Cable: Bin there, got done by that

Reconstruction: Papers left outside Vince Cable's office

Oh dear. Poor old Vince Cable MP. It’s less than a year since our man got himself caught out in “giggle-gate” by declaring war on Rupert Murdoch to two Daily Telegraph reporters posing as constituents and now his Lion Road constituency office has found itself at the centre of another embarrassing faux pas. This time it’s the inclusion of constituency correspondence and other sensitive documentation in rubbish bags left outside his HQ. An eagle-eyed Twickenham local spotted this occurring on numerous occasions, was suitably and rightly outraged and did some follow up work, including a trip to check that St. Zac of Richmond Park was doing things properly. Before you know it, hey presto, there’s an exclusive in the Richmond & Twickenham Times. Funny how things work out isn’t it?

This is bad for Cable. Although it’s unlikely that “our Vince” was the one tying up the bin bags and putting them out in the street, he’s the one who has to do the apologising on behalf of his constituency office. Just what he could do without. He’ll soon be earning the dreaded soubriquet “gaffe prone”. Or perhaps, given Vince’s passion for his stylish fedora, The Great Gaffesby.

But where next for our public-spirited Twikileaking local bin-sifter? Who knows? Should we all be on our guard? And can we expect a surge in demand for shredders in Twickenham this week-end? In this new climate of fear gripping Twickenham, if we were going to give some advice to Vince on the subject, we’d suggest that with so much focus on his Lion Road office, he might be better off dealing with his paperwork in a local park, as long as he can resist the temptation to “do a Letwin”, of course.

We seriously hope that lessons will be learned from this, including that if you’re concerned about what’s left in someone’s rubbish, then please tell your favourite hyperlocal website before you tell the local paper.


* Richmond & Twickenham Times story
* The soundtrack: “Vince, can only get shredder” by D:Ream (of paper)

Reconstruction: Papers left outside Vince's "gaff"


Filed under Local Issues & News

7 responses to “Cable: Bin there, got done by that

  1. Gawain

    Simon H, why do you think that town planners should – or are capable of – decide(ing) which restaurants are going to succeed and only deign to give those permission to open? They aren’t Mystic Meg and this isn’t 1970s ‘identify the winners’ industrial-policy Britain!

    If you think that there are more premises in Twickenham being zoned for restaurant use and so more restaurants overall are (shock, horror) being allowed to offer their services to the public, that is a slightly different point – though in view of the number of charity shops, it would be difficult to argue restaurants are ‘crowding out’ other uses – and let’s see your evidence for it (numbers), please.

  2. Simon H

    Can’t say I rate Hacan terribly highly. If you go through to the contact-a- government-minister section, it has the details for Geoff Hoon. He left power, what, 18 months ago?

  3. Simon H

    700 words by Wednesday, do you? But I do this for a living, so I’ll need 50p a word.

    • Call it 400 words and we’ll waive the fee.

    • Simon H

      I’d rather hear your views on the subject. They’re far more enjoyable than mine. And, while you’re at it, can someone write an article explaining why so many restaurants are allowed to open in Twickenham, when so many are obviously failing? Surely the town planners have come control over that?

      Right, bed.

  4. What do you mean, lack of comments? There’s two already! The point about media vs public view of this story is valid. Yes this is a cock up but by someone (or some people) working at the office. Highly unlikely that Vince is bagging up the papers and washing up the coffee cups as his minions head off home after a busy “surgery”. Most people realise that, despite Cable being the one doing the apologising. Fair play to the Richmond & Twickenham Times for maxing out on a story that was handed to them on a plate.

    As for the Heathrow runway trials, good shout on raising the issue. And as you’ll know, we love contributions to this site from other people. So 700 words from you by Monday morning please.

  5. Simon H

    Much as I enjoy this blog, the lack of comments suggests people don’t really care quite as much about this as the media hopes they do. I’d be much more interested to hear your take on the current Heathrow flight-path trial. The Richmond and Twickenham Times has been pretty crap on the issue.