Dr Vince Cable

Vincent Cable read Natural Science and Economics at Cambridge University, where he was President of the Union, followed by a PhD at Glasgow University.

Vince worked as Treasury Finance Officer for the Kenya Government between 1966 and 1968. After lecturing at Glasgow University in economics he worked as a first Secretary in the Diplomatic Service in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1974-1976). He was then Deputy Director of the Overseas Development Institute, this included a period working for the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, John Smith MP, as a Special Advisor. From 1983 to 1990 Vince worked as Special Advisor on Economic Affairs for the Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Sonny Ramphal.

From 1990 Vince worked for Shell International and from 1995 was Shell’s Chief Economist. He has also been head of the economics programme at Chatham House and since becoming an MP, has been appointed a fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford and at the LSE.

Vince Cable served as a Labour Councillor in Glasgow between 1971 and 1974, before joining the Social Democrat Party. In 1997 Vince Cable was first elected to Parliament to represent Twickenham.

He had joined the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet in October 1999 as Spokesman on Trade and Industry after a spell as a junior Treasury spokesman. He has been the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor since November 2003 and is currently Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

He founded and was, until recently, chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on Victims of Crime and is involved in several others groups formed to discuss issues such as Policing, Pulmonary Hypertension, Overseas Development, Warm Homes, Primary Care and Public Health and Insurance and Financial services.

He has published several books and reports on international economics, trade and environmental issues including: Protectionism and Industrial Decline, 1983; The New Giants: China and India, (Chatham House, 1994); The World’s New Fissures; The Politics of Identity (Demos, 1995); Globalisation and Global Governance (Chatham House, 1999); Multiple Identities (Demos, 2005); Public Services: Reform with a Purpose (Centre for Reform, 2005).

Photo: Dave Angell

Related Sessions
Saturday 31 October 2009, 10.30am Courtyard Gallery

The Storm: The World Economic Crisis and What it Means,  (Atlantic, 2009)

Festival Buzz

View: 'Turn That Racket Off'

"In a world which is becoming increasingly hostile to non-conformist positions the Battle of Ideas remains the flagship of free thinking."
John Cooper, leading barrister and writer