Thursday, 23 December 2010

A thought on the Vince Cable affair

The BBC, and much else of the media, are spinning this story as a Tory/Lib Dem feud story but I think that the real story is about the fitness for office of Vince Cable. Now I know that to the BBC he is Saint Vince but were his words those of a saint?

Vince Cable was the Secretary of State for Business and had under his department Ofcom. Ofcom was at the time considering the takeover of BSkyB by Rupert Murdoch's organisation. It seemed, based on previous Ofcom comments and decisions, that Ofcom would not adversely report on the takeover; remember that Ofcom have already decided (re ITV) that having 25% of a media company means that you have sufficiently significant influence over editorial content to cause a regulatory issues. Vince Cable's comments showed very clearly that he had made up his own mind re the issue without waiting for the Ofcom report and that he was in opposition to the likely conclusions of the said report. I believe that as a matter of administrative law Vince Cable was not permitted to do that. Thus to leave Vince with the power to block the Murdoch takeover would likely have led to a law suit, one that Rupert Murdoch was very likely to win.

It seems to me therefore that Vince Cable's words put into question the whole legal process and thus his fitness for government.

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