"Why Does the Media Give Vince Cable an Easy Ride?"

Priceless. Have a degree in Inglish as she is spoke!

Obsidian said...

Cable has managed to to make himself look like 'one of us' instead of 'one of them', and the media is well aware you only put those to the sword when you have some real dirt.

He's very good at connecting to the public, and would have made an excellent leader of the Lib Dems. Cable may not always be right, but he's one of the few politicians that doesn't make me want to impersonate Keith Moon when they're on the TV.

niconoclast said...

People used to think Stalin was a 'nice guy' -they even called him affectionately,Uncle.I am sure Dr Shipman had a nice bedside manner too Mr Crip.

Conand said...

Vince Cable is obviously totally off message. Silly old goat. If he was that good, the LibDems would have had credible economic policies for however long the silly old goat has been there. Nope. It was a load of basket-case claptrap that would have wrecked the economy entirely.

The Shadow shadow shadow shadow shadow Chancellor. (Unlike Darling, who is just a Gordon's-shadow Chancellor, Do you see Labour Party? It's a sh*t joke isn't it?)

martin day said...

LD's = LOL

Cable get's polite and uninterpretted good coverage because he is like a harmless old grandfather.

The LD's on the otherhand are a joke of the highest oder and President Obama's refusal to be entertained by Clegg speaks volumes.

The LD's are doomed - DOOMED at the next election. They will be in a Yellow Taxi placed inside the Labour Coffin!

The Grim Reaper said...

Why does the media give David Cameron such an easy ride for having no policies?

Why does the media give Gordon Brown such an easy ride for having no answers to the economic crisis?

This line of questioning could run and run...

Conand said...

Why does the Meeja get such an easy ride?

On 'The BBC News Channel' just now they were doing the story about the UK economy being completely buggered (You know the story right?) the thing is though...the video illustrating the story was composed of shots of er.. DUBLIN!!! WTF?

Oscar Miller said...

I think the BBC is hoping Gordon will cling to power in a hung parliament with Uncle Vince as Chancellor.

Jonathan Cook said...

vince has just exploited his forecasts over warnings of a housing bubble.

the media (bbc in particular) have feted him as an economic guru.

however, when up against john redwood, cable doesn't cut the mustard.

rather than just bring vince on to critic government economic policy, they should invite tories too.

(on mobile - sorry 4 lower case)

Mr Grymme Harbinger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Grymme Harbinger said...

Cable only shines next to the pygmies that surround him - it's no great feat.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Vince Cable used to be fairly well known on the York Music scene, firstly as a bass player, then fronting his own band, "Vince Cable and the Hotwires"

They had a hit of sorts with a song called "Jeanie Jeebie" in 1965, which got into the Top Forty and was played a lot on Radio Caroline.

Not many people know this.

Chris Paul said...

Scrapping the 50% aspiration (not target) would have little effect on the public finances.

He gets an easy enough ride. But it's a wonder really that he's getting a ride at all. He's finance spokesman for the third party.

The fact he is getting such coverage speaks volumes for George Osborne and even Ken Clarke's success, or rather lack of it, in articulating anything much.

Marian said...

Its not so much that Vince Cable is getting unfair media attention but more to do with the fact that the Tories appear to make little or no attempt to obtain and hold media attention, which is extremely alarming to say the least when you consider that they aspire to become the next government of the UK. Solution is they need to get a new PR team with strategy to promote Tory policies by Tories who are capable of aggressively obtaining and holding media attention otherwise they are going to lose the battle for the voter's attention come the election.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Everyone should see this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault

Mark Senior said...

The answer is simple , the LibDems are the do something positive party and Cable tells the truth .
Why bother interviewing an economics spokesman from the do nothing party , all you will get is someone running down the country and it's economy with no solutions to the problems we face .
Incidently , the average age of LibDem MP's is the lowest of the 3 major parties . In 2005
Lab average age 52.2 yrs
Con average age 49.3 yrs
LD. average age 46.0 yrs with 31% under the age of 40 .

Dr John Crippen said...

People used to think Stalin was a 'nice guy' -they even called him affectionately,Uncle.I am sure Dr Shipman had a nice bedside manner too Mr Crip.
+++++++

Shipman was a charmer. As was Machiavelli.

That's the Lib Dems for you!


John

mutleythedog said...

I think its because he buys journoes drinks before the interviews not after...also it is hard to be rude to a man so obviously wearing a toupee...

Conand said...

@ Mark Senior

Well done, you managed to get 'Do Nothing' and 'running down the country' in the same attack.

>Incidentally< Lib Dem MPs are also the most expensive.

Simon Gardner said...

Whatever. The delightful thing is that it gets so up the noses of the Tories. And the shadow chancellor is contrariwise so inadequate.

Conand said...

We Tories seem to get right up your nose.
Have you considered that Osbourne might deliberately ration his appearances as NuLiebore/GordAlmighty did in the run up to '97?

Simon Gardner said...

No

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neil craig said...

Ian did a previous report of how Cable more farseeing than anybody (except Redwood who doesn't get reported by the BBC) called for cutting interest rates in October - & denounced calls for them to be cut in September.
http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/10/weathervane-politics-of-vince-cable.html

He has also made some remarkably silly remarks about the need to nationalise Northern Rock, though Brown follwed this silliness by doing it & the wickedness of Barclays in deciding they could do without a government bailout.

The Lib Dems always get an easy ride because they are seen as fairly nice (except possibly over their enthusiastic support for illegal war when carried out to help (ex-)Nazis publicly committed to genocide & Ashdownd's rule in Bosnia where, a British court ruling, where the owning of child sex slaves among his staff was openly encouraged. Part of this is also that both big parties feel attacking the LibDems will press their supporters to the other party.

The result of this is that their leaders only have to mouth a few platitudes to be seen as deep thinkers. Thus they promoted Ming so far beyond his level of competence.

Unsworth said...

As a ballroom dancer he understands the great necessity for appearances and timing. In those respects he does pretty well. But, like a ballroom dancer, his performance is not based on intellect and knowledge.

JPT said...

Because he's not a threat.

niconoclast said...

As a young man Cable was actually in charge of running the economics of an African country! It was here he cut his teeth in the dark arts of voodoo economics and the experience was invaluable for his later job as a liberal MP.

Jonathan said...

Why isn't Vince Cable the LibDeb leader, he is obviously their best asset? As soon as that fact became clear, Clegg should have done the decent thing and announced he needed to spend more time with his family. That this didn't happen isn't really surprising though. The LibDems could never be trusted to organise an orgy in a brothel.