Letter: Vocal opposition to Portillo over the causes of disquiet for the majority

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The Independent Online
Sir: Michael Portillo's speech to the North-east Fife Conservative Association reminds us that the cheap populism of Zhirinovsky and Karadzic are not the exclusive preserve of societies in turmoil and decay - unless the Tory record over the past 15 years can be described as such.

The speech was loaded with unintentional irony. Wasn't it Margaret Thatcher who altered the rules on media ownership to give Rupert Murdoch the power that has so degraded the press and television in the past few years? It wasn't done in the interests of the country, but of the Tory party. As for law-abiding citizens, I don't suppose Mr Portillo would care to publish statistics on the total cost of fraud, theft and malpractice perpetrated by the natural Tory constituency of businessmen, financial traders and quango appointees.

The least edifying aspect of all is the spectacle of a Cabinet minister, a public servant, telling us which class of citizens he cares for and which he doesn't. It was equally upsetting to read and hear political commentators discussing the speech purely as a political manoeuvre.

Yours sincerely,

JON GRAY

Bath, Avon

25 April

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