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Discussion and analysis of the latest economic issues.

By Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor of The Independent.

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The Peoples' Chancellor

Posted by Sean O'Grady
  • Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 12:23 pm
If we had an election for Chancellor of the Exchequer, Vince Cable would win it. Despite the best efforts of some in the media, he remains the Peoples' Chancellor, and in the Channel 4 debate last night he showed why.

I ought to add, in passing that the real differences between the three men on cutting the government's borrowings were minimal – about £8bn according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies - but just as all the commentators are calling for a "credible plan" to reduce the deficit, so the voters too are looking for a "credible man" to implement it, that man being Vince.

The real question is the path to get Cable into Number 11. To my mind it is fairly simple. Gordon Brown gets in as the largest party but is desperate for Lib Dem support. Clegg should demand: First, the alternative vote (which Brown is already committed to). Second, Cable in Number 11 (trickier, but doable), a couple of jobs for himself and Chris Huhne and some junior ministries. Third, an agreed four year programme for economic recovery. Everyone wants the parties to work together and everyone wants Vince to do the job of fixing the finances. He would be a tremendous asset to brown’s government. The Tories can whinge as much as they like but by 2014 it will all be forgotten and the economy ought to be recovered by then.

Another term for Gordon Brown might be unthinkable, but a first term for Chancellor Cable? An intriguing thought.


Cable is not suitable as Chancellor
bonzo53 wrote:
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 01:29 pm (UTC)
Cable is only good at criticism of others from the sideline. He spent most of his time making snide comments about the other parties. He needed to explain LibDem policies, if they have any.
Brown is the roadblock
bryanmcgrath wrote:
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 03:33 pm (UTC)
You talk about Nulab as the largest party, that would still mean they have lost about 80 seats. Gordon "an end to boom and bust" Brown would never resign, he waited too long for the premiership to give it up unless forced out. Losing the vote on the Queens Speech will be the end (dam I've got a tenner on him being out by the end of June).

Laurel and Hardy a.k.a. Cameron and Osborne offer a better prospect. Cameron would drop Osborne like a stone if it meant he could get his feet under the table in No. 10
No voting reform then again the tories get the largest share of the popular vote, yet not the largest number of seats could concentrate minds wonerfully.



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