by Daphne Liddle

VINCE CABLE last Wednesday tried to appease angry delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool with a phoney attack on the worst aspects of capitalism that will fool very few.

The speech was signalled in advance as an attack on the “murky” aspects of high finance, claiming that “capitalism kills competition” and even an unlikely outbreak of Marxism.

In reality his message was that the capitalists who brought about the 2007 global finance crisis were behaving badly and if they do it again he might introduce some more regulations.

All the elected leaders of the western “democratic” world have tried to introduce new banking regulations to prevent the crisis happening again — Obama, Gordon Brown, Sarkosy, Merkel and even George W Bush. But the greedy money-obsessed gamblers of the global finance markets are back doing exactly the same things that brought the crisis about, barely aware of any new regulations and totally ignoring them.

Vince Cable knows this; he knows he owes his position as Business Secretary in David Cameron’s government to the patronage of the real ruling class and that if he serves them well he will be well rewarded in future.

He is serving his masters by trying to uphold the illusion of the power of democracy in a bourgeois dictatorship.

He described how he had “managed to infuriate bank bosses, acquire a fatwa from the revolutionary guards of the trade unions movement, frighten the Daily Telegraph and upset very rich people. I must be doing something right.”

no prisoners

He said capitalism “takes no prisoners and kills competition where it can”, and rejected a “laissez-faire” attitude to finance.

He argued: “Why should good companies be destroyed by short-term investors looking for a speculative killing, while their accomplices in the City make fat fees? Why do directors forget their wider duties when a fat cheque is waved before them? Capitalism takes no prisoners and kills competition where it can.”

He said his speech was “pro-business, pro-market” but that he was seeking to “protect shareholders” and “protect consumers” — but nothing about protecting workers nor the millions of vulnerable low income people who will suffer serious hardship as a result of public service cuts.

Cable admitted the coming cuts “will hurt” but “strong disinfectant stings”.

And he thinks the Coalition government still has majority support for the cuts. There was not much concern for the workers, the poor and the vulnerable — who are liable to be stung to death by Cable’s strong disinfectant — from the platform at the Lib-Dem conference.

stand up

But there plenty of delegates from the floor ready to stand up and oppose the cuts. They also voted against the Government’s academy education plan and in favour of including the cost of renewing the Trident missile system in the coming comprehensive spending review.

And outside the conference hall, on the streets and in the fringe meetings there was plenty of protest about the effects of the cuts on the working class. On Sunday 19th there was a mass joint union Dave Prentis, general secretary of the public sector union Unison, accused the Lib Dems of ditching “the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable along with their election promises”.

He said: “Who can trust the Liberal Democrats now? They have ditched the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable along with their election promises. Their thirst for power has led them to sell-out their own supporters.

“They must face up to the responsibility, that their assaults on public sector workers will see hundreds and thousands of people out of a job. The impact of those cuts on local people who rely on those services will be devastating.”

Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite, said: “The Con-Dem coalition has no public mandate for the assassination of our public services. These cuts are savage and will be a betrayal of the electorate.

“As always it will be working people who become the victims. From the very young to the very old, the support they depend on will be pulled away.

“We’re all in this together? Don’t make me laugh. It won’t be Cameron and his millionaire Cabinet who worry about their jobs, their homes or the state of our schools and hospitals.

“This is not just about the public sector but about housing, transport, manufacturing and senseless economics that hits growth and hurts the most needy while the greedy go scot free.

“The tragedy is that it doesn’t have to be this way. A tax avoidance clampdown would bring billions into the economy right away.”