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Dear Vince Cable: What the new Lib Dem leader can do to win

On Thursday Vince Cable was crowned as the newest leader of the Liberal Democrats. Whilst he only inherits a modest parliamentary party of 12 MPs, he also commands an admirable membership of over 105,000 and growing. If the Liberal Democrats are to become a progressive, centrist political movement in the UK again, he should take incredible encouragement from the latter.

The fact that Sir Vince was simply anointed as leader, rather than having to endure a marathon summer leadership campaign, is potentially a festering burden. It could lead to a failure to critically assess the party’s performance in the general election campaign.

Whilst on the face of it an increase from 8 to 12 seats in the House of Commons should be welcomed, it ought not to be used as a way to hide what was truly a disappointing night for the party. The Liberal Democrats now have no seats in Wales, lost 0.5% of the popular vote since 2015, gave away their impressive by-election win to the much tarnished Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, and somehow lost seats to Corbyn’s Labour in key marginal – particularly galling was the defeat of Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam.

The fact is that he is a well-respected economist and parliamentarian

In terms of Cable’s personal popularity – the party should not have a problem. Naturally, there will be multiple smears from the far-left bringing up the ‘bedroom tax’ or tuition fees, and the far-right will bemoan him being an ex-member of the Labour party (in fact prior to when the SDP was formed) and being a ‘remoaner’.

However, the fact is that he is a well-respected economist and parliamentarian. He is socially liberal to his core, and certainly won’t burden the party in media appearances as his predecessor did. Policy, however, will simultaneously be Vince Cable’s most valuable asset and greatest liability. Although the idea of a second referendum is in-and-of-itself not a bad policy, it was road-tested in the 2017 general election and ultimately proved unpopular; over 85% of people voted for parties who wanted some form of Brexit.

Vince Cable must quickly decide whether he attempts to recover much of the lost ‘Orange Book’ wing from the Conservatives (with now the perfect time given high levels of Tory disillusionment over Theresa May’s lacklustre campaign), or whether he relies on merely being the party of ‘remain’. I fear that if he chooses the latter he risks becoming a marginalised voice – Vince Cable will become a Nigel Farage equivalent, blaming everything on our not being in the EU – something I doubt will resonate with voters.

Nonetheless, Vince Cable must continue to talk about Europe, but in a more constructive manner. The referendum result has meant that we are leaving the European Union, but the government can and must now be scrutinised as legislation such as the Great Repeal Bill goes through Parliament.

He can expose Jeremy Corbyn for conning many students who, understandably, believed Corbyn’s disingenuous pro-EU rhetoric

Often the reason why the Liberal Democrats have not been taken seriously is because of this fraudulent label of ‘Euro-fanatics’ – something to which the party has pandered. The party can still be pro-European Union, but they cannot pretend that Europe is faultless. Vince Cable has a wonderful opportunity to emphasise climate change cooperation (particularly in the context of the threat posed by Donald Trump), and should not seek to defend a fundamentally flawed Common Agricultural Policy. Similarly, he can expose Jeremy Corbyn for conning many students who, understandably, believed Corbyn’s disingenuous pro-EU rhetoric only to learn that he is more Eurosceptic than Theresa May.

Vince Cable also must use his prestige to boast that the Liberal Democrats were endorsed by both The Economist and the IEA during the 2017 election, a fact all the more impressive given the IEA’s usual pro-Brexit stance.

It is not good enough for the party to gain slight satisfaction every night when they gain a council seat somewhere in Cornwall. The fact is that the party is still at below 8% in the Westminster opinion polls and this has to change. Vince Cable leads a team with more cabinet experience than the ‘Shadow Cabinet’ with impressive names such as Sir Edward Davey. He has a fantastic opportunity to regain relevance for the Liberal Democrats by exposing the worst, most directionless and unprincipled Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in years.

Henry has previously interviewed Sir Vince Cable on behalf of RAW:

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Comments (8)

  • Dear Vince Cable:
    What the new Lib Dem leader can do to win
    1** Hold a new G.E. in NOV 2017.
    2**at the same time have another vote,
    On the E.U. mess,
    “Let’s us see once and for all what the voter,
    Wish, IN, OR OUT, Of the E.U.?
    3**to get voter you could promise to do the,
    Following, in your party Manifesto paper.
    **Could scrap the Bedroom tax.

    **Could put rail serves back in public hands?
    **Could scrap the H.2. Train “rail rubbish?
    **Could inform the students after 4 years
    Your loans to lean will “be scraped FULLY.
    **Could and should put a stop to all cuts,
    To local county council serves now.
    **Could put a stop to trashing our N.H.S.
    To sell it off?
    **Could look after the,
    Poor,-old,-disabled,-low paid worker,
    -Mentally ill. Instead of the Rich only.
    **Could reverse the Waspy woman,
    Unjust pension,
    Problems and give them their cash back?
    Which is their in the first place,
    They all worked hard for,
    Until Tory Govt took it from them all.

    All this “can be completed by any party,
    Not just the Lib-Dems remember that Mr Cable.
    What it is a case’s off who will put it in their,
    Manifesto paper to implement it all?

    The first party to do all this in this comment,
    “Or, At least promise to implement it all,
    Could end up in power? (In NOV 2017)
    A free voter’s personal insight here only.
    As am a free voter no party ties to any,
    In power or out of power.

    “I pay no party any fees or stand by just one party
    When voting our proven record is seeing off Labour
    In 2015 and a Hung Govt now in 2017.

    So we free voter do know a bit about changing,
    The outcome of G. election–plus any By-election,
    So please “Mr Cable” think about this comment o.k.

  • Sylvia Scott

    Please be aware 85% of voters did not vote for Brexit, a great many voted labour to oust the Tory’s, not because we wish to leave.
    So Vince is the only hope…!

  • “Naturally, there will be multiple smears from the far-left bringing up the ‘bedroom tax’ or tuition fees”

    What about the Royal Mail?

    Also, is complaining about a tripling of tuition fee ‘far-left’?

  • update of Tory party
    what could possible wrongdoing
    for voters to read.
    Link to comment.

    Proposals for changes to the Official Secrets Act

    This is the start of Tory Govt trashing our entire human,
    Right now.
    In addition, not being able to use,
    The freedom of information Act to get info on Govt Dept.
    Or Minister + M.P.s (we call it being gagged)
    But you will be O.K. in Northern Ireland a deals was,
    Probably done with the D.U.P. party not to gag them.
    But us in Wales, Scotland, U.K., will be gaged
    By this Tory Govt.
    1**No! Right to strike for better pay.
    2**No! Right to freedom of speech.
    3**No! Right to protest in street.
    4**No! Right to hold our work bosses to account for any wrongdoings.
    5**No! Right to hold any Govt members to account for any wrongdoings.
    The NO! Right problem here,
    They are working on now in Tory govt,
    By back door bills being got ready.
    For when we leave the E.U. finally in 2019.
    Then all “I have put here could be put in place A.S.A.P.!
    By Tory Govt without a vote in H.O. Commons or the H.O. Lords
    As the will have be passed by back door means NO!
    Vote on them,
    The deals will be “voted on by D.U.P. party and,
    Tory party members only.
    In back rooms.
    Therefore, this article here is just the tip of the iceberg,
    (More loss of right to come)
    Unless a new G.E. is held in NOV 2017,
    Then we voter can put a stop,
    To losing our rights also see off Tory Govt from power,
    In addition can see of the D.U.P. party as well!
    So voter if you value your right we must have a new G.E.

  • Tower fire update

    Police now believe the Grenfell disaster way have been,
    Corporate manslaughter

    Will the above here also count for Mr Gavin Barwell?
    X Housing Minister that was “promoted by Tory Govt,
    Not sack after the fire.

    He is now Ms. May number two in charge of Govt and only,
    Answerable to her now not Joe public.
    Therefore, as he was Housing Minister overseeing all,
    Housing problems until the fire happened then he was whisked,
    Away into a new job, (WHY Ms. May)

    Is it because he will “not” be” held accountable now like the rest,
    of the people that failed the Tower Block residents?

    Therefore, he will hid behind is parliamentary privileges,
    In addition, get away with any prosecution that may come his way,
    You must Ms. May give the resident plus us public a good reasons,
    To WHY you promoted this man and not sacked him for,
    Failing the residents plus his incompetence as a Housing Minister.

    It is No! Good going after the over people when the X Housing Minister,
    get off scot free with his failing in this matter at Govt level.
    We get back to the old story here one rule for the RICH,
    one rule for the rest of us in this country.
    (Rich get away with everything the rest of us carry them.)

    Also Ms. May will Mr Barwell be allowed to see all information,
    now of tower block investigation as your number two in command Ms. May?

    He should not be allowed to hid behind Parliamentary privileges,
    As people have died here from his failing plus the country councils,
    Failing plus the firms that cladded the Tower blocks failing!
    Therefore, they should “ALL, be held accountable not just a few.

    Therefore, when Mr Barwell is “called to give evidences and he should be,
    “I do hope he does not hid behind the Govt or Ms. May.

    Remember here resident No one person is,
    “being held responsible it is the originations they work for.
    Like county council, Like Housing association,
    like cladding firms,
    So as Mr Berwell is Govt then Govt must,
    “also be held accountable here for this,
    “tragic events at tower Blocks as Mr Barwell was the,
    Housing Minister here for Govt.
    Until Ms. May “promoted him not sacked him” for his failing of,
    The residents, In Tower Block fire as Housing Minister for Tory Govt!

    On money matter concerning Tower Block residents.

    Just on another matter but related to the residents,
    Of Tower Blocks disaster.
    Can councillors Govt members tell me where the,
    Funding that was donated to the residents has GONE?
    On looking into the cash matter,
    “I see only a small amount has been given out to the residents (WHY)
    as this cash as nothing do with any Govt or county councils members,
    (who is in charge of the cash NOW?)
    Has it should be going to all the residents alive now,
    To help them all
    .But it seems it is not happening right the distribution of,
    donated, cash between them all “WHY?
    Is it not “being done right?
    As you know how to contact all of them?
    In addition, “I wish to know who has the cash in their back account now.
    1 ** “The Govt?
    2 ** “The county council?
    3 ** “The privet charity looking after the cash for residents?
    Remember whoever is holding the cash it belongs,
    to the resident of the Tower Block ONLY!
    As all the donation where collected on the understanding,
    The resident would get all cash collected by good people,
    donating the cash to them.
    You may reply here whoever is holding the thousands’
    Alternatively, millions of pound collected for the residents.
    “I do hope no one has done a runner with the cash?
    Will dig a bit deeper into this matter and comment later,
    With updates.

    Link to comment above

    Bedroom tax payments
    Tell the Cllr Mr Rayman Bains (Con Upton)
    To pay for your bedroom tax out of his own wages,
    By the way, you lot pay for (his wages)
    As all you less well of pay your council tax bills.
    Therefore, contribute to his wages a fact!
    So if this Tory Cllr wants the bedroom tax cash,
    Tell him to pay yours!
    Then he can tell you all if “it’s unjust or not?
    Remember! Residents he probably claims,
    His bedroom tax back?
    Of your council tax money you all pay.
    Therefore the Unjust bedroom tax will not effect,
    Him one way or the over has he pays with one,
    Hand and retrieves the cash with the over out of,
    Council tax funds you all pay into now.
    You poor–low paid workers-Mentality ill-
    Disabled-old people.
    However, remember all you resident here have to pay,
    The bedroom tax on top of your council tax bills
    He probably claims his bedroom tax payments back,
    Plus over claims as well for being a Cllr there
    You ALL cannot do this (claim anything back!)

    To a commenter O.K.

    Link to comment

    Well said Sir!
    Very good point here—-John Walker
    Could “I ask you 2-question please?

    Q-1 IF a new G.E. was “held in NOV 2017.
    To see of Tory Govt would you vote for another?
    Party to take their place in power yes or no?

    Q-2 Also at same time vote to stay in the E.U.
    In addition, “not leave “the E.U. yes or no?

    “I am interested because,
    “I investigate all Govt matter,
    In addition, County Council matter.

    Just so, you understand “me a bit John?
    By the way, “I voted to leave E.U.

    In addition, have never voted for a Tory party,
    Alternatively, any of it member in all,
    “My life of voting.
    “I’m a free voter no party ties to any of them.
    In Govt power or out of Govt power.
    “I have never funded ANY parties what so ever.

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