I can’t help thinking back to the words of ‘Enoch Powell’.
On Saturday 20 April 1968 he made the controversial speech in Birmingham, in which he warned his audience of what he believed would be the consequences of continued unchecked immigration from the Commonwealth to Britain. It was an allusion to Virgil towards the end of the speech, which is remembered for its title “The Rivers of Blood Speech”.. I quote..
“For these dangerous and divisive elements the legislation proposed in the Race Relations Bill is the very pabulum they need to flourish. Here is the means of showing that the immigrant communities can organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons, which the ignorant and the ill informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”
Britain’s’ Prime Minister at the time, Edward Heath sacked Powell from his Shadow Cabinet the day after the speech, and he never held another senior political post. Powell received almost 120,000 (predominantly positive) letters and a Gallup poll at the end of April showed that 74% of those asked agreed with his speech.
The Sunday Times declared it “an evil speech”, stating “This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our post-war history. The Times branded his speeches “racialist”, Powell sued it for libel, but withdrew when he was required to provide the letters he had quoted from.
So, you might ask, what has this to do with today. Simple, we just need to look at the current situation in London. History has shown us that Enoch Powell was not wrong.
We may or may not agree with his speech, but what we can’t over look is what has happened over the past 40 odd years.
If we think that we are safe, perhaps we need to think again. The situation here is in many ways no different.
We are sitting on a smouldering fire and “flame is a fickle mistress”.