Two weeks ago, Vince Cable was in a top government post, as Business Secretary. I won't say he was powerful, as most of the power of the British Government has been handed over to the EU or the ECHR at The Hague these days. Vince only had the trappings of power, but he had a big salary, a high public profile and the fun of rubbing shoulders with all the others at the top of the Establishment. He also had a vast pension to look forward to.
Now he is in disgrace, stripped of his position, reduced to being a mere MP again, and all because he was tricked by two journalists from the Daily Telegraph. It was a sneaky thing to do, passing themselves off as his constituents, and pretending they had voted for him, while secretly taping their conversation. All he did was to admit that his attitude to the monopoly case about the Murdoch monster was not strictly unbiassed. As a minister, he was meant to take a neutral view until the report was out. He was caught saying one thing in private and another in public - hardly a big surprise.
Cable was stitched up, no doubt about it. And he was much less guilty than the other Libdems who have been, since last May, one by one, outed as liars and rogues. David Laws, working in the Treasury, claimed rent on expenses when his so-called "landlord" was actually his lover. (He couldn't afford the rent as he is only a multi-millionaire and happy to serve in a government that is cutting housing benefit.) You'd think after the biggest expenses scandal in history the supposedly "brilliant" Lawes might have been a teeny bit more careful - but no, he had learned nothing. Then there was Chris Paul-Huhne (to give him his full name) the energy minister who is not very good at Maths, or why else would he claim to be aged 55 when he was actually born in 1950? In the election he spoke of how attached he was to family values. A few weeks later, he tried to conceal his affair with his campaign manager by driving to the railway station in separate cars and sitting in separate carriages, only to meet again on the sly later. Well, the journalists who tailed him are not quite so dim as he thought. Huhne was recently prevented from going to a public meeting about the dangers of global warming in Britain by extreme snow-bound conditions.
Then there is the cowardly Nick Clegg, who knew perfectly well even in advance of the election that his public promise not to raise university tuition fees was never going to be kept. He got elected on the basis of great big fibs, and had to cancel a visit to Oxford University as he was scared to encounter crowds of understandably angry students. It is said that he is now the most unpopular man in Britain. Somebody sent him a package of human excrement through the post. Well, he can certainly afford the servants to clear it up, having made a fortune in the Brussels champagn-ocracy. Has Clegg got any real power as Deputy Prime Minister? One sincerely hopes not, though he has got the enviable privilege of using John Prescott's old toilet seat at Chevening. I wonder if it is in good condition or if it shows the same signs of wear and tear exhibited by all Mr Prescott's other toilet seats?
And so to Vince Cable. When he was in opposition he claimed to believe in Freedom of Information. When he was made a minister, he went along with the refusal of the FSA to make public the results of its investigation of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Just because the tax-payer put billions of pounds into the banks doesn't apparently make us entitled to know what is going on. Vince will do very well on Strictly Come Dancing if his U-turns on the floor are as fast as his U-turns on policy!!!
For years, we in UKIP have had to endure our own leaders and MEPs being systematically smeared, libelled, slandered, entrapped by journalists, and prosecuted in judicial stitch-ups. Some of them have been disgraced and even imprisoned for charges that were trivial compared to the massive corruption exposed in the Westminster MPs' expenses-scandal, or the Labour peers' bribery scandal (for which nobody was imprisoned). Lord Pearson, one of the most decent and principled people in public life, was subjected to defamation and insult from the left-wing and liberal press, who seem to think that any tactics, including perjury, against a UKIP member are OK.
Politics, we are told, is a dirty game, and you can only expect people to play dirty.
Well, Vince, in that case, HOW DOES IT FEEL?