So what would Enoch Powell do?


And indeed why does it matter? I was not very surprised when the Telegraph came up on Dec 13th with a story that twenty years ago, Nigel Farage had invited (or “begged”, as they span it) Enoch Powell to endorse UKIP and to stand for the party.  I was surprised that the Telegraph saw fit to give the story star billing as the lead headline. Perhaps (as I Tweeted on the day) that has something to do with the fact that there’s a General Election coming in a few months. Maybe the Telegraph believes that there is still some stigma in the public mind associated with Enoch Powell, so that they can damage UKIP by association. I think they’re wrong.

Enoch Powell was a soldier, a statesman and a scholar. Contrary to the leftist myth, he was not a racist. He served in India, and was highly regarded and respected by Indian troops under his command. And he never did use the phrase “Rivers of Blood”, though it passed into media myth and public consciousness — rather as Rick, in “Casablanca”, never said “Play it again, Sam”, but everyone thinks he did.

Enoch Powell had been an effective government Minister, and he was certainly acceptable to the Ulster Unionists, whom he joined in 1974. He passionately believed in the independence of his country, and he foresaw, perhaps more accurately than most people before or since, the dire consequences of the EU integration that our leaders foolishly accepted. He also anticipated the effects of mass immigration, expecting (quite rightly, as it has proved) that mass immigration would place intolerable pressures on social cohesion and social infrastructure (yes, and overcrowded motorways).

But he declined to join UKIP in 1994. Why? Well in those days it was possible to make the case that UKIP was a small party that might go nowhere, and that the Conservative Party had the potential to become the champion of British Independence. In these days, that case can no longer be made. Powell’s two great issues, Europe and immigration, just happen to be UKIP’s two great issues today. And they resonate with voters today just as in Powell’s day.

Nonetheless, Powell’s former archivist Richard Ritchie comes out and says that Powell would have regarded Farage and UKIP as “denying the British people a referendum on Europe” by taking support from the Tories who have promised a referendum. Maybe that shallow analysis explains why Powell was the statesman and Mr. Ritchie was the archivist.

The great thing about Powell was his laser-like clarity of thought. He could strip away the cant and the false assumptions and get to the core of issues. If he were around today, he would make mincemeat of Cameron’s vaunted promise of a referendum. He would note that Cameron offered one once before, and failed to deliver. He would have recognised that significant renegotiation of the EU treaties is not an option, and that the only way out is to leave. He would have torn into Cameron’s ambiguity about what he will do when his renegotiation is seen to fail. And he would conclude, as UKIP concludes, that the Cameron promise is nothing to do with having a referendum, and everything to do with Conservative prospects in the 2015 General Election.

He would also note that all the movement achieved in recent months — the concerns of the main-stream parties on immigration and the EU — has been driven by UKIP’s success, and would not have happened without it. Far from “denying the British people a referendum”, UKIP is taking action which brings Independence Day closer. And every UKIP vote carries us forward to that objective.

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18 Responses to So what would Enoch Powell do?

  1. Thomas Fox says:

    The most eloquent and qualified MP statesman of his time told us what would become of Great Britain if immigration was to continue unabated !

    • David says:

      Rather a good example of the downside to mass influx today in Oz. The so called refugee now wants to kill those who offered shelter. From Iran, with his mindset I would think he was really at home amongst like minded types back home
      They are welcome to his poxy corpse

      Asylum my Arras,

      • Jane Davies says:

        This creature should not have been granted bail after a string of criminal activities and then he could not have done this. I hope he is enjoying a virgin free hell.

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    The sight of the rich Robin Hood (not) the other night was a bit of an anti climax. Question Time with Brand! I’m a comedian m8, can’t be a politician, might turn into one.

    The following of the student activists and the female loon at the audience rear tells us enough. Don’t know why Brand rants so much – its the past governments that fouled up and I think his Labour m8s sure know how to repeatedly do that. Forget these Tories…they are the wrong ones and I hope disappear.

    Heath should have gone..not Powell. But brains/skill/experience lacks amongst PPE’s.

    Climate fixed yet…thought not. Lima not bad for the expenses and CO2 expulsion was it? Bit of damage to some archaeology…numb nuts abound!

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Heath? I knew his racing skipper of Morning Cloud, a local man. He spoke well of Mr Eath, as he was called on board. Thats the only good thing I can say of him, a retired Army Major (Served as a Captain), who sold us out for his hobbies, into the EU. Was he a committed Internationalist or not? I don’t know but he loved his boats..

      Enoch made a Brigadier, hell, thats the glass ceiling on all promotion for an ordinary working class bloke. He did extremely well, and his mind must have been one of the very best outside of Science.

      We never raced against Morning Cloud, but beat his Skipper a few times.

      Was Arras the square edge David?

  3. Richard111 says:

    Enoch was my hero. He spoke the truth and kept his word. Something at which modern politicians fail miserably.

  4. Richard111 says:


  5. catalanbrian says:

    No, he did not actually say the words “Rivers of Blood” but he did say, in a speech attacking immigration “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood” .

  6. Maureen Gannon says:

    Well you ask what would Enoch have done ? for a start he would not have allowed our country to be dismembered and demographically changed on the altar of Germany’s Europe as the self self self egos that now sit in the House have done , if I sound bitter yes I am having lived through a war to prevent Europe being ruled by Nazi Germany I read half the speech this week of the German Foreign Minister where he promotes the idea of Germany and it’s future read this and if your blood does not run cold it never will. I could not read it all I heard Hitlers speeches that was enough. I am glad I have no grandchildren , and why is it we only learn these things via the internet , surely if as they tell us we are all europeans we should here this from the media and our airheads.

  7. eddie coke says:

    I thank good ole Russ B for bringing up Enoch Powell on QT. I’d forgotten there was far, far more to EP than the “rivers of blood” speech. I just listened to one of his speeches on the EEC, and laughed when he mentioned Callaghan’s talk of “getting reforms”. Sounds a bit like renegotiations, eh? See clip:

  8. Brin Jenkins says:

    A great man caring for others more than himself, living modestly in his small terraced home his quietness belied his logic and intelligence, until he spoke. Then it was his good mannered and thoughtful arguments that made him my hero, never beaten in any debate, he was sold out by political pygmies.

    Contrast him with Blair, Cameron or most modern leaders. Enoch required no security, or armies of bodyguards, a proper English gentleman. Now we have greedy, weak, and emasculated new men grabbing the biggest slice of cake every time .

  9. Jane Davies says:

    Powell would have field day if only he could come back and chew up these lightweight public school boy politicians ‘running’ the country. He was not afraid to say things how they were and did not care about making enemies if the truth hurt. We need politicians like him who do not rely on spin and smoke and mirror lies to try to convince the electorate that they are in charge and working for the good of the taxpayers. The idiot Brand likened Nigel Farage to Enoch Powell so take it as a compliment! There are far worse to be compared with that’s for sure.

  10. barrymx5 says:

    Interesting that the DTel still does not understand that it is helping rather than hindering UKIP. But DTel did look a little foolish and lacking judgement to run that as main headline.

  11. John Airey says:

    The full text of the speech has the phrase ” As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”” –

    It’s this phrase that’s been altered from a simile to a prophecy.

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