REVEALED: CABLE'S LAST DITCH CALLS TO BROWN
Vince Cable told Gordon Brown repeatedly that he did not want to go into coalition with the Conservatives, according to insider accounts of the talks that reshaped British politics. Dr Cable, the deputy Liberal Democrat leader, used a series of telephone calls with Mr Brown to emphasise that he regarded a deal with the Tories as the least palatable option for his party.
The pair spoke sometimes twice a day over the course of last weekend and in the hours leading up to David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s historic deal, which prompted Dr Cable’s appointment as Business Secretary. The disclosure risks opening a rift at the heart of the Lib-Con coalition and underlines the pressures it will come under from inherent tensions between politically divergent partners.
Even as Mr Clegg was preparing to deal with Mr Cameron, Labour believed that it was still in the game and was setting up a meeting between Vince Cable and Alistair Darling. Some senior Lib Dems reaching out to Labour were playing a “double game” simply to improve the offer from the Tories. David Cameron is facing mounting unrest among Tory MPs angry that they were cut out of the loop during the coalition negotiations, unlike their Lib Dem counterparts.
Cable, praised by the new Prime Minister as an “absolute star” in terms of economic policy on Thursday, spent much of last weekend reaching out to Mr Brown. Labour sources said that Dr Cable made it clear to Mr Brown that “he certainly did not want to” sign up with the Tories. “He was absolutely of the view that they should be doing a deal with us”.
Well, isn't that a huge surprise - this man's saintly reputation is built on one half decent joke at PMQs while he was standing in as the Limp Dumbs' leader - his economic policies have flip-flopped as the need arose for him to do so - like all Liberals, he sits on the fence and goes whichever way the wind blows at the time.
Yet, for ages, the public were hanging on his every word as if he was some sort of almighty economic guru - the Mail On Sunday even went as far as giving him his own weekly column - and it all stems from the time he said that Gordon Brown had changed from Stalin to Mr Bean in the course of a week.
A reasonable joke does not a brilliant economist make, nor a trustworthy one either, as Jon Sopel exposed when he ripped him to shreds on the Politics Show over the Lib Dems' £2.5million donation from a convicted fraudster on the run and still at large. My, how he twisted and turned and squirmed as he tried to justify not returning that dodgy donation, his credibility smashed to pieces.
And now we have this act of self-interested, double-dealing skulduggery, repeatedly telephoning Gordon Brown in an act of pure treachery - again showing himself up for the rotten, sneaky little weasel that he is. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, I've neither liked nor trusted him for a long time.
I hope someone is watching Cameron's back - he is also going to have to keep a very watchful eye on Huhne the Hoon - another slippery customer if ever there was one!