21 MARCH 1987, Page 24

Tory racists

Sir: As a member of Britain's ethnic community I read Andrew Gimson's arti- cle on Harvey Proctor ('Right behind Harvey', 14 March) with horrific fascina- tion. It is clear from the article that Billericay constituency party is full of virulent racists. This may well be the tip of the iceberg as far as grassroot opinion within the Conservative Party as a whole is concerned. The election of Mrs Thatcher as party leader in 1975 coincided with the collapse of the NF vote, which made many political pundits fear the worst, mainly that the more ambitious and upwardly mobile elements within the NF would back the Conservative Party in the hope that they would be given a more sympathetic hearing in a reinvigorated Thatcherite party. I think what's happening in constituencies like Billericay proves that they were right. Worse still, more and more new Tory candidates display a gutter mentality.


The Conservative Party has moved (and is still moving) so far to the right under Thatcher that the prospect of someone like Proctor, not to mention the likes of John Carlisle or the ubiquitous Geoffrey Dick- ens, becoming Prime Minister in 20 years' time is a distinct and chilling possibility. So when will Thatcher and Tebbit take action against their own loonies before the prob- lem becomes Frankensteinian in dimen- sion? At least no one can accuse Mr Kinnock of not trying. Or is it that asking Mrs Thatcher to stamp out extremism is like asking Genghis Khan to show compas- sion? We ought to know. Bhaskar Mitra

23 Turlands Close, Coventry