Daily archives: April 14, 2011

How Long Will Vince Cable Stick In?

I view Vince Cable as a genuinely decent man with liberal instincts. It is good that someone in the Lib Dems has the guts to stand up to Tory immigrant baiting. Cable was right on Murdoch, and his instincts are right on regulating the banks. On all of these – banks, Murdoch, visas – Cable theoretically had a position of power, but has simply been pushed aside by the Tories.

I think it is wrong to confuse Vince with Clegg. I don’t think Cable is hungry for power, and he doesn’t need the money. Clegg would happily sacrifice every Liberal principle to remain as Deputy Prime Minister – I am not sure Clegg ever believed any of it anyway. Following Cable’s open disagreement with Cameron on immigration, Westminster is asking how much longer Cameron will tolerate Cable. I am hopeful that is the wrong question.

I am a Liberal, and will remain so. I don’t have the emotional attachment to corporate solutions and high public spending which many of the valued commenters here do. I was a delegate at the Lib Dem special conference which voted for the coalition with the Tories. I voted for it myself. But the fact is that the government programme bears almost no relationship to the coalition agreement we voted for. Vince Cable cares about that, and he quoted the coalition agreement in attacking Cameron today. I really don’t think Clegg cares a hoot about the agreement; it served its purpose for him many months ago; just like the things he said at the general election.

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At 16.00 Today I Was…

working in my role as unpaid production assistant for Nadira’s next play, checking out the King’s Theatre in Ramsgate (now the King’s Church, originally a cinema) as a possible venue for rehearsals and previews in July to iron out the bugs. Nice space but currently lacks a proper lighting rig – they are in the process of looking for one. So I may have to explore further. I had offered our house as a good venue to workshop the thing because everyone can stay here (the producers are in shock – you don’t normally get all this when you hire an actress). So it makes sense to look for a theatre around here.

There appears to be a huge growth in this kind of evangelical church in the UK. As far as I can tell it is all based on a purely emotional appeal, aimed largely at the unfortunate. Rather a worrying phenomenon.

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Opening of Turner Contemporary

My house in Ramsgate is about three miles from Margate, and I see no way to remedy that. But this weekend sees, as every national newspaper has reported, the opening of the Turner Contemporary, which is magically going to reverse a century of decline and two decades of dumping of difficult social services and asylum cases from may score miles away, with no help or social provision.

Anyway, all the newspapers also say there will be a weekend of festival. I am not so mean as to ignore a celebration on my doorstep, so I am trying to find out what is happening. I may be stupid, but I don’t find that the Turner’s website actually helps much in telling me where to be when. And doubtless the wine and hors d’oeuvres are reserved for important people from London. I suspect this may be a fair portent of the coming relationship between the Turner Contemporary and those of us who actually live around here.

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Oh Look, An Election is Coming

A difficult local election campaign is underway. Oh look! Cameron is making an anti-immigrant speech. What a coincidence! And is it not heartening to see this robustly liberal response from the Lib Dems:

“We use different language. But we all work in government to strike a balance to ensure Britain has a system people have confidence in.”

Cringe. Actually I do not disagree that those seeking standard immigration routes to this country should speak the language, but why English? Why not Welsh or Gaelic? Of course you cannot apply this to asylum seekers – a language test is not a sensible way to decide if someone should be tortured to death or not. In fact, I am willing to bet the effect on the ground of any of this will be limited. The core Tory is a visceral racist, and Cameron is simply engaging in a tribal bonding ritual to motivate them into the polling booths.

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