Citywire for Financial Professionals
Stay connected:

View the article online at

Morning Line: is Vince Cable signing out?

Vince Cable's minimalist ministerial signature is gathering attention. What do you think it says about the nation's favourite economist? Is he cool or depressed?

Morning Line: is Vince Cable signing out?

Vince Cable's minimalist ministerial signature is gathering attention. What do you think it says about the nation's favourite economist? Is he cool or depressed?

After all the spin about further crackdowns on bank profits and talk of relaunching regional stock exchanges the most striking thing about yesterday's government green paper on lending to businesses during the downturn was the sight of Vince Cable's signature at the start of the document.  

Signatures can be idiosyncratic things, obviously, but rarely do you see a personal sign-off pared down so far.

The minimalist feeling is accentuated by the presence under the report's foreword of a co-signature from Cable's arch rival, the chancellor George Osborne. His offering is far more conventional.

What do we make of this? Is Cable a man in a hurry or is he trying to tell us something about the pain of working with the Tory number two? I'm no graphologist but I'd say the signature could be the sign of frustration or feigned indifference of a man who is not engaging with the task in hand because he knows he does not have the power to do what he wants.

I'm not alone in thinking it is all a bit odd. Blogging on the Telegraph website yesterday David Hughes felt Cable needed to lighten up or he was doomed.

Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror political editor, has previously picked up on the strange signature, as has an amusing contributor to the Sunderland Message Board.

The funny thing is that Cable does know how to do a proper signature, as we can see on his website.

Perhaps he was doing some creative drawing. The start of a self portrait in the style of Kandinksy perhaps?

PS - The 'financing a private sector recovery' paper really was a disappointment, full of analysis as to why something had to be done to ensure small and medium-sized businesses get the financing they need, but committing itself to nothing. 

The government needs to take control of the situation and give either Osborne or Cable responsibility for resolving this important issue or a double dip recession is what we might get, despite last week's surprisingly good economic growth figures.

10 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Alice Stone

Jul 27, 2010 at 12:53

I would employ someone in my small business if the DWP paid me the unemployment benefit of the individual towards the salary for the first six months. Easy.

report this

richard stow

Jul 27, 2010 at 13:09

I put my new Tory MP (A Tory for Dewsbury can you believe) and new ministers to the test, with a letter seeking support for a widely reviewed city streets flood control and urban tree proposal, I have been battling to get noticed through the "barriers of influence".

They failed. Big Society - bottom up ? (I'm tempted to play on the words...) Oh Yeah ? Support for innovation ? Yeah ?

Vince is right on and love the signature but they gotta be tough and clever to survive.

Tories - its gonna be a long 5 years.

report this

Rob de Nazar

Jul 27, 2010 at 15:53

I will constantly request that there are regular updating analyses from cabinet and the houses of parliament on the position of the two parties of the coalition. Other parties will be clear in their own right but I don't want to see the coalition cover up the differences of the two parties in government.

Neither Conservatives nor LibDems should be shy about the differences at every level of government. We understand that they are working together to deliver shared government and maintain support of over 50% of the voting public behind their administration, but this doesn't mean they should hide the differences in their policy bases.

We hope to find that UK is the grown-up society which flows from a continually improved education system over the centuries. We are quite prepared to know about differences in government and leave the tabloid press simplifications to those of limited understanding.

report this

derek farman

Jul 27, 2010 at 17:10

Maybe the signature is Mr Cable's shorthand for 'Cut through unnecessarily complicated , costly and time consuming junk '.... eg Tax . Benefits. School curriculums . Complicated business legislation , and the host of other stuff the previous government have saddled us with .

report this


Jul 27, 2010 at 22:30

Maybe his arthritis is playing up so a minimalist signature necessary to save pain of all the signatures now required. The man is a hypocrite, he maybe a bright old' lad, but his credentials are decidedly left wing, will steal the taxpayer blind for himself and th rip them off because of his 'social justice' (the two words are incompatible together) agenda.

He may talk sense, his plans for higher taxation to redistribute wealth are not sense.

Quite happy for him to spend his extra money on his agenda, but leave mine alone, Gordon Brown has already robbed me, and I do not need to be mugged by him as well.

Haven't yet read that Gordoom Brown has signed in to parliament, but able to travel abroad to spout his c*ap. He can spend his ill gotten gains abroad (but he won't).

report this

John Baker

Jul 28, 2010 at 16:23

Vince is a one trick pony. He got one prediction right. That's it. The rest is hot air.

report this

Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Jul 29, 2010 at 09:40

Hope Cable goes soon. The man's a menace

report this

Graham Barlow

Aug 02, 2010 at 11:55

No Vince is not depressed, it is just reality dawning upon him as he realises all his past pontifications just will not work. It is a tough business facing the truth, if you want to make the Economy expand you have to unshackle it from TAX, Bureaucracy, and interfering Busibodies. All the things politicians live by have to be done away with, they always go into denial when this truth dawns, because what it says we are better off without them.

report this

Grumpy Old Man

Sep 22, 2010 at 16:23

Much easier to spout forth in opposition than do anything useful in power as wretched Cable is finding out.....he must resign as Business Secretary.

report this

Graham Barlow

Sep 22, 2010 at 19:57

I suppose it is an improvement on the usual cross. X

report this

leave a comment

Please sign in here or register here to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

News sponsored by:

The Citywire Guide to Investment Trusts

In this guide to investment trusts, produced in association with Aberdeen Asset Management, we spoke to many of the leading experts in the field to find out more.

Watch Now

Today's articles

Tools from Citywire Money

From the Forums

+ Start a new discussion

Weekly email from The Lolly

Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below

An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.

Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.

Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.


The Expert View: Barclays, Taylor Wimpey and Sky

by Michelle McGagh on Apr 27, 2018 at 05:00

Sorry, this link is not
quite ready yet