Follow that Cab!

Readers will recall that I asked Simon Hughes to answer the following question via his e-hustings service:

Simon, you’ve made a big deal out of the environment and green issues in the campaign, yet you drive a diesel powered Taxi. Ming Campbell has said he will give up his Jag – are you prepared to put your money where your mouth is and give up your car?

A reasonable enough question given the strong feelings Simon’s own web-manager has on the subject.

Well, it’s extremely late in the campaign, but I’m pleased to announce that Simon has finally got around to answering my question. More to the point, he has helpfully rephrased it slightly, with a view to improving clarity – no wriggling out of the tough questions for our Simon with strict legalistic definitions and other such lawyerly nonsense!

Question: How would you help tackle the issue of Climate Change, and reduce our Co2 emissions?

Thank you Simon. Your frankness and openness on this issue is an inspiration to us all! As Rob Fenwick said, this is “a crucial question of honesty and consistency“.


  1. Simon to give up his bright yellow taxi, it’s unimaginable. It’s how people in London identify him.
    Apart from carrying loads and bods up and down he uses it as a mobile office to meet the people. It’s not a licenced hackey cab but all the taxi drivers in London know him.

  2. David – it’s nothing personal. I don’t question his heart, but I do really question his judgement and honestly believe he wouldn’t merely a disappointing leader, but a damaging one, in the same way that he has been a damaging President (which is beneath the radar of most members, but true nonetheless).

    And sometimes, taking the piss is just compulsory. 🙂

  3. Susanne – Although it would be nice if Simon gave up his taxi and took one more car off the roads, it’s not neccessarily about giving it up. Presumably Ming is still driving, just not a gas guzzling Jag, and Chris Huhne is still driving, but owns a Toyota Prius (and Gordon Brown is going the same way according to Newsnight). A very quick google search of “electric black cab” reveals this: – Simon could have chosen to ‘live his values’ and switch, but hasn’t. As usual, it’s all talk and no action (qv. more members than Labour, etc etc)

  4. I’m a named supporter on Chris’s website but I do think James is being a bit tokenistic about saying (in effect) that the party leader shouldn’t own a big car.

    Are we going to also insist that an eligible party leader must have a well insulated loft? Are the FE going round to inspect? Does he have to only use recycled paper and where only shoes made from reconstituted wine corks? What about only eating organic food and thereby not supporting non-organic growers who do various environmentally unattractive things?

    Leaders should set an example but isn’t it a bit unfair to pick on one single thing?

    Simon ought to pull out and endorse Chris though.

  5. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to own big cars – personally I think Ming was foolish to say he would give up his Jag. All I’m saying is that if it is considered a legitimate question for Ming to answer, then it is a legitimate question for Simon.

  6. Agreed to the extent that it’s an equally legitimate / equally pointless question in either case.

    Ming’s answer to whichever journalist asked shold have been something like,

    “Yes, we will all have to make changes to our lifestyles if we want our children to be able to enjoy living on this planet as we have. And of all the parties we’ll be clearest about the changes we need to make because people know that you can’t get something for nothing.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.