We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Vince Cable criticises ‘ideological’ cuts to state expenditure…

… because his, er, ideology makes him in favour of more spending and more taxation.

Yes, really.

Does he think his own views are not completely ideologically based as well?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VK

11 comments to Vince Cable criticises ‘ideological’ cuts to state expenditure…

  • Andy H

    Does he think his own views are not completely ideologically based as well?

    of course he doesn’t… he’s a politician… in his mind his views are categorically un-ideological… which makes them ideological… ohh my head hurts…

  • Lee Moore

    Eeeew, I don’t really want to go there, but I’m inexorably drawn there. Let us consider possible attitudes to, say, cutting government spending on a programme to improve computer literacy for schoolchldren.

    If Mr A thinks that the state should be smaller, based on an ideology that too much state interference and too many taxes thwart economic growth, liberty, and the full flowering of human potential, then even if he accepts that the existing programme may do some good, he may support cutting it, or at least have reservations about it, on ideological grounds.

    If Ms B thinks that the state should be bigger, based on an ideology that too little state interference leaves the field clear for robber barons to oppress the poor, and taxes that are too low permit the unparalleled evil of inequality to thrive, then she may oppose the cuts to state education, even if she thinks that the money is being entirely wasted, as regards its computer literacy improving purposes.

    Mr C may have no strong views on the size of the state but, just as he is unable to suppress a desire to buy a new toy, or part with an old one, regardless of the state of his credit card account, he may see the shiny government programme and just say “oh goody !”

    Mrs D may have no strong views on the size of the state, but may believe that this particular programme is frighteningly efficient at producing computer whizz kids and should be preserved at all costs.

    Mr A and Ms B can fairly be said to be supporting and opposing the cuts for ideological reasons. While Mr C and Mrs D cannot. If I had to guess, I’d say Mr Cable is more of a Mr C than a Ms B.

    There is of course nothing wrong with taking a political position for ideological reasons – by which I really mean, for reasons which look beyond the immediate implications of a policy, to its wider effects (as you see them) – but since few voters are ideological, accusing your enemies of being ideological is quite a good trick. It works better for the left, as the left is always pointing to the benefits of mending the broken window, which are obvious, and it is the right which tends to set off on the much more difficult task of explaining the hidden costs.

  • Tedd

    This tendency to label something one opposes as “ideological” intrigues me, particularly because it seems to be only progressives who are doing it. I think some of them have so thoroughly stopped listening to anyone else that they’re no longer able to even see their own position as an ideology. To them it’s simply how things are, as any right-thinking person knows.

  • Mr Ed

    Dr Cable was a Labour Party Councillor on Glasgow City Council in the 1970s, now that’s ideological, just as Enver Hoxha’s Central Committee was at the same time.

    There have not been any cuts is Government spending, just moving money around and reducing the rate of fantasy increases. The Big Lie of Goebbels is alive and kicking.

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly Welfare State government spending has NOT been cut by the present government – it has just grown more slowly than “Uncle Vince” Cable would like.

    Dr Cable is a fanatical collectivist (as Mr Ed points out).

    The fact that Mr Cameron got into bed with a political party (the Lib Dems) where the fanatical collectivism of Dr Cable is quite normal, shows that he (Mr Cameron) was never serious about rolling back the state.

    The Lib Dems should have been left to form a natural “Lib-Lab Pact” with their allies the socialists.

    Such a minority government would have lasted six months (maximum) before collapsing into a new general election giving the Conservative and Unionist Party a solid majority.

    But that is exactly what Mr Cameron did NOT want – he did not want a solid majority for the Conservatives.

    Because this would have strengthened the hand of the “Tory Right” who are on the “wrong side of history”.

    The words in quotation marks are from Mr Cameron.

    As a reactionary-running-dog myself (not a fan of Cass Sunstein’s “Nudge” and the other works held dear by Mr Cameron) I do not believe in “laws of history” leading to an inevitable collectivist “modern world”.

    Nor do I believe this collectivist “modern world” is a good thing. For example it does not encourage the development of new technology (as Progressives believe) – by its taxes and regulations and P.C. attitudes it actually retards the development of new technology.

  • Lee Moore

    But that is exactly what Mr Cameron did NOT want – he did not want a solid majority for the Conservatives.

    i don’t think he was opposed to having a Conservative majority, though he’s not much of a Conservative. I think his motivation for a coalition government was much simpler. Having been presented with an open goal from three yards out, he hit the post. So he had the choice of a coalition in which he was PM, or being defenestrated as Conservative leader the following morning. Since that would have been it for his political career, he chose coalition. And obviously was willing to concede the Lib Dems anything they wanted to achieve it.

  • PeterT

    “And obviously was willing to concede the Lib Dems anything they wanted to achieve it”

    I don’t think Cameron has conceded anything very much. The Lib Dems are not much farther to the left than he is personally and he would have a much harder time with his own party if he was not in a coalition. I think Cameron has done quite well by his own miserable standard.

    Cable is just one of those people that think that the debate (was there one?) about the role of the state has been settled and that elections are just about replacing the management team.

  • Rob

    Don’t worry, Vince will forget it all soon. He’s good at not remembering stuff

  • mike

    “Does he think his own views are not completely ideologically based as well?”

    Perhaps he does, in which case it would be “non-ideological” reasoning from ideological premises. That seems to be standard double-think in politics because hyperlinking a discussion from conclusions through to premises cannot be tolerated.

  • I wonder if what this really means is that he’s using his instictive moral foundations – his prejudices and emotions – rather than his reason. That would be bad.

    http://libertarianhome.co.uk/2014/01/video-what-makes-libertarians-tick-with-aiden-gregg/

  • Paul Marks

    It is what Dr Cable means Simon – and, yes, it is bad. Very bad.