Sunday, 4 November 2007

Enoch WAS Right!

I imagine that by now most of my British readers, at least, have come across the story of Nigel Hastilow, the erstwhile Tory candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, who has resigned as a parliamentary candidate after expressing a widespread, but forbidden, sentiment. Writing in the Wolverhampton Express and Star, Mr Hastilow had said:
When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most say immigration.

Many insist: 'Enoch Powell was right'.

Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 'rivers of blood' speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably. He was right. It has changed dramatically.
And of course, he's right: the country has changed dramatically. I don't think that anyone denies that - the only issue is whether we think it is a good thing. I don't, and I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of the public don't. Keith Vaz, on the other hand, does.

Of course, it's the reference to the Evil Enoch that has really raised hackles. The work and pensions secretary Peter Hain says that Mr Hastilow's comments have exposed the "racist underbelly" of the Tory Party. The supposedly right-wing shadow home secretary, David Davis, described the comments as "very unwise", an indicator of the extent to which the Tories now, and for some time previously, have allowed the politically-correct left to frame the limits of "acceptable debate". The left has deemed Powell's so-called "Rivers of Blood" speech to be something akin to Hitler's speech at the Nuremberg Rally, and, in their eyes, anyone who dissents from that line is clearly an unrepentant Nazi. And they have succeeded in inculcating this view in a great many people, especially those who are too young to remember Powell's speech, and have never, of course, bothered to read the text of it.

Well, I have read the text of Powell's speech, and not only do I find nothing in it that any rational person could complain of, but I also find that he rather accurately predicted many of the unwelcome changes that continued mass immigration - now running, by the way, at over fifteen times what it was when Powell delivered the speech - has brought to this country. So, yes, my belief is that "Enoch was Right", and that Nigel Hastilow showed considerable courage (and possibly substantial foolhardiness, from a careerist perspective) in raising the issue. I also think that, whether the likes of Peter Hain like it or not, the vast majority of people in this country do, knowingly or otherwise, share in the general sentiments expressed by Enoch Powell. Of course, Hain and Co don't like this, and thus they make every effort to shut down any discussion of the issue that transgresses the artificial limits of acceptability that they have imposed, and which the Tories slavishly go along with. They attempt to induce a general belief that even talking about immigration, beyond those very narrow limits, is "racist", whatever that means this week. But they cannot change the fact that the problems that Enoch Powell identified nearly forty years ago are still with us, and that they have got worse, and that most people recognise this.

Postscript: Should any readers wish to peruse the speech's text, then I would advise them that the Mild Colonial Boy, Esq, posted the full text at his blog last month, and that you can read it there. Which I would recommend doing, especially if you haven't read it before.

Update: Nigel Hastilow has a blog of his own, here. In particular, he has left a very brief post to thank those who have expressed their support for him over this matter. At the time of writing, it has attracted 92 comments, of which almost all are strongly supportive. I have also left a message of support, which is currently waiting to be moderated. The strong support that is being shown for Nigel Hastilow, most of it, I would guess, coming from people who stumbled across his blog by means of a Google search, as I myself did, contrasts with the general condemnation coming from the political elite, and serves to illustrate the disconnect between that elite, and the general public.


Homophobic said...

"For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocatuer the power to pillory them for their private actions"

Sooo. Truth or Power. Which wins the day?

JuliaM said...

"...whether the likes of Peter Hain like it or not, the vast majority of people in this country do, knowingly or otherwise, share in the general sentiments expressed by Enoch Powell."

Yes, they do. And ignoring it will only lose the Tory party more votes. It's about time the likes of Cameron & his little head-in-the-clouds coterie wised up to that...

Homophobic said...

No social or political penalty, no threat of private ostracism or public violence, has been spared against those who have nevertheless continued to describe what hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens daily saw and experienced and to voice the fears for the future by which those fellow citizens were haunted. The efforts that were made during the 1930s to silence, ridicule, or denounce those who warned of the coming war with the fascist dictatorships and who called for the peril to be recognized and met before too late, provide but a pale and imperfect precedent.
In all this suppression more than one powerful motive can be seen at work. On the one hand there is the primitive but widespread superstition that if danger is not mentioned, it will go away, or even that it is created by being identified and can therefore be destroyed again by being left in silence. Akin to this is the natural resentment of ordinary people, but especially of politicians, at being forced to face an appalling prospect with no readily procurable happy ending. The custom of killing messengers who bring bad news is not confined to the kings and tyrants of antiquity or of fiction. On the other hand there are at work the dark motives of those who desire the catastrophic outcome which they foresee.

bernard said...

The Tory party must be flattered that Hain thinks it has an 'underbelly'.
I was under the impression it was totally gutless.