Continuing his round of party conference interviews (see yesterday for the TV debate challenge), Vince Cable talked to the Evening Standard about, amongst other things, the next election for Mayor of London:
When his party selects a candidate for Mayor of London he says: “I would like us to have an ethnic minority candidate. Not just because of London, Sadiq and so on… we are making a big push on diversity. Relatively speaking we are a very white party, often because a lack of effort to diversify.”
Improving the party’s diversity is one of the organisational priorities in the proposed new party strategy being debated on Sunday.
The interview also highlights his own reticent in using the title “Sir” which came with his knighthood:
“I thought my political career had ended and therefore it was quite a nice thing to do for the family and myself,” he revealed. “But had I known I was coming back, I would probably have stayed as Vince.”
It’s an honour he seems eager to play down after wrestling his scalp back (with a thumping 10,000 majority) in the 2017 Tory omnishambles. The “Sir” never appears on election leaflets. Does he actually use the honorific? “Not very much,” he admitted.
I’ve never quite understood why the use of titles such as Sir, Lord or Baroness are so widespread amongst Liberal Democrats when referring to fellow party members.
Sometimes Lord, Baroness and the like are obviously helpful to give context that the person being referred to is in the House of Lords. But overall usage of such titles is far more popular amongst the would-be anti-establishment Liberal Democrats than the minimum required for clarity.