Politics: Conservatives are anti-Semitic racists, says veteran wet

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The Independent Online
Tory bigotry came under severe attack yesterday from a former Conservative MP, Sir Julian Critchley, who told the Oldie magazine that while many members were anti-Semitic, many more were prejudiced against other racial groups.

Sir Julian, who has been a bete noire of the Conservative Party over many years, was MP for Aldershot until last year, when he retired after a long illness.

In his Oldie interview, he said: "The Tory Party shows every sign of becoming a right-wing rump, obscurantist and nationalist. They are not necessarily anti-Semitic, simply because it is not a big issue, but if you scratch them you will find that many of them are anti- Semitic.

"They are certainly anti-black. By and large, most of them are so unattractive I wonder that I stayed with them as long as I did."

Nevertheless, in spite of his long-standing and well-publicised antipathy towards the estate agents and car-dealers who took over the parliamentary party during the Thatcher years, Sir Julian remained a Conservative.

As for the Prime Minister, Sir Julian says: "He has dragged the Labour Party kicking and screaming into the last part of the 20th century, or perhaps into the 21st, and that is no mean achievement.

"He has helped to destroy Marxist Socialism, which of course was the bane of Labour, and he appears to have helped to shore up the monarchy when it was in danger."

He added: "To be honest, I think Blair is a very good thing, and if I were forced to choose between Blair and Hague, I would choose Blair."

Reflecting the old guard, patrician snobbery that persists in the Conservative ranks, Sir Julian said of the Thatcherite generation: "There were a lot of them. They were very obstreperous and you could make fun of them on the grounds that they were the sort of people who ate peas off their knives. It was quite deliberate satire which I used against certain people, for example, Tebbit, whom I dislike intensely. In my view, he is a savage man who is full of hatred.

"One way of pricking the bubble of Thatcherism - and by God she had enough sycophants around her - was to pretend that they were all as common as muck, which would annoy them intensely."

Critchley on the Tories:

`By and large, most of them are so unattractive I wonder I stayed with them as long as I did ... if I were forced to choose between Blair and Hague, I would choose Blair'

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