Drivel or what?

There’s always a certain difficulty with Vince Cable (“Sir Vince” as we should call him now). Should we regard him as being perceptive in his utterances or is he simply spouting the blindingly obvious? For there are times – Emperor’s new clothes and all that – when to state the obvious is to be perceptive. We don’t in fact think that is what is being done here concerning Brexit. This is just the blindingly obvious:

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has said the Brexit vote was “driven by nostalgia” for a world where “faces were white”.

In his keynote speech to his party’s spring conference in Southport, Sir Vince said the “toxic” fall-out of the referendum is fuelling the rise of the populist right in Britain.

Saying that 70 per cent of over 65s had voted for Brexit, Sir Vince said: “Too many were driven by nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink”.

It does matter which examples you use to explain this of course. We can go with insisting that 52% of voters in the referendum are in fact Colonel Blimp without the humour. Harking back to a world which never really did exist but in which ageing memories can seek comfort.

Or we can place it all rather more accurately as part of those several national upchucks against the way the world is changing. Trump’s election, Beppe Grillo as Sejanus in Rome, Brexit, even Syriza in Greece, from their different starting points all are much the same thing. They’re that shouting out the window in Network, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more. We can even call it inchoate, in that not everyone so voting is being entirely and fully rational and calculating in what they want to happen next – but they’re damn certain they don’t want more of the current same.

My own – and yes, I’ve much more rational and thought through arguments available – ulcerative gut feel is Martin Schultz, one of the former many Presidents of Europe. I don’t want Britain to be run by fat German socialists, whether they exercise power through Berlin or Brussels. Perhaps I shouldn’t say that so bite me. The important point here being that democracy is indeed the people getting what they vote for, good and hard. And what we’re seeing is, in many countries and all for different specific local reasons, said voters saying something other than the current ruling class would be good and they’d like that hard please.

Not something Vince has grasped as yet therefore we can’t call him perceptive, can we?

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15 COMMENTS

    • Indeed. With “not everyone so voting is being entirely and fully rational and calculating in what they want to happen next – but they’re damn certain they don’t want more of the current same,” Tim also captures the election of Trump.

  1. I have had a bit of fun with a couple of vociferous remainers recently. In a discussion on the USA school shooting one claimed that the majority of Americans wanted gun control (probably true in the loosest definitions) and the other that the majority of Italians didn’t want to leave the EU.

    My observation that I thought we didn’t believe that important decisions should be made by the majority was met with stony silence. I’m still waiting.

    • The shock is that so many Yanks believe they should be able to vote for their desired outcome and thereby achieve it without regard to the rights of the minority. You would make a better American than they do.

      • That is the design of the US Constitution. It was designed to be difficult to change. That helps protect the rights of the minority. However, the protection of the Constitution has been eroded by those on the left who find it inconvenient to their agenda.

  2. Cable is typical arrogant Remainiac shite. And the jibes about old people are hilarious coming from an aged wreck like him.

    Nothing more pathetic than an old male who trying to pretend that the best reason he can find for treason is to try and recapture his long-lost yoof.

    But let him get what he says he wants. Vince should be conscripted into the EU Army. It would make great reality TV to see the chrome-domed Lord Haw Haw trying to keep up wiv’ da yoof on an obstacle course. While –“What are you –you horrible little cunt of a Remainiac traitor to your country you” bellows the Drill-Sergeant–in French and German–or more likely Arabic.

  3. “driven by nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink”

    He says that like it is a bad thing. The fact is Britain was better run when the passports were blue, the world was much better off being pick and the only decent places to live are full of people with White faces.

    Why anyone would want to debase Britain by turning it into a dysfunctional Third World shQ!thole escapes me but that is the cross-party policy of all past, present and potentially future governments.

  4. “Saying that 70 per cent of over 65s had voted for Brexit, Sir Vince said: “Too many were driven by nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white and the map was coloured imperial pink”.
    Cable seriously pisses me off.
    I’m one of the over 65s who, if I could have been bothered to come back to the UK to do so, would have voted leave. I spent most of my life there in Central London which has been decidedly non-exclusively white for some generations. It’s one of the things I used to love about my city. The cultural diversity. Even my spoken english is full of it. Bits of Jamaican, Yiddish, Greek… I don’t even particularly like the “English culture”. I’m here to avoid it. I don’t give a monkey’s what colour my passport is. (At the moment a green one has a certain attraction) but that the Anglo-Saxon inheritance spreads further than a small island in the Atlantic doesn’t seem so bad.
    I like Europe. I live in mainland Europe. But I can’t see any benefit to the UK being part of a European superstate. Or any part of Europe does, for that matter. Luckily, the Brits got to choose. F**k off Cable. They chose Leave. Crawl back under your stone & get over it.

  5. One of Vince Cables favourite quotes from the bible is:

    Corinthians 6:1-4 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?

    Worth reminding you of this too:

    Project Brexit
    I have spent much of the last forty years in the world of major project management. Largely in the oil and gas industry out of Aberdeen, but in other parts of the world as well and in other industries where projects get very big, such as nuclear power, defence and the largest of civil engineering jobs. My specific discipline – the software techniques used to understand and control these projects – is common across all of these industries, as are many, indeed most, of the theoretical frameworks we use to describe and manage these largest of jobs. I am flattered to be described as a “subject matter expert” by my clients in the oil and gas industry, however even SMEs have been quiet of late in the oil industry, and so I turned my attention to the largest project ever undertaken in Britain, Brexit.

    The important distinguishing feature of a project is that it stops. This is not manufacturing or running a shop. We make something, deliver it, and the job is over. Brexit is a project. But if we examine it that way without any consideration as to whether it is “right” or “wrong” to do, it is doomed to failure.

    In order for a project to be successful, there are some important ingredients. Brexit lacks all of them, except a “Project Must Finish By” date, the only information that we have. In March of 2019 the project finishes.

    Let me painfully go through just some of the missing ingredients:

    A scope of work. Famously, there isn’t one. It is as if a shipbuilding company had accepted a contract to deliver a ship in March 2019, but nobody knows what sort of ship. All we know is the launch date. This in itself makes the project to build the Holyrood parliament seem well founded in comparison.

    Budget. There isn’t one. This project will go ahead no matter what it costs.

    Contract Management. We have started this job without knowing what the terms and conditions are. Any of them. I cannot think of an analogy that expresses my horror at this strongly enough, other than to repeat it. We have started this job without knowing what the terms and conditions are. We are going to negotiate the T&Cs as we go along. How many times has that worked?

    Benefit analysis. If you believe £350m a week for the NHS, you will believe anything I suppose, but in fairness there was a benefit analysis available this June from the proponents of the project. I do not think I am being too partisan if I suggest it has not stood up to scrutiny. In essence – there isn’t one.

    Deliverables. All projects of this size have a list of deliverables, rather than a single event. The channel tunnel for example had operational parameters of availability, running costs, number of passengers, there will have been more I am sure. There are no quantified deliverables for Brexit. “less immigration” “more manufacturing jobs” are aspirations, not numbers. This inflates dramatically the impact of my next heading:

    Expectations. When we spend this much money on a project, there are expectations which have to be met. If, for example, our shipyard successfully builds two new ferries, but the service to users on the routes they are deployed on does not improve, then it is likely that the expectations of the users of the project will not be met and the project may not be deemed a success. What do people expect from this project? Everyone has been allowed to invent their own expectations. Madness must ensue. For some it is control of immigration, for some it is leaving the single market, for some “taking back control” whatever that means. One could argue that with no scope of work, no budget, no benefit study and no deliverables, expectation management is impossible. I do argue that. And that means we have no way to measure:

    Success. There is no way to measure this. The project must then fail.

    I could carry on for a few thousand words more about what is wrong/missing with this project. Can I see the risk register? I thought not.

    I am often called in to project control environments to help improve them. I certainly have plenty experience of projects that could have gone better. The simple truth I have observed is that success or failure is determined at or before the start, not the end of a project. Project success is a function of how ready we are to start the project. In more that forty years I have never seen a project less ready to start.

    At the risk of tautology, this is technically the worst project I have ever experienced, and I’ve been parachuted into some lulus. It is hardly started and we are at the Supreme Court already.

    All of the above just spells failure. Indeed I suspect Brexit cannot be done at all.

    All I can think of to make it better, is comfort eating.

    • That isn’t anything written by Twatty. As Obama put it–He didn’t make that.

      The oil engineer bit means it isn’t one of Spudbollocks pieces–unless Murph is talking about the oil rolling of his corpulent carcass–but Twatty has C&P it just the same.

      Twatty is a lightweight dust bag. Which is why he never comes back to defend any of his posted ordure. It would be obvious in 10 seconds that C&P is his entire skill set.

      You don’t seem to be listening Tim but it is still easy to recognise that the Twat has written only one line–or very likely –none of his posts. Therefore remove them and just leave his name over nothing. Which is the truth. If he wants to start actually being a commenter then he can actually–you know–comment.

  6. Speaking as a blonde, blue eyed, Anglo-Saxon immigrant from a far flung corner of the (former) Glorious Great British Colonies, I can assure St Vincent of Twickenham that the reason I voted Brexit was to wreak my revenge on those bastards in the EU who f@cked over my country during my childhood.
    Juvenile I know, but by God it felt good when the results were announced.

  7. There is some value to the project approach, but like all with a specific tool the danger is that you make the problem fit the tool.

    That said the half-arsed way that the govt has gone ahead with Brexit shows that they never really wanted to do it in the first place….and there is the missing a key ingredient from the project list above, commitment.
    Much harder to do a good job when the people doing it don’t want to be doing it in the first place