is from Howard Reed, explaining why he would not choose Vince to be the next Chancellor:
I have immense respect for Vince Cable, and as a Lib Dem chancellor in a post-election coalition with Labour he would be an intriguing proposition. But he has the problem that his party leader is Nick Clegg, a rabid Thatcherite who wants to cut spending even harder than the Tories. Clegg is unlikely to listen to Cable’s good sense.
Rabid Thatcherite? Blimey. Yes a pro-European, liberal on immigration, break-up-banks Clegg is to the right of Thatcher. And Nick unlikely to listen to Vince? A rather desperate accusation. This is not Brown-Darling, 2008.
You will notice that I am in the yellow corner in this article, backing Vince as the best next Chancellor. You will also notice that the man chosen to defend Osborne spends 90% of his piece calling for what he the writer wants (basically, low taxes), and not really discussing young Mr O, beyond: “He has best articulated a vision that addresses the key issues: cutting public spending and tackling the economy’s need for competitiveness.”
Gerald Lyons spikes his own guns when he says “the man at the helm of the economy needs to rise above the politics.” Osborne is a brilliant politician, perhaps, but never able to rise above it. His choices are all driven by political positioning, not what may work best for the economy or wider concerns like reducing inequality. Just like Labour – even with Darling, whom I admire – he would be all about dividing lines.
If what is needed is solutions that transcend politics, then the Liberal Democrats idea of a cross-party Council is much better than the Tories’ OBR. And, yes, the best man would be Vince.