His commitment to the British nation state, and above all to the Parliament which embodied it, made him pay relentless attention to the visceral issues which lay behind the questions of the day. “Enoch was right”, taxi drivers always used to say 25 years ago. They meant, right about the dangers of mass immigration. Some of them were racists, but I don’t think most were. They had a pride in the identity of their nation and a fear when they felt it threatened. Powell spoke to these feelings, and although his language was inflammatory, he was right to raise the subject. In a well-balanced, often critical essay in this book, Tom Bower goes through the whole “Rivers of Blood” legacy. He points out that Powell’s prediction of the scale of the problem turned out to be more accurate than that of his critics. the telegraph
Enoch Powell would have been 100 this year.
It is, I think, interesting to reflect on the England which might have been had he been just a little more electable, a little more ambitious.
He rejected the United Nations, nuclear deterrence, the “special relationship”, international human rights and, of course, the European Union. His attitude to the British constitution was rather like that of a jealous Muslim father who locks his daughter indoors whenever she so much as looks at a young man from the wrong tribe. the telegraph
Most importantly, Powell was a romantic. He longed for an England in which the English and those willing to rapidly become English would feel at home. This was not such a bad thing.
As I watched the Queen’s 60th Jubilee I was struck at how appealing the pageantry, the Thames, the bunting, the Lifeguards and the carriages actually were. Symbols of a nation which, sadly, is sinking beneath the waves of immigration, Eurocratization and human rights flim flam which are, in fact, alien to the culture Powell wanted to protect.