Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vince Cable Resigns!

Well that came out of the blue, didn't it? Vince Cable has just resigned as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats. In a letter to Nick Clegg, he wrote...
Dear Nick,
I am writing to offer my resignation in my role as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.
It has been an honour to serve as the Deputy Leader of our party. However, in joining the cabinet I have taken on many new challenges and responsibilities and it is right that I focus wholeheartedly on the job in hand.
These are exciting times to be a Liberal Democrat, and despite all the challenges we face we have a real opportunity to change Britain for the better. There are great opportunities for the party alongside our working in coalition.
I wish my successor all the best in what is a rewarding and important role.
Yours ever,
Vince Cable

Do we take this at face value, or is there more to it?

26 comments:

Blue said...

We should take it at face value, I think. Being a Cabinet Minister must be hugely time consuming - and Vince Cable has a mammoth department to run. Harman managed it, but Leader of the Commons hardly compares to Business Secretary.

heckmonwyke said...

Depends if he resigns his Cabinet post in the near Future? more than a Cables lenth between Clegg!

Neil Evans said...

I think it's fair to say that Vince probably has enough on his plate without the duties of deputy leader - there's quite a lot of work involved with that to add to his schedule of fixing the economy.

Although it leaves a very big set of shoes to fill for the position of backstabber-in-chief.

Gavin Gamble said...

I think he's got the hump

rob's uncle said...

Face value: the DL is expected to to go round the country cheering on the troops; Vince doesn't have the time to do this properly and be a SoS as well; even if he had the time, his energy, at 67, though still formidable, must be less than it was.

Andy in Newcastle said...

Rather more to that than meets the eye I think Iain. I struggle to accept that being the deputy leader of the third largest party would be that hard a job for a clever bloke like him to do in addition to his ministerial job. Even Prezza managed to be deputy leader of the Labour Party party whilst also being DPM and First Secretary of State!

Paul Linford said...

Probably face value, but if there is a story behind it, I would guess that there may have been some pressure from Lib Dem MPs for the deputy leadership role to be filled by someone outside the government. Since the deputy leader is elected by MPs, his/her position is vaguely analogous to that of Chairman of the 1922 Committee in the Conservative Party, ie MPs shop steward. There is no way Cable can perform that role in the current circumstances.

Robin Horsley said...

Vince Cable has had a face like a wet weekend ever since Election Day. I just don't think he can do the 'collective responsibility' bit as a Cabinet member AND as a party leader. He is clearly deeply uncomfortable with the coalition.

Or. He is a bumbling old man who is finding the responsibility of actually having to make decisions and run and department so utterly terrifying that he just can't concentrate on anything else.

I have heard tell that he has asked his Doctor to fit him with a colostomy bag - so the second idea might be the one.

golfdave said...

Deputy of a deputy is not much of a job. Far bigger things to do as Business Secretary. However he has always been close to Brown & Labour. could be some skullduggery.

Tony Butcher said...

Well there are at least 3 Lib Dem MPs without ministerial jobs - perhaps Vince just wants to share the work about - not a Liberal thing to hog 2 jobs

Dan Sullivan said...

One of the key things in coalitions (and I'm speaking from the Irish experience here cos we've had a few) it is vital for the smaller party to have someone in a role that allows them to speak for the party loyalists who isn't hamstrung by the notion of collective cabinet responsibility.

Currently for the Greens that is Dan Boyle, who was a TD (MP) but is now a member of the Seanad (Senate) appointed by Bertie Ahern as part of the coalition deal.

In previous administrations, Michael McDowell fulfilled this role for the Progressive Democrats prior to taking up a role as AG and later Minister for Justice.

The intention is they talk to the media and lay down public markers on issues that come up over the course of the life of the government and occasional remind the government of agreements made but which are a little too slow for the likely for their party membership in reaching fruition.

So by resigning Vince creates a gap that the new deputy leader can step in and be this voice of the member, not quite outside but not quite inside either.

Unsworth said...

We should not take this at face value. Cable is not a happy man, and has an interesting history.

waymore said...

No big deal. I think you will find a few more LibDem casualties after they learn that Government is actually a bloody serious job, with untold pitfalls and enormous demands and that their previous backbench lifestyles, preaching to the choir in a vain hope of one day finding a never never land Jerusalem, is completely at odds with ministerial responsibility.

Welcome to the big leagues, muesli masticators.

Dungeekin said...

Guru Vinsputin has resigned?

Who saw that coming?

(Well, he'll probably claim he predicted it).

D

PreetsV said...

And now time to explain my tweet of outrage at your tweet...having spent weeks in the run up to the elections fighting Cable directly on our doorstep and wanting desperately for our fabulous Tory candidate to win - there was a nano second of glorious retribution...and then I clicked through to the blog. Oh my dear how deflated can one feel in seconds!

I just wish he'd actually resigned...from Parliament and Twickenham!

Not a sheep said...

Vince Cable to stand as LibDem leader when Nick Clegg's alliance with David Cameron causes him problems with the left of his party.

David Lindsay said...

First, Vince Cable is to privatise the Royal Mail. How very New Labour.

And now, Vince Cable is to privatise the motorways. How very New Labour.

Vote Liberal - not Lib Dem, Liberal - at Thirsk & Malton. That would be a start.

Peter said...

Face value. I am not sure he is cut out for a leadership role. He is very much the academic of the party and will probably do a good job in the cabinet.
Also the Lib Dems need someone who is not in the cabinet as deputy leader to strongly represent the rank and file, otherwise the party could split.

trevorsden said...

Cable is 67 ...

Why do the libdems need a deputy leader? Do the Tories have one?

James said...

Probably intended to ensure the deputy leader isn't in government and so links in the backbenchers. Hughes is the obvious choice.

Tim said...

Face value. And it is helpful to the party because it will allow someone who does not have a ministerial role to be deputy, which is a useful conduit role between the parliamentary party and the leadership. This is (another) good decision from Vince.

Cynic said...

I suspect that this is by agreement. If I were the Lib Dems Id be using this Parliament as a platform to build my base for the next election. As Clegg is so tied up that should fall to a full time Deputy

Richard Gadsden said...

There is a re-election for DL after the General Election anyway; there might have been rumblings about a contest (I don't know - that's just a guess) and Vince decided to jump rather than fight a contested election while getting to know a new department.

Certainly most LDs seem to want a non-minister for DL, so perhaps that was the motivation

HampsteadOwl said...

Even if ther coalition were to collapse tomorrow and Clegg resign, Cable is not going to lead the Liberal Democrats. His age is against him and the fact that he accepted a job in the Government means he can't turn straight round and dump on the whole idea, no matter what he is trying to tell us with his body language.

He's got a big job and a seat in the Cabinet and, realistically, that's going to be his last big thing in politics, so why not focus all his energy on it.

canvas said...

it's all cool

Wolfie GBM said...

I’m sure Calamity Cleggover is breathing a sigh of relief that “Brutus” Cable is standing down as Deputy Leader as Cable has form for being instrumental in backstabbing his last two leaders.

And – continuing on the subject of Cable’s cruel streak – he tweeted on 24 February 2010: “Osborne is out of his depth” – here: http://www.libdems.org.uk/latest_news_detail.aspx?title=Osborne_is_out_of_his_depth_says_Cable&pPK=7755ff1f-5e2c-41d5-a82b-7573ca25dab1

I would suggest it’s Cable who’s “out of his depth” as he continually crumbled, and dissembled under interrogation from journalist/broadcaster Andrew Neil which also exposed Cable as a serial flip-flopper.

Consequently, I would guess there is more to this than meets the eye.