Monday, 18 February 2008

Cable to replace Darling at Number 11?

To look at today's news coverage, you'd never guess that it was Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable who first proposed a temporary nationalisation of Northern Rock. The BBC report makes no mention of the Lib Dem position until the penultimate paragraph.

The Lib Dems called it correctly, whereas the government spent months dithering before finally coming round to our opinion. But you'd never guess it. It looks like we've been royally screwed out of coverage on this issue. Indeed, the main political story this evening appears to be the Tories calling for Darling's head.

The right tactic for the Lib Dems is obvious: Nick Clegg should offer Vince Cable to the government as their new Chancellor. We'd offer to release Vince from the Lib Dem whip, so he could sit in Cabinet as an independent MP "for the duration of the crisis".

Don't worry: I haven't flipped my lid! I know full well that this scenario is about as realistic as Michael Jackson's nose. Even if Labour had some sort of collective brain fade and accepted, the deal would do us more harm than good. But we should make the offer nonetheless. It would quickly become the main headline, and it would certainly remind people which party got its sums right over Northern Rock. George Osborne's face would be priceless.

Thoughts anyone?


Anonymous said...

Nice idea, but I think it would backfire. It's too easy to read through; it's never going to look like a genuine offer, and will instead look like an opportunistic grab at media attantion. (which I suppose is what it would be...)

Jonny Wright said...

You never know. Gordon Brown spent a lot of time banging on about his "big tent", and how he was going to use all the talent available, regardless of party affiliation. If we played it right, it might put the PM in an awkward situation.

a radical writes said...

I think it would be nice to call Gordon on his big tent bluff, certainly would attract good publicity and heck, I would actually like to see vince as Chancellor.

Micah said...

It's true that 'you never know', but then nor do you - I think you have to deal with probabilities and not possibilities, and I think it's highly unlikely that the move wouldn't come off as an unsubtle media ploy.

Also, when you wrote it might work 'if we played it right'; can you think of any tangible strategies to play it right? (note that I'm only commenting because I'm procrastinating...)