Just as sure as the sun rises each morning, 2013 brings yet more hypocrisy from Simon Hughes. Even as the Lib Dems’ deputy leader attempts to defend himself from criticism that he voted for austerity while opposing the cuts that accompany it, he told Southwark News:
“It’s simplistic and wrong to say that more police equals less crime, it’s what you do with the police and how affective they are that matters.”
What kind of buffoon would promulgate such nonsense? Errr … step forward Mr Simon Hughes, who is pictured below calling for 10,000 more police:
Indeed, he has been campaigning on this basis for years. Launching his challenge for London mayor in 2004, Hughes promised to make the capital “safer” by giving every neighbourhood eight dedicated uniformed officers as part of a “minimum policing guarantee”.
In the wake of the London riots Hughes linked police numbers directly to criminality and said that he opposed cuts:
“I think what happened demonstrated the case against cuts … It seems the police could not cope until they had reinforcements”
But when the time came to vote on the 2011-12 police grant, which slashed the budget by 20%, Hughes made his opposition clear — by abstaining!
Regular readers will be more than familiar with his record of flagrant hypocrisy:
- Claiming he was a principled opponent of aspects of the Health Bill — despite voting for it at every stage
- Complaining that the welfare cap would “break up families” — despite standing wholeheartedly with the Tories on the Welfare Reform Bill
- Telling parliament it was “really important” for communities to control opening of new betting shops — then voting with the Tories to prevent local authorities being awarded such powers
But Scrapbook’s absolute favourite has to be the time he pretended that certain parliamentary votes didn’t occur in order to preserve the fiction that he had done all within his power to defend his constituents in social housing from damaging changes to secure tenancies.
The man just can’t help himself.