IT will be very surprising indeed if Vince Cable is still Business Secretary in Britain's LibCon Coalition Government by the time these words appear in print. His remarks about having declared war on Rupert Murdoch, made to undercover reporters, disqualify him from taking any further part in one of the most important issues that his Department is concerned with at the moment -- whether Mr Murdoch's News International should be allowed to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB that it does not already own. The decision on this controversial bid is not for Mr Cable alone but he is at the very heart of the matter and no one will now be able to believe that he can make an unprejudiced judgement on it.
There are further ramifications. When Mr Cable met David Cameron and Nick Clegg yesterday to apologise for his vain remarks, already reported in the Daily Telegraph, about being able to bring down the Coalition, did he warn them that there might be worse to come? Apparently not and that alone would be enough for him to be asked to resign. And why did the Telegraph not include the comments about Murdoch in its front page story yesterday? They became known only in the afternoon through a leak to the BBC's Business Editor, Robert Peston. The Telegraph is one of the group of four leading newspapers which have intervened with Mr Cable over the Murdoch bid.