Okay, I don’t trust Nick Clegg an inch and the shine is off Vince Cable’s reputation, but from the moment I clapped eyes on David Laws, I thought he was hot stuff. He exuded calm confidence and from the first minute, his statements were clear, concise, to the point and right wing.
A double first in economics from Kings College, Cambridge testifies to his brains. He then went into investment banking, first with J P Morgan, and then with Barclays de Zoete Wedd. Laws was a lead negotiator following the recent general election, part of the team of four that negotiated a deal for the Liberal Democrats to go into a governing coalition with the Tories. (Aha, that explains a lot!) He was one of five Liberal Democrats to obtain Cabinet positions when the coalition was formed, becoming Chief Secretary to the Treasury, backing up George.
He went into bat for George at the House of Commons yesterday, and he was a revelation under fire, in front of a packed house. Calm, totally unruffled, he said that as a team, they strove to cut with care. He said bluntly that Labour had used a “scorched earth strategy” before they left power and that financial decisions taken at that time were being examined. He argued that cuts and restraint and financial rectitude were both an urgent necessity and also a greater way of ensuring future strength and social fairness and the Tories roared their approval.
Dennis Skinner tried to stir it up by saying that “not a single Cabinet minister has turned up to support him!” He didn’t need them. David Laws was on top of the situation and he could have handled them all blindfolded with one arm tied behind his back.