Vince Cable on form as he lays into the Tories

Vince Cable criticised the Conservatives. Credit: David Cheskin/PA wire

The Liberal Democrat conference just wouldn't be the same without Vince being Vince.

He was, as far as the party faithful were concerned today, on fine form, laying into the Tories at every turn.

The Conservatives had a brief period trying to get away from the nasty party tag, he said, but now they had simply reverted to type.

He played Jeremiah again, too - warning that we were already stoking up an artificial housing boom which was highly likely to end in a bust - but his most memorable remarks were those attacking his cabinet colleagues.

But here's the strange thing; many people in government say that Vince's relationships with his Tory colleagues are, by and large, exceedingly cordial.

He doesn't much like David Cameron, but he gets on very well with George Osborne and Theresa May and the only person I have ever sensed he disliked in Cabinet was Chris Huhne.

Vince Cable leads the debate on the economy at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

So does that make him a bit of a hypocrite? Or a big politician who is capable of disagreeing with someone on the issues whilst working with them comfortably on an every day basis?

Given that we are going to hear a lot more of this kind of talk from many senior Lib Dems over the coming year or two, our answer to this question may determine the party's electoral prospects.