A recent debate I had with a Liberal Democrat (yes, some people do still admit to it) who wanted to scrap the DCMS brought about a strange sense of deja-vu. I seemed to recall Lib Dems wanting to scrap government departments and posts in the past, yet now they’re in power nothing seems to have been done about it.
As I thought about it some more, it occurred to me that the cabinet jobs the Liberal Democrats wanted to scrap are now all being done by Liberal Democrats!
The abolition of Vince Cable’s Business department (or its predecessor, the DTI) was long standing Lib Dem policy. As early as 2002 then Lib Dem Business spokesman – one Vince Cable – asked:
“Why does it exist? What is its £5bn budget actually for? I very seriously question is it actually a useful level of expenditure.”
Years later Malcolm Bruce re-affirmed this policy, in the process advocating de-regulation of the British economy:
“Abolishing the DTI and transferring its useful functions to other departments will be the biggest single act of deregulation in history.”
Lib Dem Vince Cable now heads up the DTI’s largely-similar successor department.
In 2006 the Lib Dems criticised John Prescott for being a Deputy Prime Minister without a Government Department, saying that:
“he was enjoying a large salary and perks with no clearly defined departmental responsibilities.”
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister without a Government Department.
The Liberal Democrats thirst for Mandarin blood didn’t stop at the disembodiment of the DTI and Deputy Prime Minister, they went into the 2010 election pledging to scrap the Scotland Office too, dubbing it a
“tax-funded campaign manager for the Labour Party in Scotland.”
Lib Dem Michael Moore is now doing a sterling job as the tax-funded campaign manager for the Labour Party in Scotland.
So it seems, for those of us who would like to save the DCMS, the solution to saving it is simple – we need to campaign for a Lib Dem to be put in charge of it!