Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Huhne: bad news driving out good

To make one thing clear from the start: if Chris Huhne is guilty of perverting the course of justice, then he has to leave ministerial office. It is not good enough to say, as several scribes have, that "everybody does it". All this means is that police should be more vigilant when a person with a previously spotless record, who just happens to be the partner of one trembling on the brink of disqualification, suddenly admits to a speeding offence. It's a big "if", though, and we have already seen accusations of electoral offences in Eastleigh comprehensively refuted. There are  militant reactionaries who are targeting Liberal Democrats and the more liberal Conservatives - like Ken Clarke - in the coalition government and who are using any stray innuendo or accusation as ammunition.

What these people detest is initiatives like the Green Investment Bank (video of Vince Cable's statement to the Commons here). What the publicity for the GIB - such as it is - does not highlight is the struggle that LibDems in the cabinet had in order to achieve borrowing powers for the bank, without which it would be inadequate. As late as January, the Financial Times was reporting that the Treasury was successfully resisting attempts to grant borrowing powers. Their defeat on this point is a tribute to the persistence of Vince Cable and Chris Huhne.

No comments: