Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Strictly Shambolic!

Having Waltzed into the Coalition Government, Vince Cable's footwork has been far from nimble ever since. But, the this Government from Day One has been marked by a degree of incompetence and amateurism not seen in Government for some time. Now it seems as though Uncle Vince has missed another step. Bad enough that he let slide to a couple of young women who just walked into his Constituency Office that he could drop his Coalition Partners faster than Anne Widdicombe, but when, after they had backed him up on that, it immediately came out that he'd also told these two total strangers that one of the most important business deals being discussed by the Competition Authorities - Murdoch's takeover of the remaining share in BSKYB - had already been decided in his mind, and that a "War" had been declared on the Murdoch Empire, it looked like he was about to be Quickstepped out of his job.

In fact, many backbench Tories must be up in arms, because it looks as though, Vince, instead of being left Twisting in the wind, is to be kept on, though with hugely reduced powers. The reality is that Campo and Clegg can't get shut of an embarassment, because if Cable was booted on to the backbenches it would only be a matter of time before he became a focus of Liberal opposition to the Government, and then its days would truly be numbered. There are apparently other revelations in the telegraph interview which are likely to spell out the degree of fractures in the Coalition, and otehr Liberal MP's are apparently worrying that they have been caught in the same sting. As one Labour MP put it, this is not surprising because we have always known that the Liberals are characterised by their extreme duplicity and opportunism. Saying different things to different audiences has been the stock-in- trade of the Liberals for years.

Of course, no one will shed any tears for Murdoch in this affair. On the contrary, he is probably laughing all the way to the Bank, because this almost certainly means that any opposition to his takeover is now dead. But, in reality, we should never be in favour of the State intervening in these processes, because in the future the same measures will be used against workers when they begin to develop their own Co-operative property. The Capitalist state is not our friend against people like Murdoch. Our answer to him and his ilk is effective workplace organisation, strong Trade Union resistance, and the development of worker-owned and controlled media production.

Normally, the kinds of mishaps that this Government has been experiencing over the last few months tend to come towards the end of a Government, not at the beginning. That is a mark of its incompetence, and perhaps of the degree of covert opposition to its approach if not its policies. More and more it will come under pressure - the fact that unemployment is rising, interest rates are rising, and its chosen acid test (the deficit) has worsened dramatically in the last month - show that it is not in control of its own destiny. The sooner workers can apply the necessary pressure to break it apart and consign it to history the better.

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