Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Liberal Petrolhead. Oxymoron? Not any more

Vince Cable Aston Martin

Vince Cable gets behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DBSDr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, visited Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin yesterday. And it looks like he had a fine old time.With the Liberal / Conservative coalition now in charge we seem to have got a Government where a big chunk of the ministers are Liberals (is there a Liberal MP without a portfolio of some description?). Which I suppose is the price we pay for allowing the Conservatives to become Labour Lite instead of having real conviction politicians. Still, it throws up some interesting conflicts.

One of those conflicts is seeing staunch Liberals extolling virtues – and policies – they clearly don’t believe (it also works the other way round). So with a Liberal Business Minister in Vince Cable (who is at least a Government Minister with real-world business experience. A rare breed these days. In fact he may be the only one other than Philip Hammond) we were sure to see lots of ‘Environment’ issues to the fore, even if he did have to ‘promote’ policies to the right of his own views.

Which is exactly what we got in the press releases we’ve had in after Vince went out glad-handing our car industry yesterday. Or at least the posh bits in Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin. We heard all about the great work Jaguar is doing with the XJ Limo Green and the wonderful support they get from Government grants to push forward the boundaries of ‘Green Technology’. The usual claptrap.

Vince Cable Jaguar

Vince Cable - Eager to get behind the wheel of a Jaguar XKR

What caught our eye though was not the worthy prose in the press release but the photos Jaguar and Aston Martin sent us of the Minister and their motors. We got a photo of Vince grinning as he was let loose in a DBS Convertible and looking extremely eager to get behind the wheel of a more than warm XKR.

How nice to see a politician – especially a Liberal politician – showing his real feelings about wonderful cars instead of the normal ‘toe-the-line’, po-faced rhetoric about planet-wrecking extravagances.

Blimey, that’s two politicians in the current cabinet who aren’t ‘Stepford’ politicians. What’s going on?


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