Vince Cable

British politician and former leader of the Liberal Democrats (born 1943)

Sir John Vincent Cable PC MP (born 9 May 1943) is a former British Liberal Democrat politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Twickenham from 1997 until 2015, and from 2017 until 2019. He was the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010 to 2015. He has been called 'The Sage of Twickenham'.

These masters of the universe must be tamed...






  • These masters of the universe must be tamed in the interests of the ordinary families whose jobs and livelihoods are being put at risk... The Tories won't say anything about the current crisis as they are completely in the pockets of the hedge funds.


  • The big, looming, monetary issue is "quantitative easing": that is, printing money. What happens is that the government borrows from the Bank of England, not from the markets. It expands the money supply to keep the economy going and also to counter deflation without simultaneously increasing government debt. The attractions are obvious, as are the dangers. The Robert Mugabe school of economics provides a salutary warning about uncontrolled monetary expansion in generating hyper-inflation. The road to Harare is not as long as we might hope. Monetary easing may prove to be necessary but will have to be managed with great skill and care: Too little easing and the crisis drags on – as in Japan. If there is too much, the authorities face the messy task of mopping-up liquidity by issuing bonds which add to the burden of borrowing or else we lurch back from deflation to inflation. So interest rates may soon become yesterday's story.


  • We didn't break a promise. We made a commitment in our manifesto, we didn't win the election. We then entered into a coalition agreement, and it's the coalition agreement that is binding upon us and which I'm trying to honour,




  • The destruction of the British building society movement – or much of it – in the two decades after the late 1980s … was one of the great acts of economic vandalism in modern times. And the commercial banks largely abandoned locally based relationship banking in the decade before the recent financial crisis. There is now no institutional structure in place to offer countercyclical lending, particularly small and medium sized businesses, in place of the banks.


  • [Regarding an EU referendum], it's a distraction. It's a serious distraction. We are recovering from the worst economic crisis for the best part of a century. The last thing we need now is massive levels of uncertainty in the business community.


  • We must fight for the British public to have a final say on the government's deal with a chance to stay in the EU if the deal is not good enough. To achieve this, we will need to work with like-minded people in other parties.
  • [I am] struck by the heavily Remain sentiment in colleges and schools, and the heavily Brexit mood of church-hall meetings packed with retired people
  • No-one has come up with a plausible explanation about how leaving [the EU] will make us better off than we are inside. Nobody has come up with a plausible explanation about how this process can be managed in a way that does not cause enormous cost and enormous damage.
  • I love slightly dangerous things. High energy, edgy things. I learned to ski when I was 63, which is a bit hazardous. But I go off once a year to the place where the Russian mafia assemble in the Alps, and go out on the slopes. I've got into red runs. One of my unfulfilled life ambitions is to do serious black runs. So, you know, a bit of danger, a bit of speed.
  • There is another word for that - masochism. It isn't illegal. I am told some people pay good money to indulge in it. But unlike masochists, the Brexit ideologues usually envisage someone else bearing the pain. And that pain will mainly be felt by young people who overwhelmingly voted to Remain.


  • [There is a] fundamental economic issue of whether any company which uses data from individuals to make money should pay the owner of that data for its use... The new oil is data. Data is the raw material which drives these firms and it is control of data which gives them an advantage over competitors
  • The immediate preoccupation is to work with people in other parties to stop Brexit, but in the longer term there may well be realignment because of the deep splits in the parties and I want my party to be at the centre of it.
  • I think it's very clear that people in Scotland, as in other parts of the United Kingdom, don't want Brexit to happen. They want to stop it and it can be stopped, and the best mechanism for stopping it is to have a people's vote. I think momentum is building up behind that and I'm trying to work with people in other parties to make sure it happens.


  • I understand how angry people are on both sides. There are some angry Leavers and there are some very angry Remainers too, particularly young people who feel their future has been taken away from them on the basis of a very narrow majority, where a significant majority of the electorate did not vote and many young people did not get an opportunity to vote.
  • I'm afraid the referendum resolved nothing and we do have to go back to the people and ask if what is now on offer is what they really voted for. We have got completely different views about what Brexit actually means. What has emerged over the last three years is that the prospectus on which the Leave vote was achieved was based on a tissue of lies to be frank.


  • We have to be careful of Vince Cable, he's extremely sharp and clever. In fact, he's almost as sharp and clever as he thinks he is.
    • An anonymous Conservative aid quoted on Newsnight.
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