A lot of people, especially hardcore Remainers, don't seem to understand why the Lib-Dems are such a reviled and toxic brand.
Just about the briefest possible explanation is that they wilfully helped a radically right-wing Tory government absolutely trash the living standards of tens of millions of people which eventually resulted in the Brexit backlash, then demonstrated their total lack of contrition by elevating possibly the worst offender of all to lead their party.
After two years at the helm their beloved Saint Vince is on his way out, but that the two vying to replace him (Jo Swinson and Ed Davey) were both such enthusiastic austerity-wreckers that they were more loyal to the Tory whip than the current Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt!
Another extremely clear indication of the fact they're not even remotely sorry about what they did.
So in this article I'm going to run through six things that should make any remotely decent person recoil in disgust at Vince Cable's behaviour, and the Lib-Dems for not only keeping him on, but actually lifting him up to be their beloved leader.
1. The Royal Mail
You probably know that the Tory/Lib-Dem Austerity Coalition decided to outright defy the public will by flogging off Royal Mail in 2013.
As Business Secretary Vince Cable was personally responsible for the process, and he managed it in such a way that it essentially turned into a vast fraud against the British public that cost us hundreds of millions of pounds.
The first element of the fraud was Vince's decision to limit members of the public to a maximum of £749 worth of shares, whilst allowing city speculators to buy up unlimited amounts of shares.
This meant that the vast majority of the profits from the privatisation scam he pulled would be gobbled up by city spivs.
The second element was deliberate under-valuation. The Royal Mail's extensive property portfolio was assigned a ludicrously low valuation in comparison to the the cost of buying a matching portfolio of thousands of acres of lucrative city centre land from scratch.
Furthermore Cable ignored all the warnings that the initial share price was far too low, having chosen the lowest valuation of all supplied by a firm called Lazard.
The third element was the cash in.
When the share price immediately bounced upwards, and several of the city investors made instant £millions at the public expense by buying up millions of shares then flogging them when the price corrected like they knew it would. One of these corporate investors, which made themselves a staggering £8 million instant profit was Lazard, the very people who advised Cable to under-value the shares in the first place.
How Saint Vince decided not to bar them from the process is anyone's guess.
As for the property portfolio, the new private owners have raked in £hundreds of millions by flogging off chunks of Royal Mail land to property developers at the real market price and cashing in the enormous difference from Vince's extraordinary undervaluation in unearned profit.
2. Arming human rights abusers
One of Vince Cable's jobs as Business Secretary in the Austerity Coalition was to sign off on arms export contracts.
During his time in the job he signed off on weapons sales to loads of countries on Britain's own watchlist of human rights abusers, including the homophobic, misogynistic, head-chopping, terrorism-spreading, democracy-crushing, journalist-dismembering Saudi war criminals.
Getting confused between your own socially liberal views and the Liberal Democrats because they have the word "liberal" in their names is kind of understandable if you don't really think about any of the details.
But anyone who is actually genuine about their social liberalism would steer well away from a party that saw absolutely no problem in flogging weapons to despots, tyrant, human rights abusers, and war criminals ... unless of course you're only really socially liberal when it comes to white Europeans like yourself, and don't give a shit about the human rights of brown people in far away lands who end up being tortured, maimed, and massacred by the weapons Saint Vince sold them.
3. Vince's money laundering loophole
In 2011 Vince Cable made an extraordinary decision to abolish identity checks on the registration of British companies.
This may not sound like a big deal, but it set off an extraordinary wave of criminality and money laundering.
The ability to set up a company in a country with a reputation as strong as the UK, in the space of only a few minutes, with virtually no risk of having your identity checked was an open invitation for every fraudster in the world to consider routing their ill-gotten gains through British shell companies.
Pressure groups, other countries, and the EU have pleaded with the UK to close this loophole, and begin insisting that the owners of British companies properly identify themselves, but the only person who has ever been convicted for setting up a fake company in the entire time is campaigner called Kevin Brewer, who set up a fake company called John Vince Cable Services Ltd, in order to demonstrate how Cable's reform made it so easy to create fake companies and masquerade as other people!
The guy who tried to blow the whistle on Saint Vince's tsunami of fraud got convicted in court for his efforts, while those responsible for the countless £billions in fraud that Cable unleashed get away scot free!
4. Austerity fanaticism
One of the worst things about Vince Cable was that in the wake of the global financial sector insolvency crisis he was one of the only UK politicians talking any kind of sense. He was capable of explaining how and why the collapse happened, and he also warned against excessive public spending cuts.
But as soon as the opportunity to become a government minister with the Tories presented itself, he completely changed his tune. From explaining the actual causes of the crisis, he flipped to joining in with the utterly dishonest and hyper-partisan Tory nonsense about "Labour bankrupting the economy".
But worse than this was his embrace of Tory austerity fanaticism.
He knew that it was economically illiterate, he knew that it was bad for the economy, and he knew that repressing wages and stifling economic demand would smother the post-crisis economic recovery, but he joined in with it anyway in return for a six figure ministerial salary, a chauffeur driven car, and a temporary sense of self-importance.
And thus he wilfully helped the Tories to deliver the slowest economic recovery since reliable records began, despite knowing all along that the Tory austerity prescription was toxic economy-choking nonsense from the very beginning.
5. Brexit cynicism
Tory austerity policies like unprecedented wage repression, ruinous public service cuts, deliberate infrastructure under-investment, and wanton vandalism of the social safety net caused a massive collapse in UK living standards.
Then along came the Brexiteers to blame it all on immigrants and the EU.
Vince Cable could have come clean during the EU referendum and admitted that collapsing wages, failing public services, unaffordable housing, and the desperately failing social safety net had nothing to do with immigrants and the EU, and everything to do with the domestic UK government policy of austerity fanaticism.
But in order to say that he would have been admitting his own complicity in the living standards collapse, so instead he chose to say nothing, and allow the Brexiteers to use the living standards collapse he helped to engineer as a recruiting call for the Leave campaign.
And then after the Leave vote happened, Saint Vince has cynically positioned himself and his party as the wonderful saviours come to rescue the rest of us from the Brexit chaos he helped to create and unleash.
And to top it all off, what he's actually offering is the ridiculous strategically inept bollocks of another referendum with the Tories who created this Brexit mess still in charge and pushing for a no deal meltdown from the steps of Downing Street
At least a Labour government or Labour-based coalition would be firmly opposed to the insanity of no deal chaos, but Saint Vince wants the Tories running the ballot because if there's one thing he hates more than Brexit, it's the idea of a genuinely left-wing government ending ruinous austerity fanaticism, running the railways and water supply as not-for-profit public services, and making corporations and the mega-rich actually pay their taxes.
Saint Vince is like a mugger robbing your stuff and punching your teeth out, then expecting praise and gratitude for offering you a tissue to stem the flow of blood gushing from your gums!
But somehow people buy into it.
6. The rest of his voting record
I've detailed 5 things that Saint Vince has been directly involved with, but there's so much more to be found in his voting record.
Here's just some of the other stuff Saint Vince and the Lib-Dems "greatest hits" between 2010 and 2015:
- Relentlessly forcing the cost of the financial sector insolvency crisis onto poor and ordinary people, whilst simultaneously showering corporations and the mega-rich with one lavish tax cut and handout after another.
- Tripling university fees, despite pledging not to before the election, and rubbing salt into the wounds by tinkering with the repayment terms to introduce inflation+3% interest on the loans, meaning that a whopping 83% of graduates will never pay off their student debts despite entire working lifetimes of repayments!
- Bulldozing Charles Kennedy's legacy into a pit and burning it to ashes by voting to turn Libya into a vast lawless terrorism breeding ground just like the devastating chaos Kennedy so eloquently opposed in Iraq.
- Voting through Theresa May's Hostile Environment, which has been used to discriminate against and deport black British citizens from the Windrush generation.
- Introduction of unlawful Tribunal Fees designed to protect bad bosses by pricing low-income employees out of the justice system.
- Helping the Tories to annihilate police budgets, and totally gut funding for youth centres and early intervention schemes, which have led to a massive escalation in violent crime and gang culture.
- Forcing terminally ill people to go through discriminatory and degrading "fit for work" assessments for the crime of not dying quickly enough.
- Unprecedented cuts to NHS and social care budgets that have been associated with an estimated 130,000 people being driven into early graves.
- There's no remorse over the deliberate wage repression policies that led to the worst sustained decline in UK workers' wages on record, and set up an entire decade of lost wage growth.
- Voting through a massively wasteful top-down Tory reorganisation of the NHS that appeared in neither parties' manifestos) aimed at carving up as many NHS services as possible for distribution to private profiteers.
- The establishment of a disgusting disability denial regime that has been condemned by the United Nations for "grave and systematic violations of disabled people's rights".
- Supporting all kinds of other deeply illiberal and hard right malice like Secret Courts, Bedroom Tax, enhanced snooping powers, the gagging law, hostile environment, Theresa May's family separation rules, privatised prisons, unlawful forced unpaid labour schemes, the draconian sanctions regime, instructing private contractors to deliberately discriminate against people with mental health conditions ...
The fact that the Lib-Dems picked Saint Vince as their beloved leader after all of this dreadful stuff just goes to show that they're not even remotely sorry.
And the fact that the two Lib-Dems vying to replace him come from the exact same "capital before people" mould show that they simply don't care about the damage they've done.
All they care about is finding another demographic to con into voting for them, just like they conned and betrayed the student vote, the electoral reformers, the anyone-but-Tory vote, and the anti-war demographic the last time they sneaked their way into power.
Don't be a dupe, and don't believe their deceptions, because you know exactly how much they're wiling to betray and exploit the people who stand with them, and you know exactly how unrepentant they are about the all of the disgusting things that nobody can deny that they did.
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