Monday, July 02, 2012

Enoch Powell's real prejudices are alive and thriving – in the rhetoric of the Left

Powell was a Conservative politician who warned in 1968 that Britain was letting too many blacks in.  He was widely condemned by the intelligentsia but praised by many working class Brits.  At the subsequent election, a common unofficial slogan was:  "If you want a n*gger for your neighbour, vote Labour".  There are still a lot of people in Britain who say:  "Enoch was right"

What was the key prejudice in Enoch Powell's infamous 1968 speech, which everyone is talking about again following Powell's 100th birthday? It wasn't actually hatred of immigrants, whom Powell believed to be ambitious, ferociously so. Rather it was fear of native Britons. It was fear of what white Brits, or what Powell referred to as the "ordinary working man", might do if more and more foreigners turned up in their towns.

Indeed, Powell explicitly argued that "the sense of alarm and resentment lies not with the immigrant population but with those among whom they have come". It was these people, he said, these "ordinary Englishmen", who posed a threat to the social order, since their anti-immigrant anger had become so intense that to introduce more immigrants would be to "risk throwing a match in to gunpowder". In short, "ordinary working men" were a powder-keg of unpredictable emotions whom the state should try its best not to antagonise. Or as Powell put it, "The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils", including the evil of "ordinary working men" having their "alarm and resentment" further stirred up.

Even Powell's most notorious line – "like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood" – was a prediction not of immigrant behaviour but of native British violence against immigrants. Powell said native Brits, "for reasons which they could not comprehend" (presumably because they were a bit dim), were feeling dangerously like "strangers in their own country".
So Powell's speech was not only a piece of scaremongering about immigrant numbers. It was also a slur against working people, whom he presumed, for his own narrow political purposes, to be parochial, intolerant of foreignness, and given to outbursts of ethnic envy and violence.

Today, that Powellite prejudice is alive and thriving – in the rhetoric of the Left. In a wickedly ironic historic twist, today it is those who claim to be anti-racist and to hate everything Enoch stood for who maintain the Powellite view of Britain as a potentially atavistic hellhole, inhabited by resentful whites who are one provocation away from filling rivers with immigrant blood.

Of course, they have made a tiny PC tweak to this Powellite prejudice: where he argued that the arrival of more immigrants would explode the gunpowder of resentment in white working communities, they argue that heated debate about or criticism of immigration will do that.

Anti-racist commentators are forever insisting that allowing the BNP to appear on TV or other public platforms "gives encouragement to the thug on the street to engage in racist… violence", as if ordinary people are empty vessels easily filled with anti-immigrant spite. They claim that in the local areas where far-Right politicians make belligerent speeches about the problems of immigration, "racial violence and racial hatred" intensify, because, apparently, working-class automatons hear something hateful and act on it.



Bird of Paradise said...

The trouble for the british was when they opened their country to illegal aliens and now their paying the price for their liberal ideas

Anonymous said...

Coming soon to Dearbornistan, MI.

A. Levy said...

Here is a perfect example of what he was talking about. It's also an example of what happens when people replace common sense with political correctness, as has been the case with Britain. It should also serve notice to the weak, gullible, and mindless sheeple of America who are headed in the very same direction.

Jenifar said...

As I am quiet new in Jewish, looking around for some Jewish information> Got something important here. Nice to get it.
This piece of video helped me forgive and let go of my frustration.