A thought on the Vince Cable incident, as we await the election results from Oldham and Occupied Yorkshire. Obviously, there’s no point hoping for principle from the Coulson government, but this doesn’t mean that the civil service and the courts aren’t what they usually are. And if Strictly Vince can’t touch the dossier, there’s an equally strong argument that Jeremy Cunt can’t either, in the light of past statements. This might not matter - a prime minister trying to suck up to News International will find a way - if there wasn’t an easy option available.
With their backs to the wall, they’d probably find a way - but they’re not.
“When in doubt, boot it out” is as good a maxim in politics as it is in the worst kind of oafish British football. And the flight-path into Row Z is wide open. The least difficult, painful, and controversial option is to chuck the whole issue onto the Competition Commission’s plate, knowing that it eventually comes back for an executive decision and it will be possible to either nobble it or delay at that date. And that will be, well, a good long time ahead.
For the Commission and the Director-General of Fair Trading’s part, they also have a Row Z to aim for. They could kick the matter to the European Union. This would be more controversial in some ways - commissioners Neelie Kroes and Viviane Reding have the kind of reputation for standing up to big business no-one’s allowed to in British politics, just ask Microsoft or Vodafone - but in other ways it would be a godsend, as the wheels of Brussels grind slow. Who knows what might have happened by then?
So we’re still expecting it to achieve maximum administrative escalation and therefore maximum delay. Weirdly, given the operational constraints of working in the Coulson government, this is probably the best Strictly Vince could have expected.