Vince Cable attack on 'panicked' Tories will 'poison' coalition

Vince Cable

Business secretary 'infuriates' Tory MPs by linking migrant crackdown to 'racist' Enoch Powell speech

LAST UPDATED AT 10:41 ON Mon 23 Dec 2013

VINCE CABLE'S inflammatory comments about the Tories' "panicked" response to EU immigrants, suggests "bitter personal poison" is seeping into some of the coalition's key policy disputes, The Guardian's Patrick Wintour says.

The business secretary used an appearance on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme yesterday to accuse David Cameron's party of grubbing for UKIP votes with irresponsible and populist rhetoric reminiscent both of Enoch Powell and pre-war anti-semitism, writes Wintour. He says Cable's remarks will "infuriate Tory backbenchers" who believe they are merely voicing the fears of their constituents over the likely scale of migration from Romania and Bulgaria on 1 January when transitional controls are lifted.

Cable's comments follow a series of "last-minute measures" by David Cameron to deter "benefit tourists" from the EU, The Independent says. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has insisted he will block any additional moves to limit migration levels from the EU.

The Business Secretary echoed his leader's resistance to the Tory crackdown yesterday, but went much further. The comment that is likely to drive the biggest wedge between the coalition partners is Cable's likening of recent Tory rhetoric on EU immigration to Enoch Powell's infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech.

Made in 1968, the speech warned against the consequences of opening the "floodgates" to black immigrants and was widely regarded as racist. Powell was sacked as shadow defence secretary in the aftermath of the speech.

The Daily Mail says Cable's comments represented an "extraordinary attack" on Conservatives. The paper says Cable also launched a "bizarre attack on the public" by suggestion Britons were "schizophrenic" because they wanted curbs on immigration while enjoying holidays abroad.

A Tory cabinet minister told the Mail that Cable was "spewing bile" and suggested the Business Secretary should resign if he "hates us so much".

Elsewhere in his interview with Andrew Marr, Cable warned that George Osborne's austerity measures are having a "severe" effect on public services. He also suggested that interest rate rises might be needed to prick a housing bubble in London and the south-east of England.

"It was one of those occasions," writes George Eaton in the New Statesman, "when it was easy to forget that Cable is a serving member of the government". · 

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The Tory party and their middle England constituents are 'schizophrenic' about cheap labour versus 'loadsa money' Seems like both could prove to be a 'win win' for the colonia mind-set. Welcome China to 'Chingland'!

...yet another idiotic utterance from our very own, latter day Neville Chamberlain, Vince Cable.

Enoch Powell has been consistently misquoted and vilified over the years since making a perfectly well-reasoned and well-presented speech warning of the POTENTIAL dangers of untrammelled and uncontrolled immigration into the United Kingdom; Edward Heath (yes! the same Heath who sold out the British Commonwealth for the siren calls of the nascent European Union - then in the clever guise of a simple, mutually advantageous "trading pact").

Sensing Left Wing approbrium and a possible loss of votes, Heath promptly sacrificed this most able Defence Minister, banishing him to the nether regions of County Down to represent that constituency (which, of course, he did, most ably and conscientiously).

Vince Cable should, perhaps, make his naive, dangerous and, frankly, offensive statements to (for example) the family of Lee Rigby - or to the victims of the nation - wide riots of three years ago - or he should try to convince the residents of such places as Boston, in Lincolnshire, who are on the front line of this uncontrollable and uncontrolled surge in immigration, with schools, social services and medical facilities quite unable to cope.

He made reference to "piccaninnies", which is an offensive term for black children.

Much of what he said was right and we do now have problems that might have been averted. He didn't help his case by using offensive language; it was silly. He was a decent bloke; I met him not long after the speech.

Has Cable completely lost it or is he looking for a place in a Milliband cabinet?

Hello again Sandy - Happy Christmas (if that does not offend any Moslem readers!?)

I take it that you are referring to Enoch Powell and not Vince Cable? Yes, I too met Mr Powell, in West Germany, while I was on exercise with 4th Infantry Divisional HQ. in 1966 (I think).

Enoch paid us a visit by Scout helicopter and was obliged to wade through mud on alighting, with his leg in plaster, after having suffered a fracture of his ankle (I think).

He seemed to be thoroughly conversant with the role and capabilities of our outfit and he went to the trouble of shaking our hands before he departed (this time, in a wheelbarrow, much to his delight and our collective mirth).

Of course, you have the advantage of me in so much as I was a very young soldier at that time and I was unaware of his controversial speech until months later.

Yes -"Piccaninnies" is infra-dig today but, with Rufty Tufty the Golliwog (Enid Blyton) and the Robertson's Jam/Marmalade Golliwog still socially unquestioned at that time I think that it is harsh to judge Enoch by today's standards - he was possibly deliberately misquoted.

His "Rivers of Blood" misquote was to echo a text from the Latin classics, "the Tiber froths red" or some such phrase - I cannot claim to have forgotten from which text - I did not know in the first place!

Happy Christmas

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