TO the Pax Lodge in Hampstead on Thursday night where money-know-all Vince Cable was speaking to Camden’s crowd of Lib Dems. It was a public ask-me-anything event but the chairs were filled with admirers rather than opponents. It’s worth noting there were actually a few people in the audience who I had always recognised as thick-and-thin Labour supporters clearly now sporting Vote Ed Fordham stickers.
As the wine flowed, the response to Cable’s responses grew louder. The most determined cry of ‘HA!’ came when he said big businesses could not be expected to be bailed out by the government if they folded in the recession, regardless of the jobs they accounted for in the British economy.
Although there is no sign that this would happen, Tesco was used as a hypothetical suggestion by one questioner. Cable was quite that there would be no bank-like bail-out for a company even of that size. Then came the ‘HA!’
But who was behind the harumphy ‘HA!’ from the back rows?
Could it have been one of the NW6 councillors who noticed recently a discrepancy in Tesco’s application for an alcohol licence in its new Fortune Green store? The chain, who faced opposition in the area from the start for wanting to open up yet another new branch, failed to put up a public notice for the application. This triggered a complaint which in turn means it must now wait to see if it will be allowed to sell booze there. That’s a crafty opposition at work.