Who’s afraid of Enoch Powell?

Who’s afraid of Enoch Powell? By Tobias Anderson.

The BBC is broadcasting Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech performed by the actor Ian McDiarmid. The speech is not going to be delivered whole, but interspersed by ‘’contemporary commentary’’ — a kind of politically approved intermission to prevent viewers from digesting too much undiluted hate speech. But even this edited version has provoked the authoritarian sensibilities of the multiculturalist left. If Enoch Powell’s speech is delivered it will ‘inflame hatred’, ‘normalise’ and ‘legitimise’ racism, and presumably trigger a Srebrenica on the Thames. This broadcast must be stopped, claim ‘infuriated’ politicians and commentators. But why this outrage?

Why does a speech written by a man now dead, delivered by a left-leaning actor, cause a borderline pathological response from our political commentariat? Why does the spectral figure of Enoch Powell — even after all these decades — still haunt the liberal mind? … If multiculturalism really has worked — and that is the main liberal critique of Powell — why can’t we look at Powell from a dispassionate position of historical curiosity?

Of course the real reason why the left doesn’t want us to listen to Powell is because they know deep down that in many respects he was right.

Britain hasn’t emerged as some infinitely hybridised cosmopolitan utopia. Even if some of Powell’s predictions have not been entirely fulfilled, many have turned out to be correct.

The mainstream liberal narrative, that Britain simply had a wave of immigration, some people were nasty racists, and then we all adjusted and settled down into a cohesive society, is of course nonsense….

We now really are changing, with white British people a minority in Birmingham, London, Slough and Luton. …

Some, such as the demographer David Coleman, have predicted that the white British will constitute an ethnic minority at some point probably in 2060s. …

Beyond the relentless narrative construction by the liberal media, there is a real England out there, which is quietly but profoundly uncomfortable with the abrupt alteration of our national existence. We have witnessed increased racial residential segregation in most parts of the country, with white Britons gradually exiting many major urban centres. …

Multiculturalism since the 1960s has meant in practice that we have to surrender any long term concern for the future of this country. We can no longer reliably say that there will be some sense of historical continuity, that our grandchildren will live in a society which at least in its outward forms resembles our own. …

Recent revelations about the extent of Asian grooming gangs in places such as Telford and Newcastle, the sharply escalating homicide rate in London, and the ever prevalent terror threat, reinforce the fact that this is a nation in crisis. And in the left’s censorious response to Powell’s speech there is a tacit acceptance of the essential instability of multicultural societies.

hat-tip Stephen Neil