Extreme: a point or quality as far from the perceived moderate centre as is possible.
Extremist: someone takes a position diametrically beyond the normal variety of positions.
Cameron’s coalition restricted disabled benefits. This is described as ‘extreme’ and he is therefore an ‘extremist’.
There are good reasons for this to be classified as hyperbole as the situation can only be defined as extreme by ignoring the possible extremities beyond the current position.
I have noted before that Cameron is not perceived within the Conservative Party as a radical and by certain conservative writers as a ‘wet’ or a soft liberal Tory. Indeed, there is an explicit comparison made with Ted Heath (‘the Eton Grocer’).
If Cameron were an extremist Conservative (he’s also called a Thatcherite), then he would have abolished disability benefits in their entirety!
THAT would have been an extremist position. A minor cut does not make one an extremist unless one is only prepared to consider one’s own position as the sole and rational norm, in which case, one has become close-minded and prejudiced!