The last time I felt under attack from Sir Vince Cable was when he called on the FCA to deal with myself and fellow critics of that Great British company Quindell (QPP). As, even Sir Vince now knows, Quindell was the UK's biggest stockmarket fraud for 30 years, the regulators have thanked me for my work exposing it but Sir Vince worked hard with Lord Peter Hain of sleaze and others to get me sent to jail for market abuse.To the man who has predicted 17 of the last 4 recessions I say thank you once again for your efforts. Now he calls folks like me, hardline brexiteers, "jihadis" in an article in the Mail on Sunday which, even by the standards of that paper, is lie filled fiction.
It is hard to know where to start with Sir Vince's diatribe. He labels some of us Brexiteers Jihadis and implies that our extreme positions will cause violence. His only evidence is a speech by the loathsome Nigel Farage suggesting that if Brexit does not happen, that is to say if the result of the largest exercise in democracy in British history, is ignored, there may be civil unrest. Farage is not calling for it but he says there may be. Well Sir Vince what does history tell you happens when an out of touch and widely despised elite ( and we can surely agree that MPs are despised) ignore the wishes of the sans culottes? Sometimes we little people get angry.
Sir Vince then proceeds with economic analysis which is GCSE grade fail material to justify his claim that since 2010 "the old have shafted the young" - he writes:
The martyrdom of the old comes cheap, since few have jobs to lose. And even if the country were to become poorer, their living standards are largely protected by the 'triple lock' on the state pension and many can rely on occupational, final salary, pensions which are closed to younger people. When I joined the Coalition Cabinet in 2010, we took pride in the 'triple lock' to banish the scourge of pensioner poverty. But one of its unintended consequences has been a growing rift between generations.
Pensioners have suffered relatively little from the aftermath of the financial crisis – unless they were slow to shift savings from banks to shares or property. The burden of austerity has been carried by the working population. Young people suffer the additional disadvantage of prohibitive housing costs, growing job insecurity and limited career progression. The old have comprehensively shafted the young. 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.
What pure drivel. There are a lot of pensioners who have been screwed by the policy response to 2008, those on fixed incomes for whom near zero interest rates have been a disaster. Our response to 2008 has been to obliterate the income streams of the prudent and yes most such folks are old. The idea that millions of pensioners could switch asset allocation to shares or buy to let in response is just fantasy.
Those low interest rates have fuelled an asset bubble notably in property and that has indeed screwed the young via higher rents and increased costs of buying. Indeed so expensive is it to rent that record numbers of young people have to sell their bodies for sex to survive. We should have raised interest rates to reward the prudent and to pop that bubble. We did not. When did Sir Vince make the electorally unpopular call for higher rates? Natch. Never.
This is not the old screwing the young and it is not a British only phenomena. It is the establishment screwing the rest of us, the pensioners, the young and the ordinary working class folk with no exposure to the asset bubble who missed out on the gains enjoyed by the metropolitan elites. Those who have suffered are the sort of folks who voted for Brexit and for Trump and for other people Sir Vince despises.
This is not about austerity for, as everyone bar the man sho has predicted 17 of the last 4 recessions knows, Government spending has increased in real and absolute terms, every year since 2008. There is no austerity. This is about ZIRP and the asset bubble.
Sir Vince's icing on the cake is the claim that we ageing Brexit voters voted as we did because of "a world view coloured by nostalgia for an imperial past ". Hmm I guess the 54% of Sikhs who voted to leave were just looking back on the Raj and saying let's have more of that. Notalgia means memories of things that happened in the past but is almost always used about events of which you have first hand experience. You look back nostalgically on your school days, on University, on your first kiss on when West Ham last won anything at all. But when did Britain last actually have an empire about which we can be nostalgic? The answer is during the second war: by 1945 the empire was in tatters, Britain was a bombed out mess. So to have remembered that imperial past you would have had to be, say, 12 in 1945 so born in 1933 which makes you 83 at the time of the Brexit vote. I put it to Vince that very few of we Brexit voters actually have any sense of imperial nostalgia. Folks in their sixties reached 12 in the sixties by when Empire was dead and buried.
Last week Polly Toynbee was saying that we evil Brexiters voted as we did to protect the green and pleasant land. Now Sir Vince says it is because we dream of empire. That is the way of the patronising elites they like telling the rest of us why we voted as we did because they know better than we do - we are just too dumb to know why we vote as we do. Okay the remoaners change their mind and contradict themselves but they do know best. Remember that common people.
I voted as I did because I wanted decisions about the country where I live made in that country not by an out of touch elite in a foreign land whose direction I could not influence and which was able to take my money year after year even though it could not get its accounts signed off and could not explain where the cash all went. I think that view can be summarised as believing in democracy. that also means that I respect the referendum result and don't - like Sir Vince - want it overturned. There used to be a party that believed so much in democracy that it had Democrat in its name. Sir Vince can you remember what that party was?
Incidentally my wife, whose parents came here from India, voted the same way as me but thanks to ir Vince we now know that this must be becuase she was just looking back on the Amritsar massacre of 1919 and thinking of what a great time we Britishers used to have before the evil EU.
As I noted above, even by the lamentable standards of the Mail on Sunday, the fraudster's friend scores a fact check fail.