Enoch Powell, Hypocrite Extraordinaire

Enoch Powell is an interesting man. I don’t like him I must say, but I can see how he was a powerful politician. An Oxford educated man, he was a classical scholar, erudite and extremely bright.

As a Brigadier in Intelligence, he was in India at the end of the War, nursing his own ambitions as Viceroy of India, just before India declared Independence. Even as his dreams dissolved before his eyes, the very idea of it must have terrified him. 

With all he knew of Britain’s dealings in the colony, the centuries that the Crown and British interests had comprehensively milked the country of its wealth, raw materials and commodities, ruling over the people, all of this was coming to an end under the peaceful but oh, so powerful movement that was Mahatma Gandhi – A man Churchill hated and feared in equal measure.

It was this same Enoch Powell who in 1962, in his capacity as Health Secretary, flew to Barbados to canvass the Caribbean populace to give up their lives there, to come and people the ailing NHS. Young doctors and nurses, as well as workers for the transport system were actively wooed.

He, personally, is responsible for the influx of hundreds of thousands of islanders making the journey, under the promise of a new start in the mother country. Not a terrible thing, when taken on its own. Indeed, a very necessary step, if the NHS and transport systems were to survive at all.

In 1968 however, he then stood up to deliver what is now his infamous ‘Rivers of Blood speech, opposing the anti-discrimination bill, where he went on to accuse the same immigrant population he himself had invited over, of potentially being responsible for mayhem and open bloodshed of the white man, on the streets of Britain. That they should be sent packing.

By the way, he also blocked a Public Enquiry into the Thalidomide debacle, exhibiting no sympathy for the victims, whom he also refused to meet. He didn’t even permit a warning to the public of the dangers to them from any pills they might still have at home. Lovely man.