Who is Vince Cable, former Lib Dem deputy running for Glasgow Rector?
He used to lecture economics at UoG
Dr Vince Cable has been a significant presence at the university, in charity work and in British politics, first as a city councillor for Maryhill (1971-4), then as MP for Twickenham (1997-2015) raising his majority as incumbent in 2001, 2005 and 2010. He became Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in 2007 and under the Coalition he served as Secretary of State for Business and President of the Board of Trade simultaneously.
Having been President of the Cambridge University Union as a student Dr Cable, graduating in 1965, he started a lengthy career in government and economics as Treasury Finance Officer for the Kenyan government, holding the position from 1966 to 1968. Between his next position in the Civil Service, Dr Cable came to Glasgow and lectured as a Economics student, graduating with a PhD in 1973. He has fondly described his time at the university as “amongst the most satisfying” of his professional career.
Following this he worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as First Secretary in the Diplomatic Service from 1974 to 1976 then being appointed Deputy Director of the Overseas Development Institute which involved working as special advisor to John Smith, then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Between 1983 and 1990 Dr Cable was special Economic Affairs advisor to Sir Sonny Ramphal, the Commonwealth Secretary General.
During his time as an MP Dr Cable has created an exemplary record as a social democrat, promoting LGBT rights through legislation that has made it possible for same-sex couples to adopt in the UK, lower the age of consent for homosexuals to level with heterosexual couples, helped overturn shameful legislation introduced by Thatcher’s government (including the infamous Clause 28 of Local Government Act 1988) which banned reference to homosexuality in schools as well as voting to give same-sex couples equal marriage rights in 2013 to mention a few. He also used his cabinet position to prevent drugs used in the process of lethal injection from being produced and exported to the United States.
As an economist, Dr Cable has been outspoken in parliament about the growth in inequality in British society and challenged Gordon Brown on the undependable economic growth the country was seeing that rested so heavily on the housing market, before the financial crash 2007/8. Following recession he played a vital role in British economic policy from the formation of the Coalition in 2010.
In order to safeguard against the impact of austerity on the quality of university education and to avoid cutting places, Dr Cable supported the introduction of student fees in England and Wales. He has been highly critical of the Scottish government’s decision to make deep cuts to adult further education in order to fund tuition free university education.
Dr Cable championed greater diversity especially in regards to the gender disparity in the workplace while in cabinet. He pressured Britain’s major companies to take on more female board members in his role as Secretary of State for Business both as a point of principle and as a practical business policy.
He has also worked extensively in charitable work, especially with organisations linked to education and mental illness, an issue of personal significance to Dr Cable. Together as One and the Otakar Kraus Trust are local mental health charities Dr Cable supports in his local area of London while his work with the Jeevika Trust and Help a Poor Child in India and Ndoro Charity in Zimbabwe, each have a focus on education and wider social development making Dr Cable a seasoned campaigner and advocate for social justice in Britain and around the world.
During his time in government, Dr Cable was responsible in part for universities across Britain and beyond the professional sphere he is a visiting Professor at Nottingham University, St Mary’s and the London School of Economics. This gives him a great deal of experience in education and his links with the university make the Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable not only the most qualified to represent the students body but also the most capable of effecting fundamental change on campus.