LibLink: Simon Hughes – It’s our job to rein in the ruthless Tories

Today’s Observer carries an interview with Simon Hughes:

At a time when the Tory right is pressing David Cameron ever harder to follow its agenda and trample on the Lib Dems, Hughes is acting as his party’s, and the coalition’s, left-wing brake. “I think the useful role I can play is to be a guardian of the policy and traditions of the left of the party,” he says…

Hughes has a strong message for such Tories as they demand a more eurosceptic agenda and the end of the 50p rate of tax for those earning more than £150,000. He describes them as “extreme” and deluded by a belief that the Conservatives are the natural party of government. Asked what his message is to the right, he says: “There is absolutely no majority in government for your views. If there is a coalition government in the national interest then extreme remedies and answers are not appropriate. You have to be a uniting government.”

The Conservatives, he says, also have to remember the electoral arithmetic that delivered this coalition. “There is no government without both of us. We may only have 8% of the seats in parliament but we did get a quarter of the votes – two thirds of what they got – and they have to face up to realpolitik.” He adds: “The Tory party is absolutely not the dominant force in British politics that it used to be.”

Read the full interview here.

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5 Comments

  • A Eurosceptic agenda and removing the 50p rate are “extreme”? Was the previous Labour Government extreme for having just a 40p rate for so long? Certainly removing the 50p rate would be unpopular with the public but calling it extreme is just childish. Conversely a eurosceptic agenda would probably be quite popular – does that make the public extreme?

  • Guess that makes us the left wing of the Tory party, then.

  • “Guess that makes us the left wing of the Tory party, then.”

    No – the argument seems to be that the _Hughesites_ are the left wing of the Tory party.

  • Tony Dawson 18th Sep '11 - 1:16pm

    Richard, your entire posting is ‘just childish’.

    If there were any let-off in the 50p tax level at the moment it WOULD be ‘extreme’ because, without it, we would not be ‘all in this together’. Blair’s Tories’ top rate of 40p was part of the reason why our country went don the pan.

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