Politicians are a strange lot. Most of them are forgettable and do very little, some have done quite a lot, others have dedicated their entire careers to scratching their names onto the pages of history- those are usually the ones we remember. For better or for worse.
But some, only some, have done a great deal of work but they’ve fallen in obscurity- like a repressed memory, something that makes a Nation feel ashamed of itself. Britain has a shameful, repressed memory-it has many. It has a shameful, repressed past. And like all repressed memories they are ultimately incredibly influential, no matter how hard you try to forget.
For Britain, that painful memory is known as Enoch Powell.
Now long time readers of the green Rover may be familiar with Mr. Powell in my previous article on Nigel Farage aptly titled “The Face of Britain” because I put forth that Farage, although he has never been an MP or even Prime Minister, is a greater representative for the British people than possibly any prime minister in the last ten years. I also conclude that that is a bad thing.
Enoch Powell (full name John Enoch Powell) was born on the 16th of June 1912 in Birmingham. He was raised in a working class family but he attended private school. He was very capable in the academic field, partly because his father was a Primary School headmaster. He was taught at King Norton’s Grammar School for Boys but would later move to King Edwards School, a Private School in Birmingham.
He was very well read, by three years old he could read reasonably well and in school he studied the classics. His vocabulary was astounding, it’s like listening to a dictionary- he’d put even Jacob Rees-Mogg to shame. He was a linguistic Genius as well, on his deathbed he was capable of speaking fourteen different languages. It truly is an utter shame that he was such a Racist Sociopath.
And he was Racist, though many would argue that he was an insincere Racist. I don’t know if he believed in the things that he said, all I know is that he said them. I’m going to be talking about Racism a lot throughout this article but before I dive in I just want to establish how I personally measure Racism.
Ok, so I think it’s incredibly dangerous to lump people into categories and think of people as monoliths instead of individuals- like I could call Hitler, Powell and Farage Racists but obviously they’re not not on the same level. The best way I could describe it would be a litmus test.
Ok, so a Litmus test in Chemistry used for detecting the levels for acidity or alkalinity using litmus paper. If a substance was a strong Acid it would show up as Red, if it was a weak acid it’s show up as Yellow, or a Yellow-Green. However if the substance was neutral, like Water, it would be Green. If the substance was a weak alkaline it would be a Darker Green or even Turquoise, if it were a Strong Alkaline it would be Dark Blue.
So use this test, but instead of detecting Acidity you detect Racism. Red will refer to a person who believes that their select group is inherently superior to all others (A White Supremacist for example) Dark Orange or a Lighter Orange would refer to an Individual that believes these Groups should be separated and maybe one group is superior to the other (Segregation, Apartheid State, a White Nationalist) Lighter Orange would refer to a person who uses a lot of Racial Slurs and believes in a lot of Conspiracy Theories to enforce their Prejudices. Yellow would refer to a person who seems normal, but they appear to be physically Uncomfortable around people who don’t belong to their own Group.
Green of course is the ideal- a person who doesn’t care what group you belong in, but judges you by your actions and character. They generally don’t care but some of them will spend a lot of time discussing how different the experiences are of other people in other groups to broaden their understanding. Of course if you focus too much on differences you could dial back down to Yellow, but it can also go the opposite way- you could become obsessed with the differences between groups and you Gradually become Bluer- you say some silly things, suggest that certain groups be segregated “To protect them from people like me” and then dark blue of course is just full on self loathing in which you bow down to the superiority of another group and potentially even advocate your own extermination- by being Bred out of the Gene pool.
So in my mind I would place Hitler in Red, because he was a Nazi and believed in White Supremacy. I’d put Enoch Powell along the lines of Orange and Dark Orange, because he believed that Immigrants should stay in their own Countries and that Black and White people can’t mix- basically endorsing an Ethno State. I’d put Nigel around a very Dark Yellow- don’t think he’s quite Orange but he sure as fuck isn’t Green.
I like to think of myself as Green, but of course I’m a little biased. I’m measuring these things by what people say and do and I don’t think I’ve genuinely endorsed any Racists acts. The Darker Greens would be thought of as kind of SJWs, in which they’re obsessed with this kind of Diversity stuff- which don’t get me wrong, Diversity is important, particularly for people who have been historically disenfranchised and feel that they need proper representation, which is completely understandable- but there’s a time and a place.
An example would be like that time Shaun King tweeted out something along the lines of “Only like two people in Trumps Cabinet is black, where’s the representation? SMH” like…does it really matter what Colour they are when they’re working for Trump? You’re only going to get the worst people for the job, his cronies that want to loot the country- also are you really surprised that Trump’s cabinet isn’t very diverse? Really? Then of course there’s the extreme Dark Blue which could be anyone from like a Self Loathing White person to a Self Loathing Black person or any group really.
That’s how I measure it, Enoch Powell is a solid Orange. For starters he was a Colonialist through and through. He studied the language of Urdu in the School of Oriental and African Studies, not out of appreciation for the Culture but because he wanted to be the Viceroy of India- the man who would essentially rule India on behalf of the British Empire.
He was always very smart. His father had been a Primary School Headmaster so undoubtedly he was raised in that suffocating academic environment where he had to succeed at everything. His mother was a teacher, but she gave that up when she got married.
At the age of three, Powell was nicknamed ‘the Professor‘ because he used to stand on a chair and describe the stuffed birds his grandfather had shot, which were displayed in his parents home. Powell read avidly from a young age; as early as three he could “read reasonably well“. Despite the Powell family having to budget their income, they always had enough money for books and their home included a room known as the ‘library‘.
Powell was heavily influenced by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche; who is sadly somewhat diminished by neurotic teenagers who label their hormonal callousness as Nihilism. Initially he adopted Nietzsche’s concept of God is dead but became religious again later on in life.
Unsurprisingly Powell thrived in academia. He was an exceptional student, attending three different schools before heading to University. He studied the classics all the while learning various different languages such as German and Latin.
He became a Professor of Greek at the University of Sydney at the age of 25 (failing in his aim of beating Nietzsche’s record of becoming a professor at 24). Soon after arrival in Australia, he was appointed Curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney. He stunned the vice-chancellor by informing him that war would soon begin in Europe and that when it did, he would be heading home to enlist in the army.
By the time Powell had left King Edward’s School in 1930, he had confirmed his instinctive belief that peace was merely temporary and that the UK would be at war with Germany again. During his time in Australia as a professor, he grew increasingly angry at the appeasement of Germany and what he saw as a betrayal of the UK’s national interests. After Neville Chamberlain’s first visit to Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, Powell wrote in a letter to his parents of 18 September 1938:
“I do here in the most solemn and bitter manner curse the Prime Minister of England for having cumulated all his other betrayals of the national interest and honour, by his last terrible exhibition of dishonour, weakness and gullibility. The depths of infamy to which our accurst ‘love of peace’ can lower us are unfathomable.”
Yep, doesn’t sound like the ramblings of a Psychopath.
In a poem, he wrote of men joining the army like “bridegrooms going to meet their brides“, but his biographer points out that it is unlikely that many other men shared his joy. That’s one of the more contradicting natures of his character. As you can see by his knowledge of history and of language he is indeed a clever man, but at the same time he’s incredibly naive- possibly ignorant about most things he embarks upon. I don’t think he had empathy.
He was very upset at the Munich Agreement, a settlement reached by Germany, Britain, France, and Italy that permitted the German annexation of the Sudetenland in western Czechoslovakia. The acne ridden manlet describes the event as “It was the allies spreading their asshole open for Germany” because they essentially let Hitler take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia without even consulting Czechoslovakia. They also didn’t invite the Soviet Union to the treaty talks which really pissed off Stalin since he was an ally to Czechoslovakia.
It was a huge clusterfuck, all because they didn’t want another War.
In a letter to his Parents, Powell wrote; “I do here in the most solemn and bitter manner curse the Prime Minister of England for having cumulated all his other betrayals of the national interest and honour, by his last terrible exhibition of dishonour, weakness and gullibility. The depths of infamy to which our accurst “love of peace” can lower us are unfathomable”
Before the war he wrote to his parents; “It is the English, not their Government; for if they were not blind cowards, they would lynch Chamberlain and Halifax and all the other smarmy traitors.” That last word “Smarmy” for those of you that aren’t fluent in Posh Cunt which means someone who is extremely polite or helpful or showing a lot of respect in a way that is annoying or does not seem sincere.
Only the English could come up with a word to describe someone who can simultaneously be polite and a complete and utter cunt.
At the outbreak of war, Powell immediately returned to the UK, but not before buying a Russian dictionary, since he thought “Russia would hold the key to our survival and victory, as it had in 1812 and 1916” an opinion that he held throughout the war and was indeed correct in thinking.
After a month of being home he signed up to the Army. Now English citizens had yet to be called up so he instead applied as an Australian, since Australians were allowed to enlist straight away. Some of his supporters would cite this as evidence proving that he was not a Racist, even Powell himself defended an accusation that he was a Fascist by saying; “All I will say is that for myself, in 1939 I voluntarily returned from Australia to this country, to serve as a private soldier against Germany and Nazism. I am the same man today” In response to some hecklers at a speech he said “I hope those who shouted ‘Fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are aware that before they were born I was fighting against Fascism and Nazism.”
Which is true, the man is not a Nazi nor is he a Fascist. He’s just a Racist. Oh, and he didn’t fight in World War Two because he was worried about the treatment of Jews, Slavs, Gays or anyone murdered by Hitlers regime. He fought in the war because he saw the decline of the British Empire and he wanted to ensure he’d still have a place in India when the war was done. It was an act of self preservation for a colonialist wet dream, nothing more- nothing less.
He didn’t see much action in the war either. He worked almost exclusively in intelligence, quickly climbing up the Ranks as his knowledge of language helped him create a presence of intelligence to his superiors. By the end of the war he was a Brigadier. A Brigadier is the superior rank to colonel, but subordinate to major-general.
He was stationed in Cairo but then took a job in Delhi. He actually turned down promotions because that would have kept him in Africa indefinitely. He had to take the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, but eventually did reclaim his previous rank as Brigadier.
Powell seemed enchanted by India, recalling that he “Soaked up India like a sponge soaks up water” he truly loved the little Sub Continent, like an abusive boyfriend. He thought it was his birthright- that he owned it and its inhabitants. I wonder if he knew that Churchill promised the Indians independence if they fought in the War?
He worked alongside this guy called Orde Wingate, who had taken such a dislike to Powell that he asked a colleague to restrain him if he was tempted to “beat his brains in“. I’ve watched videos of him giving speeches in Parliament and rebuking Thatcher, he does give off that impression of being a complete and utter cunt.
Having begun the war as the youngest professor in the Commonwealth, Powell ended it as a brigadier. He was given the promotion to serve on a committee of generals and brigadiers to plan the postwar defence of India: the resulting 470-page report was almost entirely written by Powell.
For a few weeks he was the youngest brigadier in the British Army, and he was one of only two men in the entire war to rise from private to brigadier (the other being Fitzroy Maclean). He was offered a regular commission as a brigadier in the Indian Army, and the post of assistant commandant of an Indian officers’ training academy, which he declined. He told a colleague that he expected to be head of all military intelligence in “the next war“.
Of course there’d never be a next war. In fact when the war was over he was quite depressed, survivors guilt. When once asked how he would like to be remembered, he at first answered, “Others will remember me as they will remember me“, but when pressed he replied, “I should like to have been killed in the war.” I think that quote sums up the life of Powell quite well. He was a miserable bastard.
After the war he voted for Labour just to spite the Tories for every going through with the Munich agreement. But he did eventually did join the Tories, climbing up the ranks and eventually being elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Wolverhampton South West in 1950.
Powell’s ambition to be Viceroy of India crumbled in February 1947, when Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced that Indian independence was imminent. Powell was so shocked by the change of policy that he spent the whole night after it was announced walking the streets of London. He came to terms with it by becoming fiercely anti-imperialist, believing that once India had gone the whole empire should follow it- if he couldn’t have India, then the Empire was as good as dead.
This logical absolutism explained his later indifference to the Suez crisis (an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France), his contempt for the Commonwealth and his urging that the UK should end any remaining pretense that it was a world power.
He was very xenophobic towards America. This originated during his encounters with Americans during the War. After socially mixing with senior American officers and exploring their cultural views of the world, he became convinced that one of America’s war aims was to destroy the British Empire. Writing home on 16 February 1943, Powell stated;
“I see growing on the horizon the greater peril than Germany or Japan ever were… our terrible enemy, America….”
Powell’s suspicion of the Anti-British Empire demeanor of the U.S.A. Government’s foreign policy continued for the remainder of the war and into his subsequent post-war political career. He cut out and retained an article from the New Statesman magazine published on 13 November 1943 in which the American writer and diplomat Clare Boothe Luce said in a speech that Indian independence from the British Empire would mean that the “USA will really have won the greatest war in the world for democracy“. He fixated on that.
Fuck, the only reason he wanted to be posted in Southeast Asia was because he was afraid that America would get there first. He said that he wanted to see the Union Flag back in Singapore before the Americans beat the British Empire to it and secured an imperial domination of their own over the region.
In a way he was right to be worried. If it weren’t for the War perhaps the British Empire would still be around. America wouldn’t be the super power it was today. In fact the American economy boomed after the Second World War, mainly because all of the other countries were in ruins- so America quickly became the Worlds leading manufacturer. Leading to the economic boom, the New Deal, Social Security- all of these wonderful things that the American public loved. Keep in mind that FDR was a Social Democrat that was elected four times, he was so popular that the Republicans had to pass a law meaning that a President can only serve two terms just so they wouldn’t have to deal with that shit.
Of course with our Historical hindsight we can see that his concern that America would be a defendant of Democracy throughout the world is, sadly, ludicrous. The United States of America supports 73% of the Worlds Dictatorships, meaning three out of four Dictators buy their weapons from the bastion of Freedom. Presumably the one guy who doesn’t buy their guns is currently at war with them, America hoping to win and prop up some guy who will buy their guns and sell them oil.
Powell hated everything America stood for. He hated its diversity, he was afraid that Britain would become a great melting pot- in which people from all around the world would come to work and live- in the hope that one day they would be seen as British. Powell believed that only White Anglo-Saxons could be British.
He spent the first few years of his career as a back bencher. Didn’t get up to much outside of making a fuss whenever they wanted to take the word “British” outside of the terms that described overseas territories.
Powell was a member of the Suez Group of MPs who were against the removal of British troops from the Suez Canal because such a move would demonstrate, Powell argued, that the UK could no longer maintain a position there and that any claim to the Suez Canal would therefore be illogical. However, after the troops had left in June 1956 and the Egyptians nationalised the Canal a month later, Powell opposed the attempt to retake the canal in the Suez Crisis (Second Arab-Israeli War) because he thought the British no longer had the resources to be a world power.
He was the Minister of Health from 1960-1963 and by God he makes Jeremy Hunt look like Fucking Ghandi. During his tenure he blatantly refused to issue a public inquiry into the pharmaceutical drug known as “Thalidomide” despite literally thousands of people being hurt by the drug demanding he do something about it.
The thalidomide disaster is one of the darkest episodes in pharmaceutical research history. The drug was marketed as a mild sleeping pill safe even for pregnant women. However, it caused thousands of babies worldwide to be born with malformed limbs.
During a meeting with parents of babies that had been born with deformities caused by the drug thalidomide, he was unsympathetic to the victims, refusing to meet any babies deformed by the drug and saying that “anyone who took so much as an aspirin put himself at risk.” He said no to giving a statement afterwards: “no need to bring the press into this” he didn’t even do the bare minimum, which would be to give a public warning against using any of the pills that might still be in medicine cabinets. He said it would be “a scaremonger publicity stunt”. Yes, a publicity stunt that would have saved lives.
The drug was never banned; just withdrawn for further tests. Many more babies were born needlessly affected by the drug precisely because there were pills still on pharmacists’ shelves being dispensed – in family medicine cabinets and even in drawers in doctors’ surgeries.
The families were forced to sue the manufacturers for negligence, the government truly failed them in their time of need. A man whose duty it was to look after the Public’s Health couldn’t care less about the Public’s Health. He was a sociopath, a cold hearted man with absolutely no empathy.
Which brings us to the most notable thing about Enoch Powell, the notorious “Rivers of Blood” speech.
On the afternoon of 20 April 1968 at the Midland Hotel, in Birmingham, Enoch Powell addressed the meeting of the Conservative Political Centre. The Birmingham-based television company ATV saw an advance copy of the speech on the Saturday morning, and its news editor ordered a television crew to go to the venue, where they filmed sections of the speech. They knew that once he said those words, all hell would break loose.
You can read the entire speech here. I’m going to tell you the basics of what he said, what he meant and the impact it had. I’ll do my best to debunk him as well.
So the speech starts out quite confusing, as I said before the man has a wide vocabulary so unless you’re an avid reader it’s quite hard to understand what he’s saying. The jist of the first few paragraphs is that to be a Political Representative you have to make decisions that prevent bad things from happening, even if this bad thing wasn’t happening now- but far away in the distant future (like Climate Change). This bad thing he was fixated on was the so called “mass immigration” of individuals from Common Wealth Nations.
“A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalised industries. After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: ‘If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country.’ I made some deprecatory reply to the effect that even this government wouldn’t last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: ‘I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”
So basically he quoted a paranoid racist from his own constituency. He later went on to create a victim narrative which a lot of Racists love to indulge themselves in- they need a persecution complex to make them feel like they’re in the right. Of course he mixed in a bit of imagery, an allusion to slavery- the terrors of Colonialism turned upside down.
There’s not much I can say about this paragraph. For starters he’s quoting anecdotal evidence so it’s very hard to debunk, that’s why in a debate you should never accept anecdotal evidence as true- because it’s almost always bullshit. What I will say is that this old man was fucking delusional. Just look at these these stats:
As you can see the majority of Wolverhampton, Fuck- the majority of England is both White and Christian. Now I’m no Mathematician, but I know that 91% is bigger than 2%- in fact I’d wager that unless this 2% has the Godlike capabilities of Thor or Superman then they’ll have a rough time trying to hold the whip hand over that 91%.
The speech carries on. Enoch Powell plays the victim by saying stuff like this;
“I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation? The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so. Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that his country will not be worth living in for his children.”
Even in the Sixties dumbfuck Racists used Political Correctness to fuel their persecution narrative. By saying this Enoch portrays himself as some sort of brave hero who’s standing up to the man (even if this particular man has little to no power) and he’ll fight for you (and your delusions) so you ought to vote Tory.
He also throws in a few Racial Slurs in here now and again. Describing the Black population of the US as “Negroes” and as always he made sure to include a Xenophobic rant against America. He also refers to black children as “Piccaninies” which of course is another Racial Slur. He lambastes about the issues with the NHS (none of which are caused by immigrants, but he doesn’t care) and then talks about this letter from a person who told him a story of this old lady that they knew. Yes, this is anecdotal evidence of anecdotal evidence- it’s like inception for Racist Morons.
“Eight years ago in a respectable street in Wolverhampton a house was sold to a Negro. Now only one white (a woman old-age pensioner) lives there. This is her story. She lost her husband and both her sons in the war. So she turned her seven-roomed house, her only asset, into a boarding house. She worked hard and did well, paid off her mortgage and began to put something by for her old age. Then the immigrants moved in. With growing fear, she saw one house after another taken over. The quiet street became a place of noise and confusion. Regretfully, her white tenants moved out.
The day after the last one left, she was awakened at 7am by two Negroes who wanted to use her ‘phone to contact their employer. When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door. Immigrant families have tried to rent rooms in her house, but she always refused. Her little store of money went, and after paying rates, she has less than £2 per week. “She went to apply for a rate reduction and was seen by a young girl, who on hearing she had a seven-roomed house, suggested she should let part of it. When she said the only people she could get were Negroes, the girl said, ‘Racial prejudice won’t get you anywhere in this country.’ So she went home.
The telephone is her lifeline. Her family pay the bill, and help her out as best they can. Immigrants have offered to buy her house – at a price which the prospective landlord would be able to recover from his tenants in weeks, or at most a few months. She is becoming afraid to go out. Windows are broken. She finds excreta pushed through her letter box. When she goes to the shops, she is followed by children, charming, wide-grinning piccaninnies. They cannot speak English, but one word they know. ‘Racialist,’ they chant. When the new Race Relations Bill is passed, this woman is convinced she will go to prison. And is she so wrong? I begin to wonder.”
Ooof, that was quite scary- wasn’t it? It’s a kind of grimy fear that heart wrenching narrative gives you. Makes you feel all dirty. Makes the blood boil, too. I mean- imagine your Grand Mother being harassed by a bunch of Children and all this horrible stuff happening- of course you’d be angry.
It’s a good story- but of course none of it ever happened.
The British press at the time were skeptical of Powell’s claims (or atlas some of them were) so they decided to ask around about the woman. When they questioned him Powell steadfastly refused to identify the old woman he was talking about, writing to a Labour MP: “I never disclose … particulars likely to assist in the identification of constituents … whose cases I may use to illustrate circumstances.”
When grilled on television in January 1969 by David Frost, Powell was repeatedly asked whether he had verified the story. He deflected the questions, saying instead that he had “verified the source” and hadn’t the slightest doubt the story was true. So had Powell could have fallen for National Front propaganda- the equivalent of a politician today sharing a Racist Meme that was made up by a skinhead. Local and national press at the time tried to track down the elderly widow, but to no avail.
In 2007 the Radio 4 programme Document enlisted a historian to help sift through the paper trail. They narrowed it down to around 200 women who matched criteria such as having lived in the same street for years, being widowed during the war.
The search narrowed down to one woman: Drucilla Cotterill, a homeowner in Brighton Place, then aged 68, who had been taking in lodgers for some years. Most of the pieces fit, although Cotterill didn’t match up completely: she didn’t have a telephone, or lose sons during the war. The BBC interviewed former child residents of Brighton Place, who remembered excrement being put through a letterbox, and a dead dog being put through a window. However, other evidence suggested that things were far more friendly.
“It is hard to know exactly what his constituents were saying to him at the time,” said Robert Pearce, a former professor of modern history and author of Enoch Powell, a biography that came out in 2008. “But if it were a real person, it seems unlikely that it was all accurate.”
So Enoch Powell carefully laid out a narrative to portray himself-or people that were like minded- as victimized patriots yearning for the truth. Then quoted a delusional Racist from his constituency, played the victim card again, then gave some incredibly wrong statistics on Immigration and an embarrassing prediction of some kind of Dystopian Future where White people were slaves to Black people. With this apocalyptic imagery he further scared the bejeebies out of these Ignorant Englishmen by relishing in a bullshit story about an old Lady that didn’t exist who received abuse that never happened. To top it all off he suggested that there could be a full on Race War in Britain which is so Goddamn stupid even Nigel Farage couldn’t defend it.
Enoch Powell never does say “The Rivers of Blood” in the speech. In fact he always referred to it as the “Birmingham Speech” but the papers loved the title so it stuck. The name comes from this line;
“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood’.”
Powell is quoting a prophecy from Virgil’s Aeneid, a Roman epic telling the mythological tale of the founding of Rome. On arriving in Italy after many trials and tribulations, the Trojan warrior Aeneas consults a priestess, the Sibyl, to find out how his plans to create the new empire will turn out. Her reply includes the line quoted by Powell: she tells Aeneas that in the process of creating Rome, she saw wars and the River Tiber foaming with blood.
“She was saying that you’re going to found a multicultural, cosmopolitan state – and in the eyes of the Romans, Rome was the greatest civilisation – but it will be a painful process,” said Mary Beard, professor of classics at the University of Cambridge. Could this suggest a slightly more measured view of immigration – which may bring necessary problems in order to achieve a greater end – than the rest of Powell’s speech?
There are other examples of rivers being used in Roman literature as a metaphor for mixed nationalities, giving the idea of a flood of new people coming in – although Powell’s quote comes specifically from the Aeneid. “If it was any old person, you might think they’d just picked a line they liked the sound of and used it, but Powell was one of the best classicists of the twentieth century,” said Beard. “He’d have been well aware of the meaning of the line.”
Either way, any nuances of the Latin were lost on Powell’s audience. Most of the audience were surprisingly supportive of the speech. There was only one person in the entire Tory conference that was visibly annoyed by the blatant Racism. The majority of the country supported him.
So after this speech hit the airwaves, Enoch Powell became one of the most famous politicians in Britain, a divisive household name. None of what he said would come true. What did happen was that the National Front (a Racist UK Party) became more popular and more violent than ever. Immigrant families- particularly people of Indian, Middle Eastern, African or Caribbean descent were harassed and attacked.
One case is particularly devastating. Under the headline “Coloured family attacked”, the Times reported that 10 days after the speech a black family’s christening party in Wolverhampton, Powell’s own constituency, had been attacked by a gang of racist thugs chanting “Powell” and “Why don’t you go back to your own country.” The baby’s grandfather was slashed in the face with a knife. He’d been in Britain 13 years, and said “nothing like this has happened before. I am shattered”
By giving the Rivers of Blood speech, Powell had legitimized thoughts and speech that would have otherwise been disregarded as Racist drivel. Of course he got in some trouble afterwards, Ted Heath (the then Tory leader) was forced to fire him as Shadow Secretary. But by that time the damage was already done, Powell was one of the most notorious politicians in the country. He’s responsible for the Tory victory in the following election, he was the Parties hatchet man. A sacrificial lamb.
Black Sociologist Dr Clive Harris said; “I think Enoch Powell was aware that what he said in public was what a lot of people were thinking in private. He knew there was a lot of panic going on that time at government level about the numbers of Kenyan and Asian immigrants coming into Britain and how to cope with potentially thousands of them.”
The most distressing thing I find in this whole debacle is the possibility that Enoch Powell was not a Racist, that he may have been an Insincere Racist. Which is arguably worse since that implies he’s a liar, deliberately making a fuss for attention or a desperate grasp at power and influence.
Earlier in the week, Powell said to his friend Clement Jones, a journalist and then editor at the Wolverhampton Express & Star, “I’m going to make a speech at the weekend and it’s going to go up ‘fizz’ like a rocket; but whereas all rockets fall to the earth, this one is going to stay up.”
The speech was a power play. He took advantage of ignorant peoples fears about immigration, about people that looked and sounded different than them and he channeled it into those vicious words. The vast majority of England agreed with him at the time and an unsettling portion of the British public still agree with him.
Enoch never did hold any reputable position in Government. He was at odds with Ted Heaths Government, he was at odds with Thatcher all the time- even offended her on multiple occasions. He told his supporters to Vote Labour whenever he disapproved of the Tory Parties policies on Immigration and Europe, he actually left the Tories when they decided to join the European Economic Community (EEC, the foundation of the EU)- Powell was a notorious Euro-skeptic, one of the most influential in his generation.
This call to vote Labour surprised some of Powell’s supporters who were more concerned with beating socialism than the supposed loss of national independence. On the 25th of February, he made another speech at Shipley (Yorkshire), again urging a vote for Labour, saying he did not believe the claim that Wilson would renege on his commitment to renegotiation.
Which Powell believed was ironic because of Heath’s premiership: “In acrobatics Harold Wilson, for all his nimbleness and skill, is simply no match for the breathtaking, thoroughgoing efficiency of the present Prime Minister“. At this moment a heckler shouted “Judas!” Powell responded: “Judas was paid! Judas was paid! I am making a sacrifice!”
Heh, he thinks his voters can read. How adorable.
Later in the speech Powell said, “I was born a Tory, am a Tory and shall die a Tory. It is part of me… it is something I cannot alter“. In 1987, Powell said there was no contradiction between urging people to vote Labour whilst proclaiming to be a Tory: “Many Labour members are quite good Tories“.
Powell, in an interview on 26 February, said he would be voting for Helene Middleweek, the Labour candidate, rather than the Conservative Nicholas Budgen. Powell did not stay up on election night to watch the results on television, and when on 1 March he picked up his copy of The Times from his letterbox and saw the headline “Mr Heath’s general election gamble fails“, he reacted by singing the Te Deum. He later said: “I had had my revenge on the man who had destroyed the self-government of the United Kingdom“.
The election result was a “hung parliament”. Although the Tories had won the most votes, Labour finished five seats ahead of the Conservatives. The national swing to Labour was 1%; 4% in Powell’s heartland, the West Midlands conurbation; and 16% in his old constituency (although Budgen won the seat). According to the Telegraph journalist Simon Heffer, both Powell and Heath believed that Powell had been responsible for the Conservatives’ losing the election.
So once you leave the Tories the only place to go is down…or more specifically, County Down- Northern Ireland.
Yes, Enoch Powell was an MP for South Down. He was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) which he joined in 1974. He had visited Northern Ireland multiple times beforehand, he was a great sympathizer to the Unionists and agreed that the Six Counties in the North of Ireland should remain in the control of a Foreign Country 415 miles away.
He added a little bit of class to the party, which isn’t hard to do since he had a nice little English accent that was as smooth as silk and all the other Politicians sounded like seagulls stuck in a fucking blender. He wasn’t the only Englishman to be an MP for a Northern Irish Constituency, but he was one of the only ones to actually visit his constituency. Outside of that he was fairly insignificant, his fans in England stopped paying attention to him because he kept going on Xenophobic Rants about America (His supporters only like Xenophobic Rants so long as the aforementioned Foreigners don’t speak English) and he was very insignificant in Northern Ireland.
He strongly believed that it would survive only if the Unionists strove to integrate completely with the United Kingdom by abandoning devolved rule in Northern Ireland. He refused to join the Orange Order (because he was Catholic and didn’t want to ride a goat), the first Ulster Unionist MP at Westminster never to be a member and he was an outspoken opponent of the more extremist loyalism espoused by the Late Reverend Ian Paisley and his supporters.
Actually, on a note of Powell’s severe hatred of everything American, he believed in this conspiracy that the Americans were trying to persuade the British to surrender Northern Ireland into an all-Irish state because the condition for Irish membership of NATO, Powell claimed, was Northern Ireland.
The Americans wanted to close the “yawning gap” in NATO defence that was the southern Irish coast to northern Spain. Powell had a copy of a State Department Policy Statement from 15 August 1950, in which the American government said that the “agitation” caused by partition in Ireland “lessens the usefulness of Ireland in international organisations and complicates strategic planning for Europe…It is desirable that Ireland should be integrated into the defence planning of the North Atlantic area, for its strategic position and present lack of defensive capacity are matters of significance.”
Now of course this was a load of shite. Ireland values it’s neutrality (or at least it used to) a country that sat out a showdown with Fascism sure as fuck wasn’t going to let the Americans park their nukes on the coast of Cork for an enemy that might not (and never did) come to fruition.
Also, let’s just acknowledge that for the latter part of the 20th Century, Northern Ireland was a War-zone and the American Government wouldn’t dare give it a glimpse in fear of infuriating the British Home Office. John Hume spent the majority of his career in America lobbying so that they could get their balls out of the Home Office’s vice. So the idea that the Americans, who for a good portion of the latter 20th Century didn’t even try to negotiate peace, would somehow pressure the British into giving up their one reminder of their days as an Empire?
He was somewhat of an outcast in his party since he advocated for direct rule from West Minster- the other members of the UUP hated this idea since it meant they had to treat Catholics fairly. Just goes to show you that the United Kingdom is United in Name only. He also butted heads with the Late Great[?] Ian Paisley, a Sectarian Monster who really deserves an Article all for himself, Paisley was know to denounce Powell as “a foreigner and an Anglo-Catholic“.
So by Northern Irish standards, Enoch Powell would be considered a “Moderate“.
After a riot in Bristol in 1980, Powell asserted that the media were ignoring similar events in south London and Birmingham, and claimed: “Far less than the foreseeable New Commonwealth and Pakistan ethnic proportion would be sufficient to constitute a dominant political force in the United Kingdom able to extract from a government and the main parties terms calculated to render its influence still more impregnable. Far less than this proportion would provide the bases and citadels for urban terrorism, which would in turn reinforce the overt political leverage of simple numbers“.
He attacked “the false nostrums and promises of those who apparently monopolise the channels of communication. Who then is likely to listen, let alone to respond, to the proof that nothing short of major movements of population can shift the lines along which we are being carried towards disaster?”
In the 1980s Powell began espousing the policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. In a debate on the nuclear deterrent on 3 March 1981, Powell claimed that the debate was now more political than military; that the UK did not possess an independent deterrent and that through NATO the UK was tied to the nuclear deterrence theory of the United States.:843 In the debate on the address shortly after the general election of 1983, Powell picked up on Thatcher’s willingness, when asked, to use nuclear weapons as a “last resort”. Powell presented a scenario of what he thought the last resort would be, namely that the Soviet Union would be ready to invade the UK and had used a nuclear weapon on somewhere such as Rockall to demonstrate their willingness to use it:
“What would the United Kingdom do? Would it discharge Polaris, Trident or whatever against the main centres of population of the Continent of Europe or in European Russia? If so, what would be the consequence? The consequence would not be that we should survive, that we should repel our antagonist—nor would it be that we should escape defeat. The consequence would be that we would make certain, as far as is humanly possible, the virtual destruction and elimination of the hope of the future in these islands…. I would much sooner that the power to use it was not in the hands of any individual in this country at all.“
He went on to say that if the Soviet invasion had already begun and the UK resorted to a retaliatory strike the results would be the same, “We should be condemning, not merely to death, but as near as may be the non-existence of our population“. To Powell, an invasion would take place with or without the UK’s nuclear weapons and therefore there was no point in retaining them. He said that after years of consideration, he had come to the conclusion that there were no “rational grounds on which the deformation of our defence preparations in the United Kingdom by our determination to maintain a current independent nuclear deterrent can be justified“.
In July, a riot took place in Toxteth, Liverpool. On 16 July, Powell gave a speech in the Commons in which he said the riots could not be understood unless one takes into consideration the fact that in some large cities between a quarter and a half of those under 25 were immigrant or descended from immigrants. He read out a letter he had received from a member of the public about immigration that included the line: “As they continue to multiply and as we can’t retreat further there must be conflict“. A Labour MP Martin Flannery intervened, saying Powell was making “a National Front speech“. Powell predicted “inner London becoming ungovernable or violence which could only effectively be described as civil war” and Flannery intervened again to ask what Powell knew about inner cities.
He replied: “I was a Member for Wolverhampton for a quarter of a century. What I saw in those early years of the development of this problem in Wolverhampton has made it impossible for me ever to dissociate myself from this gigantic and tragic problem“. He also criticised the view that the causes of the riots were economic: “Are we seriously saying that so long as there is poverty, unemployment and deprivation our cities will be torn to pieces, that the police in them will be the objects of attack and that we shall destroy our own environment? Of course not“.
Despite studying the classics, Powell never came across this quote from Aristotle; “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” or at the very least he ignored it, hoping to keep the wool over the eyes of his dumb fuck voters.
Dame Judith Hart attacked his speech as “an evil incitement to riot“. Powell replied: “I am within the judgment of the House, as I am within the judgment of the people of this country, and I am content to stand before either tribunal“.
After the Scarman Report on the riots was published, Powell gave a speech on 10 December in the Commons. Powell disagreed with Scarman when he said that the black community was alienated because it was economically disadvantaged: the black community was alienated because it was alien.
So you can throw that “Enoch Powell wasn’t a Racist” rant out of the window- the man literally believed that foreigners were inherently violent because they were foreigners, or because they were the descendants of foreigners. All the while ignoring that literally everyone on the face of the earth is a descendant of a foreigner- in fact a few thousand years ago Europeans looked like this;
That there is Cheddar Man, I’m gonna call him Chad. He lived 10,000 years ago in what we now refer to as Britain. In fact 10% of White British ancestry are descendants of these people that lived there 10,000 years ago. The rest are presumably other tribes or later peoples who spread their genes later on e.g. Romans, Vikings, Saxons, Normans etc.
The most interesting thing about Chad here is his eyes. You see, every person who has ever has blue eyes is the descendant of a European 6,000-10,000 years ago. Back then everyone had brown eyes, but due to a genetic mutation one person developed blue eyes and when they mated they spread that gene to there children and so on.
There are more genes to decide eye colour than there are for deciding skin colour. So the reason most white British people and Europeans don’t look like Chad is because over time his people experienced less exposure to the sun and ate food that contributed to them developing paler skin. That’s the only real difference between had and Enoch- time and muscle tone.
Powell claimed tensions would worsen because the nonwhite population was growing: whereas in Lambeth (London Borough) it was 25%, of those of secondary school age it was 40%. Powell said that the government should be honest to the people by telling them in thirty years time, the black population of Lambeth would have doubled in size. Here’s the current demographics;
As you can see, there are far more White people in Labyrinth than literally every other ethnicity combined. Enoch Powell was wrong. Again.
Now Enoch and Thatcher were an interesting pair. Powell often berated her in Parliament and Thatcher was often offended by his remarks, however when he died she said she always enjoyed listening to his speeches- I assume she said it out of politeness. When researching this article I found this funny nteraction between the two. John Casey recorded an exchange between Powell and Thatcher during a meeting of the Conservative Philosophy Group:
“Edward Norman (then Dean of Peterhouse) had attempted to mount a Christian argument for nuclear weapons. The discussion moved on to ‘Western values’. Mrs Thatcher said (in effect) that Norman had shown that the Bomb was necessary for the defence of our values. Powell: ‘No, we do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government.’ Thatcher (it was just before the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands): ‘Nonsense, Enoch. If I send British troops abroad, it will be to defend our values.’ ‘No, Prime Minister, values exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed.’ Mrs Thatcher looked utterly baffled. She had just been presented with the difference between Toryism and American Republicanism.“
The difference between a Tory and an American Republican is quite simple. When the UK bombs Syria, Boris Johnson believes that he’s fighting for British Values. When America bombs Syria, Paul Ryan knows he’s fighting just to sell more missiles.
In 1984, Powell claimed that the CIA had murdered Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and that the assassination of the MPs Airey Neave and Robert Bradford were carried out at the direction of elements in the Government of the United States of America with the strategic objective of preventing Neave’s policy of integration of Ulster fully into the United Kingdom.
Then, in 1986, Powell stated that the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA, like the IRA but a lot more sectarian) had not killed Neave but that “MI6 and their friends” were responsible, Powell citing as his sources for such an astonishing accusation by a British parliamentarian information that had been disclosed to him from within the Royal Ulster Constabulary (Northern Irish police force, basically like the Gestapo). Margaret Thatcher however, rejected and dismissed these claims.
For his final years in parliament all he really did was go on a few racist rants whenever there were Race Riots or something happened with the EEC or Margaret Thatcher wasn’t being so bitchy so Powell teased her about it. At this stage in the game Powell had lost the majority of support he had in England, mainly because nobody gave a fuck about Northern Ireland. Enoch was now considered fringe.
Enoch lost his seat in 1987, serving roughly thirteen years as an MP for South Down. Soon after that he retired from Politics altogether. He’d occasionally give an interview or a speech but for the most part he kept to himself. UKIPs then leader, Alan Sked, had written to Powell in the Mid Nighties in the Hopes that he would stand as a candidate, but Powell declined citing that he was retired.
Nigel Farage is on record for writing to Enoch, requesting that he give a speech at one of their
pub crawls Party Conferences but he declined, saying some bullshit on how “you’re good and you don’t need me” in reality Powell probably smelled the shite out of UKIP a mile away. Honest to God, it’s a miracle they made it to the end of the 90’s.
Powell became very religious soon after retirement, even wrote it in his book The Evolution of the Gospel, published in August 1994, Powell said he had arrived at the view that Jesus Christ was not crucified but stoned to death by the Jews. Bishop John Austin Baker commented “He is a great classicist, but theology is out of his academic field.”
Enoch Powell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and died on the 8th of February 1998, at the age of 85 in the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers in Westminster, London. Many Tories at the time Praised him, even Ted Heath and Thatcher. A thousand people showed up to his funeral.
Five years after his death no serious Candidate could survive an election after referring to Powell or even going as far to say “Powell was Right” his legacy was shunned by most. Only the crabby old racists and the victims of the Hate Crimes he incited remember his name, remember his cruel words. Even Farage thinks his words were too harsh, thats why he says “He was right in Principle“.
A lot of people admire that about him, the fact that he stood by his words- by his principles. He’s was Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Europe, Anti-America. He never changed his mind for thirty long years. It’s admirable, if it wasn’t a pathetic attempt at a power grab that backfired horrendously.
Powell wanted to be the Viceroy of India, but he’d settle for Prime Minister. But he didn’t account for Ted Heath having the nerve to fire him from his job- not because Ted Heath is sympathetic to the plight of Immigrants, but because his other cabinet ministers threatened to resign just so they could thin out the heard.
The Rivers of Blood speech is Fifty years old now. On the 20th of April 2018, the BBC are going to broadcast the speech. Read aloud by Ian McDiarmid, who played Powell in a Play and also the Emperor from Star Wars. Coincidentally the 20th of April is Adolph Hitler’s birthday. So Emperor Palpitane is going to read one of the most notorious Race Baiting speeches in British history on the day that one of the most maniacal dictator’s that ever lived was born.
…Wow, the 20th of April is like the Friday the 13th of Racism.
So of course people are outraged that the BBC is broadcasting the speech, but to be fair they said they’re going to break it up into different parts for analysis. So they’re literally fact checking a dead man. Opponents to this broadcast believe that by airing the speech the BBC will have given legitimacy to people who genuinely believe these things- to them it’ll seem like a victory.
Hell, even Jacob-Rees Mogg doesn’t like Enoch Powell. The other day he shared an Editorial from his Dad’s paper from the late 60’s denouncing the Rivers of Blood speech as Evil. Mogg’s fans weren’t too happy about that. Yeah, I’m not surprised either.
And of course let’s bare in mind that when Powell first said this speech, Hate Crimes skyrocketed. With Brexit coming underway the UK economy will be in the gutter soon enough, mass unemployment will result in a lot of angry young men in the street and from that another Powell will rise, point at a foreigner (or someone who looks foreign) and say “There’s the reason the reason your life is in the gutter- there it is.”
Proponents argue that Powell needs to be remembered, so that Britain can acknowledge its insidious past. That his shadow looms over Britain and we can no longer afford to look away at what he has done.
Personally I’m a little conflicted with this whole thing. I mean I get the argument that we must face our past and the whole free speech issue- but the Government isn’t actively suppressing the speech, they’re not going to burst down your door and arrest you for reading it out loud. So answer me this question; imagine a Member of Parliament and imagine an idiot, but I repeat myself.
Imagine a politician who not only lied about a group of people, but lied for their own gain. And when that power grab failed they were forced to double down on these lies, these objective falsehoods with such ferocity that it was painful. Imagine a Politician who believed that certain members of the population were inherently violent because they were from somewhere else, imagine a politician who openly discussed conspiracy theories about their nations allies, imagine a politician who willfully refused to save lives out of pure callousness- who willfully endangered children out of spite…would you really want that politicians words, their lies, their blatant bigotry to be broadcasted on live radio?
So that’s who Enoch Powell is. A colonial relic, a depressed old racist, the man who paved the way for Nigel Farage and ultimately Brexit. The tragedy of life is that the story of our existence is poorly written. Our heroes are too flawed to bare and our villains are mundane, pathetic creatures not worthy of hate or fear- they’re pitiful men and women. Incapable of basic human emotions that we teach our children; sharing, peace, kindness, empathy.
I don’t know how long we’ll be talking about Enoch Powell, but I hope we won’t have to soon enough. When none of this Race baiting bullshit matters anymore, but I suppose that’s a little too optimistic. I’ll leave you on this note;
The town of Wolverhampton were debating whether or not they should put up a blue plaque in his memory, the only physical mural he’s likely to ever receive. Some people argue that he should because he was a “principled politician and a great influencer in British politics” others would argue that he was a “Racist bastard that shouldn’t be celebrated- setting back the debate on immigration decades by alienating moderates and legitimizing Racists” personally I follow the logic of a man called Joseph Cocker from Herefodshire:
“Blue plaques generally associate a place with a famous person. I don’t see why the person has to be good. Enoch Powell should not be consigned to oblivion; he should be remembered, if for no other reason than that he was so gloriously wrong. The proposed blue plaque might read ‘Enoch Powell, Conservative MP for Wolverhampton 1950-74, cabinet minister and noted racist‘”.