Vince Cable needs to be the parliamentary leader of not just a party, but a movement

PUBLISHED: 22:07 29 July 2017 | UPDATED: 22:07 29 July 2017

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Vince Cable

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Vince Cable

PA Wire/PA Images

The Liberal Democrats need a spark. And Sir Vince Cable can provide it.

Vince Cable, if he plays his cards right, has a chance to take his still shell-shocked party and make it the natural political home for all who believe Brexit is set to be an unmitigated disaster.

To do so he’ll have to leave some of the semi-public concerns he’s raised, in the voter-enforced political exile he was in between the 2015 and 2017 general elections, about a second referendum on EU membership and free movement of people, in the dustbin of history.

There can be room for no such doubts now.

He needs to be the parliamentary leader of not just a party, but a movement.

The Liberal Democrats, whose heart is finally beating normally again after being on life-support following the near-death experience that was the failed Clegg experiment between 2010 and 2015, must be the heart and the voice not only of those who voted Remain last year but also of the Brexit-voters who believed the lies peddled by the Leave campaign and now feel betrayed and abandoned.

He has the opportunity to be the adult in a political world whose so-called leaders appear, almost universally, to be grown-up babies.

Theresa May who, weak and powerless following the career suicide that was calling this year’s nationwide poll, has left the fate of our nation, our prosperity, the future of our people and generations yet to come, to three unruly schoolboys; Davis, Fox and Johnson, who, reports suggest, are more concerned with plotting their own routes to the top job than worrying about the jobs of millions who will lose out if we leave the single market and the customs union.

And by a Labour leader who promises jam and lollies for all... one day ... but, on the dominating issue of our times, is at one with May and her Brexit Brigade.

How betrayed the young voters, who placed their trust in Comrade Corbyn, must feel.

Heavily led to believe, before the June vote, that Corbyn and his far-Left gaggle of supporters that run the Labour Party were for a soft-Brexit, now find that they too believe we have to leave the single market.

That’s before we get on to Corbyn’s ‘promise’ to ‘sort’ past debt racked up in fees by millions of students which, we now learn, was merely an ‘ambition.’

The Liberal Democrats and indeed Vince Cable, who found himself during the Coalition years in the unfortunate position of heading the department that had to oversee the Cameron-Clegg policy of tripling fees, know all too well the cold political revenge that can be enacted by students scorned. I believe Corbyn will long live to regret making a pseudo-promise to our nation’s young which he had no intention of keeping.

Whilst the two major political tribes scrabble at the extremes, Vince Cable has a chance – following on from the hard work of former leader Tim Farron – to place the Lib Dems where most British voters still remain...in the political centre.

Now, that doesn’t mean being ‘centrist.’

I’ve never quite understood what being ‘centrist’ is all about, other than a kind of beige, dry, management of the affairs of the state. No, Vince, as a Social Democrat, has the opportunity to plant my party’s flag firmly in the soil as a liberal, centre-left, internationalist, green, pro-European movement.

A movement our nation has been crying out for these last few wild years.

He’s made a good start and coined a pithy soundbite, ‘exit from Brexit.’

On freedom of movement, about which – in the political wilderness of the last two years – he made the occasional not always helpful statement, he’s made clear that in the Lib Dems the members make the policy and our party’s policy is clear...freedom of movement is non-negotiable.

Vince, as party leader, must use every possible chance he has, in Parliament, in the press, and on the stump, to trumpet that the Liberal Democrats are the only Britain-wide party who believes the UK’s place is firmly at the heart of the European Union and who believe the people-not the politicians-must get the final say on any proposed deal the Government finally manages to strike.

Brexit isn’t inevitable, it never has been. It can and must be stopped. Vince Cable must and will lead that fight!

Mathew Hulbert is a former Lib Dem councillor in Leicestershire. He tweets at @HulbertMathew

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest articles

video Al Gore: No lie can live forever

Former US vice president talks Trump, Brexit and climate change denial.

This was neither up-to-date nor a poll. And not a single participant voiced their support for Hard Brexit

A recent poll by well-regarded academics suggested the vast majority of the British public now backed an extreme form of Brexit. Here‘s why that is not the case.

Parliament is filled with “spineless lemmings”

Brexit may not happen at all – when what we need are leaders, not followers, to win this battle

Leave.EU launch deselection bid in hope of dumping soft Brexit ministers out of their jobs

Leave.EU have launched a broadside on cabinet Remainers Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd in a bid to get the pair deselected.

Edward Enninful brings a new way of fashion thinking to Vogue

Fashion can be considered frivolous and in some ways it is.

My sense of humour failure over Brexit has helped clear Scotch mist

I don’t blame the Scots if Brexit leads them to want another shot at independence

The extraordinary story of how the humble spud created the modern world

The rise of capitalism and individualism in the West, and even the current reforms in China, can all be explained by the rise of the potato

Putin is just waiting for the right moment to spear Trump

Vlad the Lad is the supreme master of the macho man holiday snap...

The lesson of Singapore is not one Brexiteers want to hear

Long considered a lodestar of go-it-alone globalisation, Singapore now needs its neighbours more than ever

Truman vs. Macarthur brought the world to the brink as war raged over Korea

The dispute was an ominous warning of problems for our time over where ultimate power lies in the US

EU funding: Brexit’s other looming cliff edge

The loss of EU funding used to help poorer parts of the UK has had far less attention than other ill effects of Brexit. But it will soon be hard to ignore the problem.

Brexiteers, Trump America and the corruption of nostalgia

Manufactured nostalgia always has a political end. Its aim is to create new foot soldiers for The New Vision.

Generation Brexit: Why the young should fear the old

As the realities of Brexit and its economic impact become clearer, alarming generational splits are emerging

Thunder run to Seoul: North Korea’s war plan

As tensions in the Korean peninsula have risen, various apocalyptic scenarios for how a potential conflict might unfold have emerged.

There is no such thing as ‘fake news’

The news industry has a trust problem.

The Brexit vote has created a united Ireland, at least when it comes to the border

New Irish premier Leo Varadkar will play a defining role

Hamburg is the heartbeat of modern Germany

A seamy, subversive, self confident city, Hamburg is also a symbol of an outward-looking Germany

British industry: Brexit fiddles while the economy burns

Even without the complications of Brexit, Britain’s economy is in serious peril. But with attention elsewhere, is anyone in power actually listening?

Unis have grown fat on fees - what happens when the money stops?

The architect of the Labour’s introduction of student fees says the money charged is now nothing more than vice-chancellors profiteering

Enter the Senex: Leader of the Age of Anxiety

An idea for a movie that once upon a time no one would buy – because it was too improbable.

Podcast

Watch us on YouTube

6 excellent reasons to go out and buy The New European this week

Views: 169

The rollercoaster ride of Theresa May's plummeting approval ratings

Views: 592

A year of failure and fiasco in May’s Number 10

Views: 406

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter