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8 juillet 2012 7 08 /07 /juillet /2012 04:45

Enoch Powell

John Enoch Powell, MBE (16 June 1912 – 8 February 1998) was a British politician, classical scholar, poet, writer, linguist and soldier. He served as a Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP) (1950–74), Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP (1974–1987), and Minister of Health (1960–63). HP Mini 210-2046sf Keyboard

He attained most prominence in 1968, when he made the controversial Rivers of Blood speech against immigration. He was then controversially sacked from his position as Shadow Defence Secretary (1965–68) in the Shadow Cabinet ofEdward Heath. He had few friends in the establishment. HP Mini 210-2050ec Keyboard

Michael Heseltine condemned the River's of Blood speech as having a "racist tone" and of being an "explosion of bigotry”. Thirty years later, however, Heath would admit that his remarks on the "economic burden of immigration" had been "not without prescience."[1] HP Mini 210-2050ee Keyboard

A poll at the time suggested that 74% of the UK population agreed with the Powell's opinions [2] and his supporters claim that this large public following[3][4] that Powell attracted may have helped the Conservatives to win the 1970 general election,[5]:568 and perhaps cost them the February 1974 general election[5]:710–2, HP Mini 210-2050es Keyboard

at which Powell turned his back on the Conservatives by endorsing a vote for Labour, who returned as a minority government in early March following a hung parliament. He returned to the House of Commons in October 1974 as the Ulster Unionist Party MP for the Northern Irish constituency of South Downuntil he was defeated in the 1987 general election. HP Mini 210-2050ev Keyboard

Before entering politics, he had been a classical scholar, becoming a full Professor of Ancient Greek at the age of 25. During the Second World War, he served in both staff and intelligence positions, reaching the rank of brigadier in his early thirties. He also wrote poetry, his first works being published in 1937, as well as many books on classical and political subjects. HP Mini 210-2050ez Keyboard

Enoch Powell was born in Stechford, Birmingham, England. He lived there for the first six years of his life before moving to King's Norton in 1918, where he lived until 1930. He was the only child of Albert Enoch Powell (1872–1956), a primary school headmaster, and his wife, Ellen Mary (1886–1953). HP Mini 210-2050nr Keyboard

Ellen was the daughter of Henry Breese, a Liverpool policeman and his wife Eliza, who had given up her own teaching career after marrying. The Powells were of Welsh descent, having moved to the developing Black Countryduring the early 19th century. His great-grandfather was a coal miner, and his grandfather had been employed in the iron trade.[6] HP Mini 210-2050sb Keyboard

Powell was a pupil at King's Norton Boys' School before moving to King Edward's School, Birmingham, where he studied classics (which would later influence his 'Rivers of Blood' speech), and was one of the few pupils in the school's history to attain 100% in an end-of-year English examination. HP Mini 210-2050si Keyboard

He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1930 to 1933, during which time he fell under the influence both of the poet A. E. Housman, then Professor of Latin at the university, and of the writings of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. He took no part in politics at university. HP Mini 210-2050ss Keyboard

It was while at Cambridge Powell is recorded as having enjoyed one of his first close relationships.[7] Indeed, according to John Evans, Chaplain of Trinity and Extra Preacher to the Queen,[8] instructions were left with him to reveal after Powell's death that at least one of the romantic affairs of his life had been homosexual. HP Mini 210-2050sv Keyboard

Powell had particularly drawn the Chaplain's attention to lines in his First Poems (published 1937). Biographers such as Simon Heffer dispute this and have argued that this did not mean that he was homosexual; merely that he had not yet met any girls.[5] HP Mini 210-2051es Keyboard

While at University, in one Greek prose examination lasting three hours, he was asked to translate a passage into Greek. Powell walked out after one and a half hours, having produced translations in the styles of Plato and Thucydides. For his efforts, he was awarded a double starred first in Latin and Greek, HP Mini 210-2051si Keyboard

this grade being the best possible and extremely rare. As well as his education at Cambridge, Powell took a course in Urdu at the School of Oriental Studies, now the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, because he felt that his long-cherished ambition of becoming Viceroy of India would be unattainable without knowledge of an Indian language.[5] HP Mini 210-2051ss Keyboard

Pre-War career

After graduating from Cambridge, Powell stayed on at Trinity College as a Fellow, spending much of his time studying ancient manuscripts in Latin and producing academic works in Greek and Welsh.[6]:18–20[9] In 1937, he was appointed Professor of Greek at the University of Sydney aged 25 (failing in his aim of beatingFriedrich Nietzsche's record of becoming a professor at 24). HP Mini 210-2052si Keyboard

Among his pupils was future Prime Minister of Australia Gough Whitlam. He revised Stuart-Jones's edition of Thucydides' Historiae for the Oxford University Press in 1938, and his most lasting contribution to classical scholarship was his Lexicon to Herodotus, published the same year. HP Mini 210-2052ss Keyboard

Soon after arrival in Australia, he was appointed Curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney. He stunned the vice-chancellor by informing him that war would soon begin in Europe and that when it did, he would be heading home to enlist in the army.[6]:29HP Mini 210-2053ss Keyboard

By the time Powell had left King Edward's School in 1930, he had confirmed his instinctive belief that the Armistice was merely temporary and that Britain would be at war with Germany again.[5]:10HP Mini 210-2053tu Keyboard

During his time in Australia as a professor, he grew increasingly angry at the appeasement of Nazi Germany and what he saw as a betrayal of British national interests. After Neville Chamberlain's first visit to Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, Powell wrote in a letter to his parents of 18 September 1938: HP Mini 210-2054tu Keyboard

I do here in the most solemn and bitter manner curse the Prime Minister of England [sic] for having cumulated all his other betrayals of the national interest and honour, by his last terrible exhibition of dishonour, weakness and gullibility. The depths of infamy to which our accurst "love of peace" can lower us are unfathomable.[5]:47HP Mini 210-2055ea Keyboard

In another letter to his parents in June 1939, before the beginning of war, Powell wrote: "It is the English, not their Government; for if they were not blind cowards, they would lynch Chamberlain and Halifax and all the other smarmy traitors".[5]:53HP Mini 210-2056tu Keyboard

At the outbreak of war, Powell immediately returned to Britain, but not before buying a Russian dictionary, since he thought "Russia would hold the key to our survival and victory, as it had in 1812 and 1916".[5]:55HP Mini 210-2058tu Keyboard

War years

During October 1939, almost a month after returning home, Powell enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as an Australian. In a poem he wrote of men joining the army like "bridegrooms going to meet their brides", but his biographer points out that it is unlikely that other men shared his joy[10]:39. HP Mini 210-2060br Keyboard

In later years, he recorded his appointment from private to lance-corporal in his Who's Who entry, on other occasions describing it as a greater promotion than entering the Cabinet[10]:40. HP Mini 210-2060ee Keyboard

Early in 1940, he was trained for a commission after, whilst working in a kitchen, answering the question of an inspecting brigadier with a Greek proverb; on several occasions, he told colleagues that he expected to be at least a major-general by the end of the war[5]:57–8. He passed out top from his officer training[10]:40. HP Mini 210-2060ev Keyboard

He was commissioned on the General List in 1940 but almost immediately transferred to the Intelligence Corps. He was almost immediately promoted to captain and posted as GSO3 (Intelligence) to the 1st (later 9th) Armoured Division. During this time he taught himself the Russian language as he was convinced thatAdolf Hitler would eventually invade the Soviet Union.[citation needed]HP Mini 210-2060nr Keyboard

On one occasion, he was arrested as a suspected German spy for singing Horst-Wessel-Lied.[10]:41 He was sent to the Staff College at Camberley.[10]:41HP Mini 210-2060sb Keyboard

In October 1941, Powell was posted to Cairo and transferred back to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. As Secretary to the Joint Intelligence Committee, Middle East, he was soon doing work that would normally have been done by a more senior officer and was (May 1942, backdated to December 1941[5]:68) promoted to major. HP Mini 210-2060ss Keyboard

He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in August 1942, telling his parents that he was doing the work of three people and expected to be a brigadier within a year or two[5]:70, and in that role helped plan the Second Battle of El Alamein, having previously helped plan the attack on Rommel's supply lines. HP Mini 210-2060sv Keyboard

Powell and his team began work at 0400 each day to digest radio intercepts and other intelligence data (such as estimating how many tanks Rommel currently had and what his likely plans were) ready to present to the Chiefs of Staff at 0900[10]:41. The following year, he was honoured as a member of the Order of the British Empire for his military service. HP Mini 210-2061wm Keyboard

It was in Algiers that the beginning of Powell's dislike of the United States was planted. After talking with some senior American officials, he became convinced that one of America's main war aims was to destroy the British Empire. Writing home on 16 February 1943, Powell stated: "I see growing on the horizon the greater peril than Germany or Japan ever were... our terrible enemy, HP Mini 210-2070ca Keyboard

America...."[5]:75 Powell's conviction of the anti-British attitude of the Americans continued during the war. Powell cut out and retained all his life an article from the New Statesman newspaper of 13 November 1943, in which the American Clare Boothe Lucesaid in a speech that Indian independence would mean that the "USA will really have won the greatest war in the world for democracy".[5]:86–7HP Mini 210-2070ee Keyboard

Powell desperately wanted to go to the Far East to help the fight against Japan because "the war in Europe is won now, and I want to see the Union Flag back in Singapore" before, Powell thought, the Americans beat Britain to it.[5]:76 He attempted to join the Chindits, and jumped into a taxicab in Cairo to bring the matter up with Orde Wingate,[5]:82HP Mini 210-2070ev Keyboard

but his duties and rank precluded the assignment. He was eventually posted toDelhi in India as Lieutenant-Colonel in Military Intelligence in August 1943, having declined at least two jobs carrying the rank of full colonel in the now-moribund North African theatre and having offered to drop in rank to major in order to get a posting to the Far East[5]:82. HP Mini 210-2070nr Keyboard

Powell soon became Secretary to the Joint Intelligence Committee for India and Louis Mountbatten's South East Asia Command[10]:50, involved in planning an amphibious offensive against Akyab, an island off the coast of Burma. Orde Wingate, also involved in planning that operation, had taken such a dislike to Powell that he asked a colleague to restrain him if he was tempted to "beat his brains in".[10]:54HP Mini 210-2070sb Keyboard

On one occasion, Powell's yellow skin (he was recovering from jaundice), overly formal dress and strange manner caused him to be mistaken for a Japanese spy.[5]:83 During this period he declined to meet a Cambridge academic colleague, Glyn Daniel, for a drink or dinner as he was devoting his limited leisure time to studying the poet John Donne.[10]:52HP Mini 210-2070ss Keyboard

Powell had continued to learn Urdu, consistent with his ambition of becoming Viceroy of India, and when Mountbatten transferred his staff to Kandy, Ceylon, Powell chose to remain in Delhi. He was promoted to full colonel at the end of March 1944, as Assistant Director of Military Intelligence in India, giving intelligence support to the Burma campaign of William Slim. HP Mini 210-2070sv Keyboard

Having begun the war as the youngest professor in the Commonwealth, Powell ended it as a brigadier. He was given the promotion to serve on a committee of generals and brigadiers to plan the postwar defence of India: the resulting 470-page report was almost entirely written by Powell. HP Mini 210-2072cl Keyboard

For a few weeks he was the youngest brigadier in the British Army,[5]:93 and he was one of only two men in the entire war to rise from private to brigadier (the other being Fitzroy Maclean). He was offered a regular commission as a brigadier in the Indian Army, and the post of Assistant Commandant of an Indian Officers' Training Academy, which he declined.[5]:97HP Mini 210-2075nr Keyboard

He told a colleague that he expected to be Head of all Military Intelligence in "the next war"[10]:54.

Powell never experienced combat and felt guilty for having survived, writing that soldiers who did so carried "a sort of shame with them to the grave" and referring to the Second Battle of El Alamein as a "separating flame" between the living and the dead.[10]:44HP Mini 210-2080ca Keyboard

When once asked how he would like to be remembered, he at first answered, "Others will remember me as they will remember me", but when pressed he replied, "I should like to have been killed in the war".[11] HP Mini 210-2080ed Keyboard

Though he voted for the Labour Party in their 1945 landslide victory, because he wanted to punish the Conservative Party for the Munich agreement, after the war he joined the Conservatives and worked for theConservative Research Department under Rab Butler, where his colleagues included Iain Macleod andReginald Maudling.[6]:51–3HP Mini 210-2080ee Keyboard

Powell's ambition to be Viceroy of India crumbled in February 1947, when Prime Minister Clement Attleeannounced that Indian independence was imminent. Powell was so shocked by the change of policy that he spent the whole night after it was announced walking the streets of London.[6]:51HP Mini 210-2080ev Keyboard

He came to terms with it by becoming fiercely anti-imperialist, believing that once India had gone the whole empire should follow it.[citation needed] This logical absolutism explained his later indifference to the Suez crisis, his contempt for the Commonwealth and his urging that Britain should end any remaining pretence that it was a world power. HP Mini 210-2080nr Keyboard

After unsuccessfully contesting the Labour Party's ultra-safe seat of Normanton at a by-election in 1947(when the Labour majority was 62%),[12] he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Wolverhampton South West in the 1950 general election. HP Mini 210-2080sp Keyboard

First years as a Backbencher

On 16 March 1950, Powell made his maiden speech, speaking on a White Paper on Defence and beginning by saying,"There is no need for me to pretend those feelings of awe and hesitation which assail any hon. Member who rises to address this House for the first time...."[13] HP Mini 210-2080sv Keyboard

On 3 March 1953, Powell spoke against the Royal Titles Bill in the House of Commons. He said he found three major changes to the style of the United Kingdom, "all of which seem to me to be evil". The first one was "that in this title, for the first time, will be recognised a principle hitherto never admitted in this country, namely, the divisibility of the crown". HP Mini 210-2081nr Keyboard

Powell said that the unity of the realm had evolved over centuries and included the British Empire: "It was a unit because it had one Sovereign. There was one Sovereign: one realm". He feared that by "recognising the division of the realm into separate realms, are we not opening the way for that other remaining unity-–the last unity of all-–that of the person, to go the way of the rest?"[14]:195–202HP Mini 210-2087dx Keyboard

The second change he objected to was "the suppression of the word 'British', both from before the words 'Realms and Territories' where it is replaced by the words 'her other' and from before the word 'Commonwealth', which, in the Statute of Westminster, is described as the 'British Commonwealth of Nations'":HP Mini 210-2090ca Keyboard

To say that he is Monarch of a certain territory and his other realms and territories is as good as to say that he is king of his kingdom. We have perpetrated a solecism in the title we are proposing to attach to our Sovereign and we have done so out of what might almost be called an abject desire to eliminate the expression 'British'. HP Mini 210-2090nr Keyboard

The same desire has been felt... to eliminate this word before the term 'Commonwealth'... Why is it, then, that we are so anxious, in the description of our own Monarch, in a title for use in this country, to eliminate any reference to the seat, the focus and the origin of this vast aggregate of territories? Why is it that this 'teeming womb of royal Kings', as Shakespeare called it, wishes now to be anonymous?[14]:196–9HP Mini 210-2100 CTO Keyboard

Powell claimed that the answer was that because the British Nationality Act 1948 had removed allegiance to the crown as the basis of citizenship and replaced that with nine separate citizenships combined together by statute. Therefore, if any of these nine countries became republics the law would not change, as happened with India when it became a republic. HP Mini 210-2101tu Keyboard

Furthermore, Powell went on, the essence of unity was "that all the parts recognise they would sacrifice themselves to the interests of the whole". He denied that there was in India that "recognition of belonging to a greater whole which involves the ultimate consequence in certain circumstances of self-sacrifice in the interests of the whole". HP Mini 210-2102tu Keyboard

Therefore the title 'Head of the Commonwealth', the third major change, was "essentially a sham. They are essentially something which we have invented to blind ourselves to the reality of the position".[14]:199–201HP Mini 210-2103tu Keyboard

These changes were "greatly repugnant" to Powell:

...if they are changes which were demanded by those who in many wars had fought with this country, by nations who maintained an allegiance to the Crown, and who signified a desire to be in the future as were in the past; if it were our friends who had come to us and said: 'We want this,' I would say: HP Mini 210-2105tu Keyboard

'Let it go. Let us admit the divisibility of the Crown. Let us sink into anonymity and cancel the word 'British' from our titles. If they like the conundrum 'Head of the Commonwealth' in the Royal style, let it be there'. However, the underlying evil of this is that we are doing it for the sake not of our friends but of those who are not our friends. HP Mini 210-2106tu Keyboard

We are doing this for the sake of those to whom the very names 'Britain' and 'British' are repugnant.... We are doing this for the sake of those who have deliberately cast off their allegiance to our common Monarchy.[14]:201

For the rest of his life, Powell regarded this speech as the finest he ever delivered, not the much more well-known 1968 anti-immigration speech.[5]:184[14]:230HP Mini 210-2130nr Keyboard

In mid-November 1953 Powell secured a place on the 1922 Committee's executive after the third time of trying. Rab Butler also invited him onto the committee that reviewed party policy for the general election, which he attended until 1955.[5]:189 Powell was a member of the Suez Group of MPs who were against the removal of British troops from the Suez Canal because such a move would demonstrate, HP Mini 210-2140la Keyboard

nger had the resources to be a world power.[6]:99–100

Junior Housing Minister

On 21 December 1955, Powell was appointed parliamentary secretary to Duncan Sandys at the Ministry of Housing. He called it "the best ever Christmas box".[5] In early 1956, he spoke for the Housing Subsidies Billin the Commons and argued for the rejection of an amendment that would have hindered slum clearances. HP Mini 210-2145dx Keyboard

Powell argued, that Britain could no longer maintain a position there and that any claim to the Suez Canal would therefore be illogical. However, after the troops had left in 1954 and the Egyptians nationalised the Canal in 1956, Powell opposed the British attempts to retake the Canal in the Suez Crisis because he thought the British no lo He also spoke in support of the Slum Clearances Bill, HP Mini 210-2150nr Keyboard

which provided entitlement for full compensation for those who purchased a house after August 1939 and still occupied it in December 1955 if this property would be compulsorarily purchased by the government if it was deemed unfit for human habitation.[5]:203–4HP Mini 210-2160nr Keyboard

In the spring, Powell attended a subcommittee on immigration control as a housing minister and advocated immigration controls. In August, he gave a speech at a meeting of the Institute of Personnel Management and was asked a question about immigration. He answered that limiting immigration would require a change in the law: HP Mini 210-2170ca Keyboard

"There might be circumstances in which such a change of the law might be the lesser of two evils". But he added, "There would be very few people who would say the time had yet come when it was essential that so great a change should be made".HP Mini 210-2170nr Keyboard

Powell later told Paul Foot that the statement was made "out of loyalty to the Government line".[5]:205–6 Powell also spoke for the Rent Bill, which ended wartimerent controls when existing tenants moved out, thereby phasing out regulation.[5]:209HP Mini 210-2177nr Keyboard

Financial Secretary to the Treasury

At a meeting of the 1922 committee on 22 November, Rab Butler made a speech appealing for party unity in the aftermath of the Suez Crisis. His speech did not go down well and Harold Macmillan, whom Butler had taken along for moral support, addressed them and was a great success. HP Mini 210-2180ca Keyboard

In Powell's view this was "one of the most horrible things that I remember in politics... seeing the way in which Harold Macmillan, with all the skill of the old actor-manager, succeeded in false-footing Rab. The sheer devilry of it verged upon the disgusting". After Macmillan's death in 1986 Powell said "Macmillan was a Whig, HP Mini 210-2180nr Keyboard

not a Tory... he had no use for the Conservative loyalties and affections; they interfered too much with the Whig's true vocation of detecting trends in events and riding them skilfully so as to preserve the privileges, property and interests of his class".[5]:210HP Mini 210-2185dx Keyboard

However, when Macmillan replaced Eden as Prime Minister, Powell was offered the office ofFinancial Secretary to the Treasury on 14 January 1957. This office was the Chancellor of the Exchequer's deputy and the most important job outside the Cabinet.[5]:210–1HP Mini 210-2190nr Keyboard

But in January 1958 he resigned, along with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Peter Thorneycroft and his Treasury colleague Nigel Birch, in protest at government plans for increased expenditure; he was a staunch advocate of disinflation, or in modern terms a monetarist, and a believer in market forces.[6]:180–9HP Mini 210t-1000 CTO Keyboard

Powell was also a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. The by-product of this expenditure was the printing of extra money to pay for it all, which Powell believed to be the cause of inflation, and in effect a form of taxation, as the holders of money find their money is worth less. Inflation rose to 2.5%, a high figure for the era, especially in peacetime. HP Mini 210t-1100 CTO Keyboard

During the late 1950s, Powell promoted control of the money supply to prevent inflation and, during the 1960s, was an advocate of free market policies, which at the time were seen as extreme and unworkable was unpopular. Powell advocated the privatisation of the Post Office and the telephone network as early as 1964, HP Mini 311 Keyboard

over 20 years before the latter actually took place;[6]:318 and he both scorned the idea of "consensus politics" and wanted the Conservative Party to become a modern business-like party, freed from its old aristocratic and "old boy network" associations.[6]:319 Perhaps most notably of all, HP Mini 311-1000 Keyboard

in his 1958 resignation over public spending and what he saw as an inflationary economic policy, he anticipated almost exactly the views that during the 1980s came to be described as "monetarism".[15] HP Mini 311-1000CA Keyboard

On 27 July 1959, Powell gave his speech on the Hola Camp of Kenya, where eleven Mau Mau were killed after refusing work in the camp. Powell noted that some MPs had described the eleven as "sub-human", but Powell responded by saying: "In general, I would say that it is a fearful doctrine, which must recoil upon the heads of those who pronounce it, HP Mini 311-1000NR Keyboard

o stand in judgement on a fellow human being and to say, 'Because he was such-and-such, therefore the consequences which would otherwise flow from his death shall not flow'."[14]:206–7 Powell also disagreed with the notion that because it was in Africa, different methods were acceptable: HP Mini 311-1001TU Keyboard

Nor can we ourselves pick and choose where and in what parts of the world we shall use this or that kind of standard. We cannot say, 'We will have African standards in Africa, Asian standards in Asia and perhaps British standards here at home'. We have not that choice to make. We must be consistent with ourselves everywhere. HP Mini 311-1002TU Keyboard

All Government, all influence of man upon man, rests upon opinion. What we can do in Africa, where we still govern and where we no longer govern, depends upon the opinion which is entertained of the way in which this country acts and the way in which Englishmen act. We cannot, we dare not, in Africa of all places, fall below our own highest standards in the acceptance of responsibility.[14]:207HP Mini 311-1003TU Keyboard

Denis Healey, a member of parliament from 1952 to 1992, later said this speech was "the greatest parliamentary speech I ever heard... it had all the moral passion and rhetorical force of Demosthenes".[5]:252The Daily Telegraph report of the speech said that "as Mr Powell sat down, he put his hand across his eyes. His emotion was justified, for he had made a great and sincere speech".[5]:254HP Mini 311-1004TU Keyboard

Minister of Health

Powell returned to the government in July 1960, when he was appointed Health minister,[6]:229ff albeit outside the Cabinet, but this changed in 1962.[6]:270 During a meeting with parents of babies that had been born with deformities caused by the drug thalidomide, he was unsympathetic to the victims, refusing to meet any babies deformed by the drug and saying that "anyone who took so much as an aspirin put himself at risk." HP Mini 311-1005TU Keyboard

Powell also refused to launch a public inquiry, resisted calls to issue a warning against any left-over thalidomide pills that might remain in people's medicine cabinets (as US President John F. Kennedy had done), and said "I hope you're not going to sue the Government.... No one can sue the Government."[16] HP Mini 311-1006TU Keyboard

In this job, he was responsible for promoting an ambitious ten-year programme of general hospital building and for beginning a debate on the neglect of the huge psychiatric institutions. In his famous 1961 "Water Tower" speech, he said: HP Mini 311-1007TU Keyboard

There they stand, isolated, majestic, imperious, brooded over by the gigantic water-tower and chimney combined, rising unmistakable and daunting out of the countryside-–the asylums which our forefathers built with such immense solidity to express the notions of their day. Do not for a moment underestimate their powers of resistance to our assault. Let me describe some of the defences which we have to storm.[17] HP Mini 311-1008TU Keyboard

The speech catalysed a debate that was one of several strands leading to the Care in the Communityinitiative of the 1980s. In 1993, however, Powell claimed that his policy could have worked. He claimed the criminally insane should have never been released and that the problem was one of funding. HP Mini 311-1009TU Keyboard

He said the new way of caring for the mentally ill would cost more, not less, than the old way because community care was decentralised and intimate as well as being "more human". HP Mini 311-1010TU Keyboard

His successors had not, Powell claimed, provided the money for local authorities to spend on mental health care and therefore institutional care had been neglected whilst at the same time there was not any investment in community care.[5]:941HP Mini 311-1011TU Keyboard

Later, he oversaw the employment of a large number of Commonwealth immigrants by the understaffedNational Health Service.[6]:255 Prior to this, many nonwhite immigrants with full rights of citizenship in Britain were obliged to take the jobs that no one else wanted (such as street cleaning, night-shift assembly production lines), often paid considerably less than their white counterparts.[citation needed] HP Mini 311-1012TU Keyboard

Backbenches

Along with Iain Macleod, Powell refused to serve in the Cabinet following the appointment of Alec Douglas-Home as Prime Minister. This refusal was not based on antipathy to Douglas-Home personally but was in protest at what Macleod and Powell saw as Macmillan's underhand manipulation of colleagues during the process of choosing a new leader.[6]:302–3,15HP Mini 311-1013TU Keyboard

During the 1964 general election, Powell said in his election address, "it was essential, for the sake not only of our own people but of the immigrants themselves, to introduce control over the numbers allowed in. I am convinced that strict control must continue if we are to avoid the evils of a "colour question" in this country, HP Mini 311-1014TU Keyboard

for ourselves and for our children".[5]:360 Norman Fowler, then a reporter for The Times, interviewed Powell during the election and asked him what the biggest issue was: "I expected to be told something about the cost of living but not a bit of it. "Immigration," replied Enoch. HP Mini 311-1015TU Keyboard

I duly phoned in my piece but it was never used. After all, who in 1964 had ever heard of a former Conservative cabinet minister thinking that immigration was an important political issue?"[5]:360HP Mini 311-1016TU Keyboard

Following the Conservatives' defeat in the election, he agreed to return to the front bench as Transport Spokesman.[6]:316 In 1965, he stood in the first-ever party leadership election but came a distant third toEdward Heath, who appointed him Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.[6]:327ffHP Mini 311-1017TU Keyboard

In his first speech to the Conservative Party conference as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence on 14 October 1965, Powell outlined a fresh defence policy, jettisoning what he saw as outdated global military commitments left over from Britain's imperial past and stressing that Britain was a European power and therefore an alliance with Western European states from possible attack from the East was central to Britain's safety. HP Mini 311-1018TU Keyboard

He defended Britain's nuclear weapons and argued that it was "the merest casuistry to argue that if the weapon and the means of using it are purchased in part, or even altogether, from another nation, therefore the independent right to use it has no reality. With a weapon so catastrophic, it is possession and the right to use which count".[18] Also, Powell called into question Western military commitments East of Suez: HP Mini 311-1019TU Keyboard

However much we may do to safeguard and reassure the new independent countries in Asia and Africa, the eventual limits of Russian and Chinese advance in those directions will be fixed by a balance of forces which will itself be Asiatic and African. The two Communist empires are already in a state of mutual antagonism; HP Mini 311-1020TU Keyboard

but every advance or threat of advance by one or the other calls into existence countervailing forces, sometimes nationalist in character, sometimes expansionist, which will ultimately check it. We have to reckon with the harsh fact that the attainment of this eventual equilibrium of forces may at some point be delayed rather than hastened by Western military presence.[5]:391HP Mini 311-1021TU Keyboard

The Daily Telegraph journalist David Howell remarked to

Andrew Alexander that Powell had "just withdrawn us from East of Suez, and received an enormous ovation because no-one understood what he was talking about".[5]:391HP Mini 311-1022TU Keyboard

However, the Americans were worried by Powell's speech as they wanted British military commitments in South-East Asia as they were still fighting in Vietnam. A transcript of the speech was sent to Washington and the American embassy requested to talk to Heath about the "Powell doctrine". HP Mini 311-1023TU Keyboard

The New York Times said Powell's speech was "a potential declaration of independence from American policy".[5]:391–2 During the election campaign of 1966, Powell claimed that the British government had contingency plans to send at least a token British force to Vietnam and that, under Labour, Britain "has behaved perfectly clearly and perfectly recognisably as an American satellite".HP Mini 311-1024TU Keyboard

Lyndon B. Johnson had indeed asked Wilson for some British forces for Vietnam, and when it was later suggested to Powell that Washington understood that the public reaction to Powell's allegations had made Wilson realise he would not have favourable public opinion and so could not go through with it, Powell responded: HP Mini 311-1025TU Keyboard

"The greatest service I have performed for my country, if that is so".[5]:406 Labour was returned with a large majority, and Powell was retained by Heath as Shadow Defence Secretary as he believed Powell "was too dangerous to leave out".[5]:410HP Mini 311-1026TU Keyboard

In a controversial speech on 26 May 1967, Powell criticised Britain's post-war world role:

In our imagination the vanishing last vestiges... of Britain's once vast Indian Empire have transformed themselves into a peacekeeping role on which the sun never sets. HP Mini 311-1027TU Keyboard

Under God's good providence and in partnership with the United States, we keep the peace of the world and rush hither and thither containing Communism, putting out brush fires and coping with subversion. It is difficult to describe, without using terms derived from psychiatry, a notion having so few points of contact with reality.[5]:431HP Mini 311-1028TU Keyboard

In 1967, Powell spoke of his opposition to the immigration of Kenyan Asians to the United Kingdom after the African country's leader Jomo Kenyatta's discriminatory policies led to the flight of Asians from that country.[19]HP Mini 311-1029TU Keyboard

The biggest argument Powell and Heath had during Powell's time in the Shadow Cabinet was over a dispute over the role of Black Rod, who would go to the Commons to summon them to the Lords to hear the Royal Assent of Bills. In November 1967, he arrived during a debate on the EEC and was met with cries of "Shame" to "'Op it".HP Mini 311-1030TU Keyboard

At the next Shadow Cabinet meeting Heath said this "nonsense" must be stopped. Powell suggested that Heath did not mean it should be ended. He asked whether Heath realised that the words Black Rod used went back to the 1307 Parliament of Carlisle and were ancient even then. HP Mini 311-1031TU Keyboard

Heath reacted furiously, saying that the British people "were tired of this nonsense and ceremonial and mummery. He would not stand for the perpetuation of this ridiculous business etc".[20] HP Mini 311-1032TU Keyboard

"Rivers of Blood" speech

Powell was noted for his oratorical skills, and for being a maverick. On 20 April 1968, he made a controversial speech in Birmingham, in which he warned his audience of what he believed would be the consequences of continued unchecked immigration from the Commonwealth to Britain. HP Mini 311-1033CA Keyboard

It was an allusion to the Roman poet Virgil towards the end of the speech, which has been remembered and gave the speech itscommon title:

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, HP Mini 311-1033TU Keyboard

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 20th century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. HP Mini 311-1034TU Keyboard

The Times newspaper declared it "an evil speech", stating, "This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our postwar history."[21] HP Mini 311-1035TU Keyboard

Heath sacked Powell from his Shadow Cabinet the day after the speech, and he never held another senior political post. Powell received almost 120,000 (predominantly positive) letters and a Gallup poll at the end of April showed that 74% of those asked agreed with his speech and only 15% disagreed, 11% unsure.[22]HP Mini 311-1036TU Keyboard

AfterThe Sunday Times branded his speeches "racialist", Powell sued it for libel but withdrew when he was required to provide the letters he had quoted from because he had promised anonymity from the writer, who refused to waive it. HP Mini 311-1037NR Keyboard

Powell had also expressed his opposition to the race relations legislation being put into place by Labourprime minister Harold Wilson at this time.[23] HP Mini 311-1037TU Keyboard

Powell had issued an advance copy of his speech to media personnel and their appearance at the speech may have been because they realised the content was explosive.[24] HP Mini 311-1038NR Keyboard

In July 1965, he had come third in the Conservative Party leadership contest, obtaining only 15 votes, just below the result Hugh Fraser gained in the 1975 contest. After the 'Rivers of Blood' speech, however, Powell was transformed into a national public figure and won huge support across Britain.[citation needed]HP Mini 311-1038TU Keyboard

Three days after the speech, on 23 April, as the Race Relations Bill was being debated in the House of Commons, 1,000 dockers marched on Westminster protesting against Powell's "victimisation", and the next day 400 meat porters from Smithfield market handed in a 92-page petition in support of Powell.[citation needed] HP Mini 311-1039TU Keyboard

The future Labour leader Michael Foot remarked to a reporter that it was "tragic" that this "outstanding personality" had been widely misunderstood as predicting actual bloodshed in Britain, when in fact he had used the Aeneid quotation merely to communicate his own sense of foreboding.[1] HP Mini 311-1040TU Keyboard

Thirty years after the speech, Edward Heath admitted that Powell's remarks on the "economic burden of immigration" had been "not without prescience."[1] HP Mini 311-1041TU Keyboard

In an interview for Today shortly after her departure from office in 1991, Margaret Thatcher said that Powell had "made a valid argument, if in sometimes regrettable terms."[1] HP Mini 311-1042TU Keyboard

Powell made a speech in Morecambe on 11 October 1968 on the economy, setting out alternative, radical free-market policies that would later be called the 'Morecambe Budget'. Powell used the financial year of 1968–9 to show how income tax could be halved from 8s 3d to 4s 3d in the pound (basic rate cut from 41% to 21%)[5][25]:484HP Mini 311-1043TU Keyboard

and how capital gains tax and selective employment tax could be abolished without reducing expenditure on defence or the social services. These tax reductions required a saving of £2,855 million, and this would be funded by eradicating losses in the nationalised industries and denationalising the profit-making state concerns; HP Mini 311-1044TU Keyboard

ending all housing subsidies except for those who could not afford their own housing; ending all foreign aid; ending all grants and subsidies in agriculture; ending all assistance to development areas; ending all investment grants;[10]:375–6 and abolishing the National Economic Development Council and the Prices and Incomes Board.[5]:485HP Mini 311-1045TU Keyboard

The cuts in taxation would also allow the state to borrow from the public to spend on capital projects such as hospitals and roads and spend on "the firm and humane treatment of criminals".[5]:485–6HP Mini 311-1046TU Keyboard

During the summer of 1968, The House of Lords in the Middle Ages was published after 20 years' work. At the press conference for its publication, Powell said if the government introduced a Bill to reform the Lords. he would be its "resolute enemy".[5]:474 Later in 1968, when the government published its Bills for the new session, HP nx9100 Keyboard

Powell was angry at Heath's acceptance of the plan drawn up by the Conservative MP Iain Macleod and Labour's Richard Crossman to reform the Lords, titled the Parliament (No. 2) Bill.[5]:489 Crossman, opening the debate on 19 November, said the government would reform the Lords in five ways: removing the voting rights of hereditary peers; HP nx9105 Keyboard

making sure no party had a permanent majority; ensuring the government of the day usually passed its laws; weakening the Lords' powers to delay laws; and abolishing the power to refuse subordinate legislation if it had been voted for by the Commons.[5]:495HP nx9110 Keyboard

Powell spoke in the debate, opposing these plans. He said the reforms were "unnecessary and undesirable" and that there was no weight in the claim that the Lords could "check or frustrate the firm intentions" of the Commons. He claimed that only election or nomination could replace the hereditary nature of the Lords. HP Pavilion dm1 Keyboard

If they were elected it would pose the dilemma of which House was truly representative of the electorate. He also had another objection: "How can the same electorate be represented in two ways so that the two sets of representatives can conflict and disagree with one another?" HP Pavilion dm1-1000 Keyboard

Those nominated would be bound to the Chief Whip of their party through a sort of oath and Powell asked "what sort of men and women are they to be who would submit to be nominated to another chamber upon condition that they will be mere dummies, automatic parts of a voting machine?" HP Pavilion dm1-1001tu Keyboard

The inclusion of 30 crossbenchers was "a grand absurdity" because they would have been chosen "upon the very basis that they have no strong views of principle on the way in which the country ought to be governed".[5]:496 Powell claimed the Lords derived their authority not from a strict hereditary system but from its prescriptive nature: HP Pavilion dm1-1002tu Keyboard

"It has long been so, and it works". He then added that there was not any widespread desire for reform: he indicated a recent survey of working-class voters that showed that only a third of them wanted to reform or abolish the Lords, with another third believing the Lords were an "intrinsic part of the national traditions of Britain". HP Pavilion dm1-1003tu Keyboard

Powell deduced from this, "As so often the ordinary rank and file of the electorate have seen a truth, an important fact, which has escaped so many more clever people–the underlying value of that which is traditional, that which is prescriptive".[5]:497HP Pavilion dm1-1004tu Keyboard

After more speeches against the Bill during early 1969 and with left-wing Labour MPs against Lords reform as well (they wanted its abolition), Harold Wilson announced on 17 April that the Bill was being rescinded. Wilson's statement was brief, with Powell intervening: "Don't eat them too quickly", which provoked much laughter in the House.[5]:521 Later that day Powell said in a speech to the Primrose League: HP Pavilion dm1-1005ef Keyboard

There was an instinct, inarticulate but deep and sound, that the traditional, prescriptive House of Lords posed no threat and injured no interests, but might yet, for all its illogicalities and anomalies, make itself felt on occasion to useful purpose. The same sound instinct was repelled by the idea of a new-fashioned second chamber, artificially constructed by power, party and patronage, to function in a particular way. Not for the first time, the common people of this country proved the surest defenders of their traditional institutions.[5]:521HP Pavilion dm1-1005sf Keyboard

Powell's biographer, Simon Heffer, described the defeat of Lords reform as "perhaps the greatest triumph of Powell's political career".[5]:521HP Pavilion dm1-1006tu Keyboard

In 1969, when it was first suggested that the United Kingdom would join the European Economic Community, Powell spoke openly of his opposition to such a move. HP Pavilion dm1-1005tu Keyboard

Departure from the Conservative Party

Powell's supporters claim that he contributed to the Conservatives' surprise victory in the 1970 general election, which showed a late surge in Conservative support. In "exhaustive research" on the election, the American pollster Douglas Schoen and University of Oxford academic R.W. Johnson believed it "beyond dispute" that Enoch Powell had attracted 2.5 million votes to the Conservatives, HP Pavilion dm1-1007tu Keyboard

but the Conservative vote had increased by only 1.7 million since 1966.[5]:568 A February 1969 Gallup poll showed Powell the 'most admired person' in British public opinion.[3] A Daily Express poll in 1972 showed Powell being the most popular politician in the country.[4] HP Pavilion dm1-1008tu Keyboard

In a defence debate in March 1970, he claimed that "the whole theory of the tactical nuclear weapon, or the tactical use of nuclear weapons, is an unmitigated absurdity" and that it was "remotely improbable" that any group of nations engaged in war would "decide upon general and mutual suicide", HP Pavilion dm1-1010ec Keyboard

and advocated enlargement of Britain's continental army. However when fellow Conservative Julian Amery later in the debate criticised Powell for his antinuclear pronouncements, Powell responded: "I have always regarded the possession of the nuclear capability as a protection against nuclear blackmail. HP Pavilion dm1-1010ef Keyboard

It is a protection against being threatened with nuclear weapons. What it is not a protection against is war".[5]:549

Powell had voted against the Schuman Declaration in 1950 and had supported entry[clarification needed] only because he believed that the Common Market was simply a means to secure free trade. In March 1969, he opposed Britain's joining the European Economic Community. HP Pavilion dm1-1010eg Keyboard

Opposition to entry had hitherto been confined largely to the Labour Party but now, he said, it was clear to him that the sovereignty of Parliament was in question, as was Britain's very survival as a nation. This nationalist analysis attracted millions of middle-class Conservatives and others, and as much as anything else it made Powell the implacable enemy of Heath, a fervent pro-European, but there was already enmity between the two. HP Pavilion dm1-1010el Keyboard

The Conservatives had promised at the 1970 election[26] in relation to the Common Market. "Our sole commitment is to negotiate; no more, no less". When Heath signed an accession treaty before Parliament had even debated the issue, the second reading of the Bill to put the Treaty into law was passed by just eight votes on second reading, HP Pavilion dm1-1010eo Keyboard

and it became clear that the British people would have no further say in the matter, he declared hostility to his party's line. He voted against the government on every one of the 104 divisions in the course of the European Communities Bill. When finally he lost this struggle, he decided he could no longer sit in a parliament that he believed was no longer sovereign. HP Pavilion dm1-1010et Keyboard

During the summer of 1972, he prepared to resign and changed his mind only because of fears of a renewed wave of immigration from Uganda after the accession of Idi Amin, who had expelled Uganda's Asian residents. HP Pavilion dm1-1010ev Keyboard

During 1972, the same year he again spoke publicly of his opposition to the immigration of Ugandan Asians, Powell was also defeated in his struggle against the European Communities Bill, which helped prepare the UK to join the common market, which he had spent three years campaigning to prevent from happening. HP Pavilion dm1-1010sa Keyboard

However, on 23 February 1974 (with a general election five days away), Powell turned his back on the Conservative Party, mainly because it had taken the UK into the EEC and because it abandoned its manifesto commitments so he could not advocate it at the election.[27]HP Pavilion dm1-1010ss Keyboard

Monetarist economist Milton Friedman sent Powell a letter praising him as principled.[5]:703 Powell had his friend, Andrew Alexander, talk with Labour Party leader Harold Wilson's press secretary, Joe Haines, on Powell's timing of his speeches against Heath. HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Keyboard

Powell had been talking with Wilson irregularly since June 1973 during chance meetings in the gentlemen's toilets of the aye lobby in the House of Commons.[5]:701–2 Wilson and Haines had ensured that Powell would dominate the newspapers of the Sunday and Monday before election day by having no Labour frontbencher give a major speech on 23 February, HP Pavilion dm1-1015ez Keyboard

the day of Powell's speech.[5]:704–5 Powell gave this speech at the Mecca Dance Hall in the Bull Ring, Birmingham to an audience of 1,500, with some press reports estimating that 7,000 had to be turned away. Powell said the issue of British membership of the EEC was one where "if there be a conflict between the call of country and that of party, the call of country must come first":HP Pavilion dm1-1015ss Keyboard

Curiously, it so happens that the question 'Who governs Britain?' which at the moment is being frivolously posed, might be taken, in real earnest, as the title of what I have to say. This is the first and last election at which the British people will be given the opportunity to decide whether their country is to remain a democratic nation, HP Pavilion dm1-1015tu Keyboard

governed by the will of its own electorate expressed in its own Parliament, or whether it will become one province in a new European superstate under institutions which know nothing of the political rights and liberties that we have so long taken for granted.[14]:454HP Pavilion dm1-1016tu Keyboard

Powell went on to criticise the Conservative Party for obtaining British membership despite promising at the general election that they would "negotiate: no more, no less" and that Britain needed "the full-hearted consent of Parliament and people" if Britain were to join. He also denounced Heath for accusing his political opponents of lacking respect for Parliament whilst being HP Pavilion dm1-1018tu Keyboard

"the first Prime Minister in three hundred years who entertained, let alone executed, the intention of depriving Parliament of its sole right to make the laws and impose the taxes of this country".[14]:456–7 He then advocated a vote for the Labour Party: HP Pavilion dm1-1020ea Keyboard

The question is: can they now be prevented from taking back into their own hands the decision about their identity and their form of government which truly was theirs all along? I do not believe they can be prevented: for they are now, at a general election, provided with a clear, definite and practicable alternative, namely, HP Pavilion dm1-1020ed Keyboard

a fundamental renegotiation directed to regain free access to world food markets and recover or retain the powers of Parliament, a renegotiation to be followed in any event by a specific submission of the outcome to the electorate, a renegotiation protected by an immediate moratorium or stop on all further integration of the UK into the Community. HP Pavilion dm1-1020er Keyboard

This alternative is offered, as such an alternative must be in our parliamentary democracy, by a political party capable of securing a majority in the House of Commons and sustaining a Government.[14]:458HP Pavilion dm1-1020es Keyboard

This call to vote Labour surprised some of Powell's supporters who were more concerned with beating socialism than the supposed loss of national independence. HP Pavilion dm1-1020ez Keyboard

At this moment a heckler, shouted "Judas!" Powell responded: "Judas was paid! Judas was paid! I am making a sacrifice!"[5]:708–9[28] Later in the speech Powell said, HP Pavilion dm1-1020sa Keyboard

"I was born a Tory, am a Tory and shall die a Tory. It is part of me... it is something I cannot alter".[5]:709 In 1987, Powell said there was no contradiction between urging people to vote Labour whilst proclaiming to be a Tory: "Many Labour members are quite good Tories".[10]:404HP Pavilion dm1-1020sl Keyboard

Powell, in an interview on 26 February, said he would be voting for Helene Middleweek, the Labour candidate, rather than the Conservative Nicholas Budgen.[5]:709–10HP Pavilion dm1-1022tu Keyboard

Powell did not stay up on election night to watch the results on television and when on 1 March Powell picked up his copy of The Times from his letterbox and saw the headline "Mr Heath's general election gamble fails", he reacted by singing the Te Deum. He later said: "I had had my revenge on the man who had destroyed the self-government of the United Kingdom".[5]:710–1HP Pavilion dm1-1023tu Keyboard

The election result was a "hung parliament". Although the Tories had won the most votes, Labour finished five seats ahead of the Conservatives. The national swing to Labour was 1%; 4% in Powell's heartland, theWest Midlands conurbation; and 16% in his old constituency (although Budgen won the seat).[5]:712HP Pavilion dm1-1025tu Keyboard

According to Telegraph journalist Simon Heffer, both Powell and Heath believed that Powell was responsible for the Conservatives' losing the election.[5]:712HP Pavilion dm1-1027tu Keyboard

Personal life

On 2 January 1952, the 39-year-old Powell married 26-year-old Margaret Pamela Wilson, a former colleague from the Conservative Central Office, who provided him with the settled and happy family life that was essential to his political career. They had two daughters, born in January 1954 and October 1956. HP Pavilion dm1-1028tu Keyboard

Despite his earlier atheism, Powell became a devout member of the Church of England, thinking in 1949 "that he heard the bells of St Peter's Wolverhampton calling him" while walking to his flat in his (then future) constituency.[5]:130HP Pavilion dm1-1029tu Keyboard

Subsequently, he became a churchwarden of St. Margaret's, Westminster. He spent much of his later life trying to prove, by close textual reading, that Christ had not been crucified but stoned to death. HP Pavilion dm1-1030eo Keyboard

Powell was reading Ancient Greek by the age of five and learned it from his mother. At the age of 70 he began learning his 12th and final

In August 2002, Powell appeared 55th in the List of 100 Greatest Britons of all time (voted for by the public in a BBC nationwide poll).[53] language, Hebrew. HP Pavilion dm1-1030es Keyboard

Powell's rhetorical gifts were also employed, with success, beyond politics. He was a poet of some accomplishment, with four published collections to his name: First Poems; Casting Off; Dancer's End; andThe Wedding Gift. His Collected Poems appeared in 1990. HP Pavilion dm1-1030sa Keyboard

He translated Herodotus' Histories and published many other works of classical scholarship. He published a biography of Joseph Chamberlain, which treated the split with William Gladstone over Irish Home Rule in 1886 as the pivotal point of his career, rather than the adoption of tariff reform, HP Pavilion dm1-1030tu Keyboard

and contained the famous line: "All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs". HP Pavilion dm1-1031tu Keyboard

His political publications were often as critical of his own party as they were of Labour, often making fun of what he saw as logical fallacies in reasoning or action. His book Freedom & Reality contained many quotes from Labour party manifestos or by Harold Wilson that he regarded as nonsensical. HP Pavilion dm1-1090ev Keyboard

Like Tony Benn (a personal friend despite political differences, whose peerage Powell helped to renounce so that Benn remain in the Commons), he was seen by supporters as putting conscience and duty to his constituents before loyalty to his party or the sake of his career. HP Pavilion dm3 Keyboard

One young Conservative, during a private meeting at the House of Commons, attempted to express his support for Powell. "Mr. Powell, I am a great supporter of your views." Powell interrupted him. "I do not get letters of support from you. I do not get financial rewards for your support. What is the nature of your support?" he said in his monotone voice. The youth blushed and sat down.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dm3-1000 Keyboard

Political beliefs

Powell stated, "I have and always will set my face like flint against making any difference between one citizen of this country and another on grounds of his origins".[54] In The Trial of Enoch Powell, a Channel 4television broadcast in April 1998, on the thirtieth anniversary of his Birmingham speech (and two months after his death), 64% of the studio audience voted that Powell was not a racist. Some in the Church of England took a different view. HP Pavilion dm3-1001AU Keyboard

Upon Powell's death, Wilfred Wood, then Bishop of Croydon, stated, "Enoch Powell gave a certificate of respectability to white racist views which otherwise decent people were ashamed to acknowledge".[55] HP Pavilion dm3-1002TU Keyboard

Conservative commentator Bruce Anderson has claimed that the "Rivers of Blood" speech would have come as a complete surprise to anyone who had studied his record: he had been a West Midlands MP for 18 years but had said hardly anything about immigration.[56] HP Pavilion dm3-1003AX Keyboard

On this view, the speech was merely part of a badly miscalculated strategy to become party leader if Heath fell. Anderson adds that the speech had no effect on immigration, except to make it more difficult for the subject to be discussed rationally in polite society.[56] HP Pavilion dm3-1003TX Keyboard

Powell's detractors often assert that he was 'far-right', 'proto-fascist' or 'racist'. His supporters claim that the first two charges clash with his voting record on most social issues, such as homosexual law reform (he was actually a co-sponsor of a bill on this issue in May 1965 and opposed the death penalty, HP Pavilion dm3-1008EG Keyboard

both reforms unpopular among Conservatives at the time, but he kept a low profile to his stance on these non-party "issues of conscience".[6]:318 Powell voted against the reinstitution of the death penalty in 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1987. It was not until the late 1960s that he made speeches on immigration and nationality. HP Pavilion dm3-1010EL Keyboard

Powell's speeches and TV interviews throughout his political life displayed a suspicion towards "the Establishment" in general, and by the 1980s there was a regular expectation that he would make some sort of speech or act in a way designed to upset the government and ensure he would not be offered a life peerage (and thus be transferred to the House of Lords), HP Pavilion dm3-1010EW Keyboard

which, some believe, had not any intention of accepting so long as Edward Heath sat in the Commons. (Heath remained in the Commons until after Powell's death.) He had opposed the Life Peerages Act and felt it would be hypocritical to accept a life peerage himself since no prime minister ever offered him a hereditary peerage.HP Pavilion dm3-1011TU Keyboard

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