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Monday, 7 August 2017

Sir Vince Cable's vicious outburst against old Brexiteers

Perhaps the Lib Dem leader, Sir Vince Cable, thought that he could get away with his nasty tirade (as written in the Daily Mail) against old people simply because he's old himself. (Cable is 74 years old.) Wouldn't that be like a black man making racist jokes against blacks? Yes, it's certainly the case that Cable can still be a bigot against old people even if he is 74; just as a black man can still be racist even if black.

It's very odd that Cable should use the word “fanatical Brexiteers” in his very own fanatical outburst against old Brexiteers. It's also strange that Cable talked about “an undercurrent of violence in the language [of Brexiteers] which is troubling”. Again, that could perfectly sum up Cable's own words! He should look in the mirror.

The other strange thing is that Cable made himself the honourable exception to all those old people who don't care about the young today (or about future generations). Yet if he cares so deeply about the young (at the same time as being old), then so too may many other old people. Of course if Cable arrogantly assumes that only by embracing his own Europhilia can old people care about the young, then that - as a matter of definition – automatically rules out any other ways of caring about the young. That means that old Brexiteers can't care for the young simply because they don't hold the same views as Sir Vince Cable. How arrogant is that of Vince Cable?

Almost everything Vince Cable said to the Mail (on Sunday) is full of bigotry, arrogance and smugness. Firstly, he said that Brexiteers would be happy to see the economy fail if it meant leaving the EU. No; that doesn't make Brexiteers happy. They don't believe that the economy will fail after Brexit. And even if it does fail (which is something Cable is hoping for), that doesn't mean that they would be happy about it. It simply means that old Brexiteers don't believe that this is going to happen.

It's certainly true that a YouGov poll “suggested” that 61% of Leave voters thought a damaged economy was a price worth paying for leaving the EU. That was probably a direct and honest answer to a very biased and loaded question. What Brexiteers want is an end to the “democratic deficit” that's been brought about by the EU. People – not only the old - don't want the bureaucratic elite in Brussels imposing its political will and laws on the British public.

I too believe that a certain degree of “damage to the economy” is a price worth paying for democracy. Indeed Brexiteers have never said that there will be no economic cons to leaving the EU. There will, however, also be many economic pros; as well as end to the democratic deficit.

So why does Sir Cable see all this in purely economic terms? Is he a Marxist or a “market fundamentalist”? The economy is important, sure; though let's not get reductionist about its importance. There is more to life than the economy. And there's more to politics than economics. 

Cable also said that the “old have comprehensively shafted the young”. What? All old people? Every single one of them? And what does he mean by “shafted” anyway? Have the old shafted the young simply because they don't believe what he believes?

Cable also wrote the following:

And the old have had the last word about Brexit, imposing a world view coloured by nostalgia for an imperial past on a younger generation much more comfortable with modern Europe.”

I think that is a gross generalisation about what motivates Brexiteers – young and old. The great “imperial past” of Great Britain came before the early 1950s. How many adults of that period are still voters today? That begs the question: What does Cable mean by “old”? Is he referring to those born before and just after the war? Or is he referring to everyone over 40? In other words, is Cable hoping for the Yoof Vote – just like Corbyn?

To top his indulgent and aggressive rhetoric, Cable brought up “Brexit jihadis”. I mean... that really is taking the biscuit! He's beginning to sound like a Lib Dem Dave Spart.

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