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May 30, 2012


It doesn't add up...

Doesn't Vince mean that Lib Dems had many skeletons they'd prefer not be revealed?


So he basically admits that he was utterly biased on the BSkyB bid, for completely party-partisan reasons. And the Lib Dems kick up a fuss about him being taken off the BSkyB bid - it would have been utterly wrong and deeply against the Ministerial Code if he hadn't!

Frankland Macdonald Wood

I am no friend of the LibDems but I found his evidence clear, consistent and grown up. I agree with his argument that a Minister can hold strong views and yet still conduct himself entirely on evidence and proper departmental advice. That is a good defence open to Hunt as well! I also feel that Cable and Hunt were quite able to ignore personal views in conducting ministerial duties. I am quite prepared to accept that the LibDems were given veiled or even 'un-veiled' threats from sources believed to emanate from News International. That too, would have enraged me 'at the time'. But it would not have stopped me being 'professional' and I believe him saying the same.

Colin Smith

So why didn't they publish the threat and attribute the source at the time if they had nothing to worry about?

Political expediency over principles ?

Liberal Democrats, surely not.

Total hypocrites as usual.


I can't believe that NI would employ the sort of people who would do that sort of thing. Mr Murdoch was always so careful in the sort of people that he employed. Like Andy Coulson who I'm quite sure will see off these trumped up perjury charges, in just the same way that Aitken and Archer did, errr sorry OK didn't, but would have done if they hadn't been trumped up so cleverly.

Still if things don't go too well for Andy, there's a very nice Waitrose in Chichester, I'm sure he'll be allowed to pop in there on his days off from Ford.


I expect all politicians had a view on the Murdoch bid. What is important is whether, once a minister has to act in a quasi-judicial role, he puts those preconceptions aside and judges the evidence in a fair way. Once he took on the quasi judicial role Hunt, in the words of his Permanent Secretary, “ was particularly careful to emphasise that he wasn't second guessing the regulators, and once he assumed responsibility and it was the advice to him, and which he readily accepted, that he must put previous views to one side, he must approach the matter with an open mind on the basis of the evidence in front of him, and that was, to my observation, the approach he took”
The whole tenor of Jonathan Stephen’s testimony is that Hunt acted with scrupulous fairness.

Cable on the other hand, while acting in a quasi-judicial role, said that he had “declared war on Rupert Murdoch.” I realise he acted in haste and regretted the statement. I admit Cable was probably unfairly trapped into making the statement he made and it may not have reflected his considered view, but he made it, and opened the government to judicial reviews and the probability that the process would have had to start again with a new minister.

The two responses by men undertaking a quasi-judicial role are poles apart.

Also, like any judge if Cable thought he was being intimidated into acting in a partial way he should have raise this when it happened and informed the police.


I think the point was that, despite NIs best efforts, he wasn't intimidated.

That's why he was removed.

Frankland Macdonald Wood

Even in these few comments posted today we see the range of disquiet and of mistrust generated because of the manipulative machinations by the media and our experience of mass hypocrisy and cheating by a majority of our MPs in their expenses. These events have soured the whole way we see decisions being arrived at. I am prepared to accept the veracity and good intentions of both men but not of NI; but I can see why others might take a different or even the opposite view. In truth, we have probably always suffered poor decisions, biased and even corrupt decisions from our politicians. Human nature does not change much over time.


JohnO, he was reluctantly moved because he made a very partisan statement while acting in a quasi-judicial role. Any judge in the middle of a sensitive court case who sounded off against one of the participants to a third party would have been removed as well. He should have been more circumspect and exercised greater self-control.
As regards the intimidation, he like Hunt was following the advice of the regulator, so any threats would have had to be made to the regulator to be effective. Rather than moaning about this after the event it should have been reported when it happened so that the judicial process could have been conducted in a fair way.


Hand on my heart "Did Vince come across as a truthful witness confirming his utter impartiality and integrity as the principal arbiter of the NI bid?. In a word NO!
His memory was also shaky whenever the underwhelmingly lightweight duo got anywhere near laying a glove on him.

dan ash

Did Cable inform Cameron of this? If so what action did he take? Was Hunt made aware and was an investigation made? Was Cable believed? Or possibly threats made on behalf of multinationals are an everyday event in government?


Oh joy of joys. Coulson just been arrested. :-):-)

Malcolm Dunn

If Cable was threatened why did he not tell the world at the time. Why doesn't he reveal exactly who threatened him. I didn't find his testimony believable at all.

extabit premium

He was removed coz he didn't work his job like a boss!

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