Party conference speeches are usually full of virtuous rhetoric and well rehearsed twaddle. Today was different. There was something worth listening to. I think I was convinced by Vince. Vince Cable’s speech to the Libdem conference hit the spot. In his distinctive nasal tone, he said things a lot of people wanted to hear, things many of us were afraid had been sacrificed on the altar of coalition harmony. Today he came up trumps.
“I have managed to infuriate the bank bosses; acquire a fatwa from the revolutionary guards of the trades union movement; frighten the Daily Telegraph with a progressive graduate payment; and upset very rich people who are trying to dodge British taxes. I must be doing something right.”
Right on Vince!
“I want to shine a harsh light onto the murky world of corporate business. Why should good companies be destroyed by short-term investors looking for a speculative killer while their accomplices in the city make fat fees?”
“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. But I am not seeking retribution.”
He said “tough interventions” would be needed to ensure that the banks used their money to support business, rather than see it “frittered away in bonuses and dividends”. On that point Vince, you need to dig a little deeper. The real harm being done to British business by the banks is under the radar at local level. This is where the real crimes are being committed. If you want to get things moving, shine your light on what’s happening on the front line.
Yes, Vince you are doing something right. Today you said what needs to be said. Just listen to whose squeaking and you know you’re on the money. It was great. Now, if you want us to be really happy bunnies, turn the rhetoric into action. We’re all watching and waiting.