This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark speech of Enoch Powell on immigration into the UK. Powell, at the time was Conservative MP for Wolverhampton and had been a Cabinet Minister in a Conservative Government. He was therefore a major national figure with an impressive academic pedigree. This speech was in fact one of several he made to Conservative Party members on the threat to the British people of the mass immigration which was then gathering momentum, but it was the one that predicted “rivers of blood”. I doubt Powell anticipated the storm of publicity and the seismic effect on national politics that followed.
Powell was not a populist, as events would clearly demonstrate. He was not seeking to propel himself into the leadership of the Conservative Party or to lead a radical breakaway movement. One has to assume that he was motivated by alarm at the transformation of his city and region by immigration from the Third World, and also responding to the perceived alarm of the constituents he represented. In short, we can conclude that his speeches were honorable in intent and rooted in contemporary events.
Powell was not aware that a new Class was emerging in the UK and elsewhere in the Western world and flexing its (Leftist) muscles. I doubt he would have grasped that the BBC was assuming the leadership of this new Class and its quest for control of the political process.
There are decisive moments in history and politics and such moments only occur when more than one force finds common ground. Powell’s constituency was situated in the heart of the UK’s Black Country (not a racial term but one used to describe the effects of the Industrial revolution of the previous century). It was an area where engineering and British ingenuity had flowered for more than a hundred years and Wolverhampton’s engineering industry was characterized by small businesses and workshops. Powell represented Small Business and its owners and workers and these people had nothing to gain from mass immigration. Unfortunately for Powell and his supporters, Big Business had much to gain from mass immigration and globalization (though this was not a term used at the time). Big Businesses were the financial backers of the Conservative Party, even though small business people often made up the rank-and-file of the Party’s activists.
Powell’s speech was quickly condemned by both the BBC and most of its Leftist Media Class comrades, as well as by the Leftist Academic world that predictably has inextricable links with the Media Class.
It is a fact of life that many people, when not directly suffering from a threat, would rather not dwell on it. It is also a fact of life that such people would prefer that no-one should “stir things up”. “Shoot the Messenger” is one consequence of such reactions. Thus the highly orchestrated Media Class attack on Powell made much of the dangers of his speech in that it would cause the very violence that he was warning against. Powell’s speech did however strongly resonate with the people of the Black Country, who were already experiencing the undesirable consequences of enforced multi-culturalism and multi-racialism. Thousands of industrial workers, in an unforeseen consequence of the Media Class campaign against Powell, marched in his support through the streets of Wolverhampton and elsewhere. These spontaneous demonstrations of White indigenous workers and small business people terrified the political establishment, for they revealed a people who were potentially politically footloose.
Powell faced an implacable enemy that he probably had not anticipated. International Big Business was partly responsible for the mass immigration and had everything to gain from its continuation and Big Business had the Conservative Party bought and paid for. The Conservative Party leadership wasted no time in publicly expressing outrage at Powell, condemning him and his views and new-found supporters, and isolating him within the Party. I suspect that Powell was astonished, dismayed and unprepared for all this. To his credit he did not capitulate by expressing regret for his words and views. Unlike the vast majority of gutless right-leaning politicians who have subsequently faced Media-orchestrated intimidation and groveled for forgiveness (almost always without getting it!), Powell never stopped expressing his beliefs. He was one of a rare breed – a politician with integrity. Unfortunately for the British people, he was not a radical!
Powell could have toured Britain’s industrial heartland and aroused the same mass following that he had stumbled upon in the Black Country, but he declined to do so. He could have built a Party that would have transformed British politics in the most radical way, but he was not a radical and had no stomach for such a challenge. Steeped in a backward-looking and academic conservatism he had no grasp of the possibilities that were on offer and so unwittingly betrayed the people to whom he had given a fleeting voice.
His speech is now routinely referred to as ‘inflammatory’, ‘racist’, and ‘incendiary’ by the Media Class. Those British people who wished to shoot the messenger went back to sleep and those who tried to pick up the banner he had raised were tarred with the brush that had successfully tarred him. Big Business, the ever-more-powerful Media Class and its Leftist allies and the establishment Parties (all now dependent on Media Class approval) worked to ensure that mass immigration would continue to swamp the ethnic British people and that National integrity would be abandoned in favor of the EC and supra-national laws.
The malignant forces in Western society that have coalesced and surreptitiously undermined its nation states, have done to Enoch Powell what they have done to Joe McCarthy, for they have demonized both so that subsequent generations have assumed that they were bad people on a par with Hitler and Himmler.
Both Joe McCarthy and Enoch Powell were flawed men but they were men who proclaimed the truth as they saw it, suffered vilification for doing so and were more right than wrong. Both were, in the view of this website, heroic and we should work to rescue their reputations.
A future posting on this website will be of an extract from the writing of George Weller on Powell’s parting from the Conservative Party. In the meantime readers, California and the UK are shivering as a result of continuing below-average temperatures.