Tebbit attacks 'lack of common values'

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Indy Politics
LORD TEBBIT last night bemoaned the 'instability' of Britain and declared that to 'make a society' its members must have in common 'laws, customs, standards, values, language, culture and religion'.

In a gloomy, controversial, and distinctively right-wing analysis of the state of the nation, Lord Tebbit invoked John Major's 'back to basics' theme only to warn that 'some of those basics may be gone beyond return'.

Giving the first Nicholas Ridley memorial lecture in London, Lord Tebbit cited the break-up of the country's 'Christian Judaean' tradition, the break up of the family unit and the creeping power of the European Union as factors 'destroying the very glue which binds individuals into society'.

Lord Tebbit said that until 'comparatively recent years we were a very homogeneous society'. He contrasted the way in which earlier 'waves of newcomers' had been 'absorbed and integrated', with the present ethnic, cultural and religious mix of Britons.

The former Tory Party chairman said it was 'well known' that there was a 'substantial and growing Muslim minority some of whom - although not all by any means - are supporters of what they describe as a Muslim Parliment'.

'What is less often remarked upon is that we seem to be drifting towards becoming a largely pagan society in which Greens worship Mother Earth and hedonism attracts more adherents every day - or night perhaps.'

Lord Tebbit mounted a robust defence of the Child Support Agency, saying that many men declined any part in the upbringing of their children.

He added: 'Nor is this attitude confined to a feckless group amongst the lower socio-economic classes. Middle-class professionals with second wives and families are among those currently outraged at the suggestion that the upkeep of their first wife and children should be a charge on them rather than on the taxpayer at large.'

On Europe, he said a 'nation is not a nation if it does not control its own affairs'.