Sub-titled:- “All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.”
Enoch Powell achieved many things in a brilliant military and political career. His one fatal flaw was to speak his mind, in absolute terms, without any chance of a partial retreat, pleading a misunderstanding: or a poor choice of words. His mistake, which of course was to cost him his career, his reputation and many friends, was to attack the Race Relations Act, which was shortly to be debated in the House of Commons. The theme of his speech was simply based upon his fear of his culture, of a white man’s country, being swamped by immigrants of a different coloured skin with different way of living. He was an honest man, speaking in a warning to his fellow Conservatives, and I believe that he was not a bigot, as most portray him. He had a brilliant mind, but unfortunately he had not the breadth of experience of the wider world to understand that the black skins were wrapped around Christians, maybe of differing colours of those he was speaking to: with maybe a deeper attachment to a common religion than he could ever have imagined. He had seen the floods of black West Indians, invited by the Government, disembarking from ships such as the Empire Windrush, and he had the unnerving experience of receiving letters from constituents who were too afraid to give their addresses when writing letters to their Member of Parliament whilst complaining about the ‘inrush from the Windrush’!
The paragraph within Powell’s speech which rang so true to the way that Powell thought, was this:- But while to the immigrant entry to this country was admission to privileges and opportunities eagerly sought, the impact upon the existing population was very different. For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament: a law, which cannot, and is not intended, to operate to protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.
Powell believed that his native Briton was being made almost a second-class citizen in his own country, and of the course the new Race Relations Act, had that dubious stench about it; of giving the incomer the whip-hand over those who were born in Britain; he was horrified by the unbending rhetoric of those politicians who promoted the Act, and he was determined to speak out.
He was, of course, dead right; and at the same time, dead wrong. Yes, the Caribbean influence brought indiscipline and criminality to areas once free of crime, but in the main, the immigrant population were after jobs, a better standard of living, and the fact that they were, upon arrival in Great Britain, told that they had all the rights and privileges of native-born Englishmen; with no probationary period, must have been like an electric shock to these people. We, alone of all the nations of the world, had said to those who lived in the ‘Commonwealth’ formerly the British Empire, that you are all British citizens, and you are welcome. This was a political decision, purely and simply, made by people who have never had to endure the results of mass immigration to THEIR street, to THEIR district, to THEIR Town or City, No, the places where the politicians, the faceless civil servants who planned and penned the Race Relations Act actually lived, were as far removed from the realities of mass immigration as Brixton then, was to Chalfont St. Giles. But when I write of mass immigration, as imagined and brought about in 1968, the numbers were large, but manageable; being in the range of around 30,000 to 50,000 per year. I wrote manageable, because each family had to find or be given a place to live, and the Act would remove the old signs which stated ‘No Irish or Blacks’. Maybe that alone was sufficient to remove some of the surface bigotry, but old habits and memories die hard, and the ones who have lived here for decades are all too aware that certain of the first category mentioned in those signs; were and had been busy, trying to maim or kill any British soldier or civilian in their way.
But, returning to the speech, I would quote certain sentences, and then attempt to analyse or discuss them in the strange and cataclysmic world of todays’ Britain.
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.
They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth,
their children unable to obtain school places,
their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition,
There are among the Commonwealth immigrants who have come to live here in the last fifteen years or so, many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated and whose every thought and endeavour is bent in that direction. But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one to boot.
- Then the immigrants moved in….
- There are sectors, whole neighbourhoods where a white face is a stranger, a foreigner; where the all-pervading noise is emanating from a muezzin’s call to prayer; where a white woman would be routinely insulted, spat at, or simply warned to leave, because ‘This is Our Neighbourhood, This is Allah’s back garden, and the Kuffar are not welcome, with your bare legs, and your whoreish clothing, and your uncovered hair and face’!
- ..unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth,
- I do not have to point out the strange stupidity of planning, building and equipping a NHS for a population of 60 million, and then, besides the flood of 2.5 million Eastern European immigration after the EU floodgates were removed; allowing the swarm of some 4 million migrants from the cesspit pools of the Commonwealth nations such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, and any others who could crawl, slither or hide away across the channel to ‘The Promised Land’.
- ….their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition,
- When you can drive along whole streets, and never see a white European face; THAT is the change that he foresaw, but fifty years on from the speech, that is what we see as normal.
- …..many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated…But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one to boot.
- The 2.75 million U.K. followers of Islam reject the very idea and concept of integration. They only follow the words of their bloody Prophet, and when you realise that, for some, but maybe not for all; his words of o’ when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them are as the Word of God, then you might realise what we have allowed to enter this Country. As for Integration, THEIR Good Book states the Kafir may be deceived, plotted against, hated, enslaved, mocked, tortured and worse.
Powell’s final words from that fateful speech are prophetic, but not in the manner in which he foresaw. He likened the problems which were arising even then in the American South, with the descendants of Slavery, which may be transferring and be seen in his own beloved England, and did not even consider the possibility that we here in Great Britain had a different attitude to people who are and were; basically, just like us.
As Enoch Powell said:- As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’. That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.
I write in these terms and on this particular subject because there is a programme on BBC Radio 4’s Archive On 4 which covers the whole speech. Needless to state that there shall be lots and lots of BBC Luvvie comment and dissection of this ‘terrible event’, but, as the man said ‘You have to be there to understand it!”