Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/645/10558
Cable is a coward!
"Cable is a coward" said Teddy, an Oxford student, reflecting the anger of the 1,000 students and university workers from Oxford and Oxford Brookes who turned out to welcome Vince Cable, Con-Dem Business Secretary, on his planned visit to Oxford on 28 October.
In fear of the protest organised by Oxford Education Group, Cable didn't show. Fearing the wrath of students, many who voted Lib Dem, betrayed by his U-turn, Cable showed the courage of a mouse, citing policing costs for the protest as a reason for leaving his seat at the meeting empty.
Yasmin, one of the students angered at Cable's retreat, said: "Not turning up is ridiculous. He lapped up the praise when he stood against an increase in fees. Now he won't defend his decision in front of students. The demonstration gave a good feeling of being unified against the government. It's crazy if politicians think there won't be a backlash against these proposals."
What the protest shows is that this weak coalition fears a mass movement that will take to the streets. With news that close to one in ten of 2009 graduates were out of work in January this year, a 17 year high, anger is growing.
And with news that Clegg is planning to visit Oxford ten days after Cable's no show, further mass protests are likely. If students build links to the workers and the trade unions, a powerful movement could see Cable forced into another u-turn.
In The Socialist 3 November 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis