Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Uncategorized
20 June 2010updated 12 Oct 2023 9:47am

What does John Hutton’s move, and the right’s reaction to it, say about the man?

Former Labour energy secretary is welcomed into the Tory-Liberal coalition.

By James Macintyre

While the right-wing media are mustering fake rage about Chris Huhne, they are at the same time heaping praise on another figure in the Tory-Liberal coalition: its latest recruit, John Hutton.

Branded a “traitor” by elements within Labour, Hutton has joined Frank Field — the Labour MP who in 1990 urged Margaret Thatcher to stay on in office — to oversee a commission, this one on public-sector pensions.

It is no surprise at all that the Labour anger is matched with Tory delight, as George Osborne and the Conservative press seek to portray Hutton as a man of high principle.

But it should not be forgotten that this is a politician who did nothing at all to support his party in the run-up to this year’s crucial general election. Instead, the former energy secretary this month cashed in on his experience by joining the board of the US Hyperion Power Generation Inc, a firm aiming to make billions from the sale of mini-nuclear reactors.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday - from the New Statesman. Sign up directly at The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. Sign up directly at Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Opportunistic? Yes. Principled? Not quite. In fact, this is exactly the kind of “technocrat” figure who Ed Miliband rightly says did so much damage to the last government.

Content from our partners
What will it take to support green growth in the UK?
Boosting the power of Britain’s creative industries
Strengthening the UK's clinical trial ecosystem