Official - Vince is not a Marxist
Business Secretary Vince Cable has told a fringe meeting in Liverpool that an advance release of his speech to the Lib Dem Conference on Wednesday has been "interpreted as an outburst of Marxism" and that he has "had to go round explaining that that's not what I meant".
The offending words - "I am shining a harsh light into the murky world of corporate behaviour" - have guaranteed him an appearance on several front pages. They were meant to enliven the potentially rather dry announcement of a "wide ranging consultation of takeovers, executive pay and corporate short-termism".
They were enough to provoke the director general of the CBI, Richard Lambert, to condemn Cable's "emotional" language and to remark waspishly that he looked forward to hearing Cable's "ideas for an alternative" to capitalism.
Late tonight Cable and his advisers were seen huddled over a text and making amendments to it. Perhaps, he was drafting that explanation of what he means by the "murky world of corporate behaviour".
Intriguingly Downing Street officials have let it be known they did know in advance what Cable was due to say and were happy with it.