John Cleese says time to ‘throw Tories out’
John Cleese slams Tory administrations at SDP conference
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John Cleese has taken aim at Tory “sleaze” and “ineptitude”, insisting now is the time to “throw ‘em out”. The comedian, of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, is adamant, however, that neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats are the answer, too, branding the politics of the day a “confusing mess”.
Mr Cleese was addressing the latest conference of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Manchester earlier this month when, after praising the thoughtfulness of those present, he blasted not only the recent but the past decade of Tory rule.
He said: “The reason I am here is that I have, for a long time now, really been appalled by the corruption, lying, sleaze and good old-fashioned ineptitude of the last three Tory administrations.”
The Conservative Party appears to have been under almost-constant pressure through the whole of this year to explain one apparent failure or another; perhaps most seriously over ‘Partygate’, but also, and most recently, over market turmoil which plagued Liz Truss’s first month as Prime Minister.
Mr Cleese suggested that these were not mere slip-ups in an otherwise slickly-operating machine, but an integral part of a failed party.
The answer, he said, was that “our first priority is quite simply to throw ‘em out”.
This was very much the theme of the day, the tagline to this year’s SDP conference being “It Can’t Go On Like This”.
Before delivering the first section of his keynote speech, “where we are” (followed by “how we got here” and “how to solve it”), leader William Clouston warned those present to “brace yourselves, because this is going to be challenging”.
Other speakers at the conference included New Culture Forum Director and former London Assembly member Peter Whittle, who scolded the political classes for knowing “the price of everything and the value of nothing”, as well as author Joanna Williams who delivered a speech on why “we should be fighting culture wars” and Common Sense Society Director Emma Webb who stressed that “the ultimate investment to be made is in the family”.
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As well as highlighting its promotion of more traditionalist social values, the SDP hoped its presence in Manchester, the first industrial city, would help draw attention to its support for British industry.
Since the conference, and after Mr Cleese announced his attendance at this in several broadcasts, the party has experienced a growth in membership.
Mr Clouston told Express.co.uk: “We want to give the British people something decent to vote for – because the choice is terrible. Both major parties have badly mismanaged the country.
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“The Tories haven’t conserved anything, have crashed the economy with debt and are running an open border to illegal migrants on the South coast. Labour turned its back on Britain’s working men and women years ago.
“People want something better and they’ll find it in the SDP. We’re more social than Labour and we’d conserve far more than the Tories.”
“We had a great conference with John Cleese as our guest and membership is booming.”
The party earlier this year won its first council seat in almost four decades, with Wayne Dixon taking the Middleton Park ward from Labour by 700 votes in what the Yorkshire Post described as “one of the most shocking local election results the city has ever seen”.
Later in the year, in the same week as its annual conference, Councillor Richard Bright, who sits on Derbyshire District Council, joined the SDP, having left the Tory party.
Mr Clouston described this growth as “very encouraging”.
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