Mr Simon Hughes and arithmetic

Mr Hughes thinks Lib Dem backbenchers should have a veto on Coalition policies. Some would say only if Conservative backbenchers as well can have one, to be fair.

The truth is simple. If all Lib Dem backbenchers vote against a Coaltion government proposal, even with Labour support, the government will still win the vote.

If a large number of Conservatives rebel, but Labour supports the government, the government will win the vote.

It is only if more than 40 Conservatives vote against the government and Labour opportunistically agrees that the government might lose.

Democratic politics is about numbers as well as arguments.


  1. JohnnyNorfolk
    August 18, 2010

    Mr Hughes is now becomming power mad. Its all gone to his head. Thay are still a very small party with many crack pot ideas. His outbursts are very dissapointing and he still shows this childish attitude he has developed in his party.

    The problem with many liberals is that they do not want to face up to the real world. 13 years of Labour have created a kind of bubble that they think protects us from realality.

    1. eddyh
      August 20, 2010

      What is realality?

  2. Electro-Kevin
    August 18, 2010

    If democratic politics were truly about numbers this country would be in a far better state than it is now.

  3. Martin Cole
    August 18, 2010

    How many Conservative MPs crossing the aisle to form a House of Commons UKIP group could ensure no more EU "last straws" such as the imposition of the EIO and the non-reservation of our position over levies on the City of London such as that obtained by the Czech Republic according to the minutes of the last EU Council meeting?

    1. nonny mouse
      August 18, 2010

      Conservatives spent too long on the opposition benches to want to move back there permanently. On the Conservative back benches at least they get to influence things.

      I'm sure that Conservative MPs know that splitting from the Conservative party only makes a europhile Labour government more likely. If Conservative MPs moved to UKIP they would probably all lose their jobs at the next election, which wouldn't take too long if enough of them split and the coalition fell.

      The public would not appreciate politicians who ignore the big issues of the day like deficit reduction. The EU is just one issue. UKIP don't have realistic answers on the economy or public services.

      UKIP couldn't win any seats on their own. If they can't win the argument at the ballot box what makes them think that they can win it by playing fantasy politics. Trying to get Conservative MPs to change party just goes to show how intellectually bankrupt they are.

  4. Sir Graphus
    August 18, 2010

    Mr Hughes is a man who has advocated QMV and the loss of Britain's veto in just about every European debate I can remember. If he doesn't like the "loss of sovereignty" in Liberal policy now that the Libs are aligned to the Tories, he ought now to understand why the rest of us don't like British policy being over-ruled by European policy.

  5. Mark
    August 18, 2010

    It's time Mr.Hughes joined the party he believes in. He won't be missed on the government benches. When he can be treated as the opposition, more sensible policy is likely to see the light of day. It might even do the Lib Dem polling numbers some good to see Lib Dems being a more effective part of government rather than as sand in the gears, demonstrating irresponsibility. It's not as if Mr. Hughes has actually come forward with any sensible policy himself – just statements of disagreement. He's a deeply unimpressive politician.

  6. waramess
    August 18, 2010

    Someone should point out to Mr Hughes that the Liberals have 50 plus seats whilst Conservatives have 300 plus seats and the deal they already have far outweighs the supposed benefits they bring.

    Just as well that Cleggie is not a leggy blond or the manner in which the present deal was achieved might already have given way to idle gossip

  7. […] Redwood is dismissive: “Mr Hughes thinks Lib Dem backbenchers should have a veto on Coalition policies. Some would […]

  8. […] full post upon World – Google Blog Search […]

  9. StevenL
    August 18, 2010

    Yep, that's exactly what I thought. It got him on the front page though! A sad reflection on the state of the media (or their customers) I suppose.

  10. Lola
    August 18, 2010

    Simon Hughes? What is point?

  11. AndyJay
    August 18, 2010

    Indeed, Mr Redwood!

    Reading your words have helped let off some steam for me, I find the Lib Dems arrogance annoying and given the coalition talks and subsequent information this is on top of them being untrustworthy!

  12. gac
    August 18, 2010

    Mr Hughes is an entertaining fool – the trouble starts when people listen to him which is the oxygen he craves. The BBC just love him giving them, as he does, the ammunition to continue their 'fight' against the coalition….

    The BBC lunchtime news today headlined as fact what Mr Clegg described as speculation. Laura Kuesenberg(?), when describing the black hole in the government finances, said 'that they (the coalition) say the last government left them…' Why would she describe it like that if not to cast serious doubt in the public mind?

    BBC balance when Labour was in power was to start with the Tory opposition view to an initiative then to allow the Minister to close, now it is the government Minister who opens with the plus points with a shadow Minister closing with the ridicule.

    Time Mr Cameron gave the BBC its public funded marching orders!

  13. Michael Read
    August 18, 2010


    A smidgeon of irritation, a touch of pique, a dash of contempt.

    I can't see Mr Hughes and yourself sharing a cab to Victoria station without falling out somewhere along the way starting with who sits in the backseat, which route, who talks, what time of day it is and who pays the cabbie.

  14. Javelin
    August 18, 2010

    Cable and Hughes come across as loose cannons and eventually their party is going to get fed up with them losing credibility with those non-core voters whose votes they are trying to attract. As much as they want to exercise power they simply dont grasp the rules of the games regarding the benefits of consistency.

  15. jasonmanc
    August 18, 2010

    "It is only if more than 40 Conservatives vote against the government and Labour opportunistically agrees that the government might lose."

    Ooh, am I the first to notice what this tongue-in-cheek sentence refers to? πŸ˜‰

  16. Kevin Lohse
    August 18, 2010

    Every LibDem MP does have a veto – each individual can vote aganst any Coalition policty they wish, providing they are prepared to accept the consequences of their action. Simon Hughes is from the Hard Left, so we should not expect him to understand or even acknowledge the Democratic process.

  17. Andy
    August 18, 2010

    Simon Hughes is busy trying to undermine the coalition so one can be formed between LibDems and Labour. Trouble is we the people decided otherwise, but it appears Simon Hughes only want to listen to us when it suits him. Why is one not surprised.

  18. Angry Yorkshireman
    August 19, 2010

    "Democratic politics is about numbers as well as arguments."

    No Mr. Redwood, democratic politics is about the people having the power to govern themselves via their elected representatives. About the people having the power to remove their elected representatives if they vote against the will of the public on pieces of legislation. We do not have true democratic representation as the public are only asked to vote their MP once in a blue moon, there are now so many rotten boroughs (safe seats) that our whole system is a sham, The commons have slowly whittled away the checks and balances provided by The Lords, removed hereditaries & filled it with the party faithful "life peers"

  19. […] misleading headlines that Simon is demanding a Lib Dem veto – with rent-a-quote Tories like John Redwood and James Cleverly on hand to take the media’s bait and amp up this non-story a little […]

  20. Alan Jutson
    August 20, 2010

    MR Hughes is justy another Liberal Democrat in Fantasy Land, where money grows on trees, and the sun shines every day.

    Why do these people get so much air time ?
    Because too many believe in the same fantasy.

    September 22, 2010

    and if my aunt had b*llcks she'd be my uncle

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