For reasons that are well understood among evolutionary theorists in particular, young women often find powerful men attractive. This is well-known to men; sometimes consciously sometimes unconsciously. Therefore, in the presence of young women, men will often 'big up' their power; be it of a physical, financial, intellectual or political variety.
Two young women, purporting to be mothers concerned about benefit cuts, came to see Mr Cable at his regular constituency surgery. They cleverly steered the conversation away from the cuts and toward Mr Cable's influence on the decision-making of the Coalition Government of which he is Business Secretary. In fact they were undercover Daily Telegraph reporters and wired for sound ; our Vince was sailing into very dangerous waters. He told them that, if Cameron and the Conservatives tried to push him too far to the right, he could always press the "nuclear button" and resign. He opined that this would bring down the Government of the UK. His subliminal message: 'I'm a big fish. Are you not impressed' ? The young women can be heard to giggle their appreciation of the point and the fact that they had steered our Vincent onto a substantial submerged rock. Encouraged by their success, the girls raise the subject of Murdoch's bid to get control of BSkyB. Obviously of direct concern to our young mothers (?) But Mr Cable can't resist telling them that he makes the decision on this issue and that he is "at war" with Mr Murdoch. He makes it clear that there is no way that he is going to agree to the move by Murdoch. His subliminal message: ' I'm a big fish. Are you not impressed.' More girly giggles of appreciation. With the tape running, he is now fatally holed below the waterline -- He cannot adjudicate impartially on such an issue if he has made up his mind before receiving evidence from his Civil Servants.
After publications by The Daily Telegraph and the BBC outlining the gist of this episode, Mr Cameron has now transferred responsibility for the Murdoch/ BSkyB decision to the Culture Secretary. Vince is lucky to survive. Ironically, this has demonstrated that he is indeed a big fish. Anyone else would have been sacked. He survives, not because he has shown himself to be a safe pair of hands - he has shown quite the opposite - but because he is the essential lynch-pin that joins the left-wing of the Lib-Dems to the rest of the Coalition. Perhaps he is tempted to recall the duplicitous young ladies to his constituency office to tell them that events have shown that he is indeed a large sea-dwelling creature that breathes with gills.
So much for the folly of men and the power of young women in their presence. Don't forget to watch his moves on the dance-floor on Xmas Day. Expected subliminal message: Ladies - look at how gracefully I could guide you through the stormy seas of life!