“He really should just step down,” she sighs. “He should face the fact he’s unelectable. I think he’s a decent man, I think it’s unfair, but that’s politics.”
She’s convinced he is not an antisemite, and scoffs at the suggestion that Jews would be less safe in this country if he were elected (an outcome she deems highly unlikely in any case). “I think England is a naturally anti-semitic country,” she says. “The natural position of an Englishman is that a Jew is a foreigner, probably rich, probably untrustworthy. It’s the natural English position.”
She is typically inclined to ruffle feathers, of course, and has previously attracted disapproval for her criticism of Israel. But then, it’s not in her nature to pick a safe line and adhere to it. If further proof were needed (and it’s not), she even has a kind word for Prince Andrew. “It must be awful to be him at the moment. Because what has he actually done? He’s probably just been a very silly young man.”
After hearing her steamroll through verboten topics with such gleeful abandon, it’s hard to disagree with at least one of her assertions: “Old people,” she insists, “are much more interesting than the young.”
Margolyes herself might be living proof of that.
The Silver Line’s Christmas carol concert is on Friday, December 6, at St Marylebone Parish Church (17 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LT), from 6.30pm. For tickets, visitthesilverline.org.uk/silverchristmas.
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