Business secretary Dr Vince Cable today gave an extraordinary speech to Lib Dem Conference in Liverpool. Focusing on economic development, the banking industry and education funding, Cable frequently emphasised the need for "fairness".
This was classic Cable and his entertainiong if predictable attacks on banking practises won plaudits. "I make no apology for attacking spivs and gamblers", proclaimed Cable, "who did more harm to the British economy than Bob Crow could achieve in his wildest Trotskyite fantasies, while paying themselves outrageous bonuses underwritten by the taxpayer. There is much public anger about banks and it is well deserved." Few in the hall disagreed.
Cable answered few questions and his vague references to a "fairness" agenda asked far more, but this was not a time for criticism. Much policy has yet to be formulated, especially in relation to Higher Education. The chief purpose of this admittedly populist but realistic speech was to reassure the membership that Liberal Democrats in government are making a difference, and will continue to do so with a progressive vision for Britian's future - a vision based on fairness in which opportunity is open to all.
Read the full transcript of Cable's speech: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/22/vince-cable-full-speech