21 Dec 2010

Cable ‘declares war’ on Murdoch media empire

It looks like the “quad” (PM, DPM, George Osborne and Danny Alexander) with advisers are currently meeting in No. 10 to decide if Vince Cable must resign from the Cabinet.

It turns out his chat with undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph went even further than we thought.

The Telegraph, for whatever motive, withheld from the published  transcript Vince Cable’s assertion that he had “declared war” on the Murdoch empire, exceptionally ill-advised given that the Business Secretary must, in a quasi judicial capacity, decide on whether to refer to the Competition Commission and then potentially adjudicate on their judgement.
The government will desperately not want to be seen to be bending the knee to Murdoch. He was amongst the first callers on David Cameron when he entered No. 10 but he came in by the back door and he’s a man politicians prefer to court in private not in public.

The Coalition would prefer to keep Dr Cable in post, much prefer, and it would need to somehow remove him from the Murdoch/BSkyB ruling if he were to stay.

Vince Cable isn’t known for his joie de vivre, even though he is an enthusiastic ballroom dancer and has already recorded a Xmas BBC1 special, which may need a re-visiting if he has to resign in the next few hours.

But in the days since the tuition fees vote his aides have reported him occasionally showing bursts of cheeriness, even light-headed humour, perhaps sensing that nothing could be as bad as the tuition fees row and he had passed the parliamentary phase.

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