Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Listening to Enoch

The new issue of Total Politics carries an interesting interview with UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

In a snap quiz at the end, Farage identifies Enoch Powell as his political hero, and he elaborated on his reasons speaking to the press association.Farage's case for Powell is broader than immigration, but he says:


"I would never say that Powell was racist in any way at all. Had we listened to him, we would have much better race relations now than we have got."


I don't think that Farage - like many of those who would rehabilitate Enoch's views - can be taking Powell's argument and advice to the nation seriously.

In a piece for OurKingdom and OpenDemocracy on Powell's less well known speech in Eastbourne, seven months after 'Rivers of Blood', I set out just what listening to Powell would have entailed. Powell's view of the nation is of no use to Britain in 2008, however Eurosceptic you might be.

1 comment:

Robert said...

With plenty having changed in British politics since the last Euro elections, I think UKIP's vote share will be dramatically squeezed in 2009, with a number of losses from their MEP tally. Who knows, their 2004 result may even come to be perceived of as being as much a flash-in-the-pan as the Greens' "breakthrough" back in 1989.

While finding much that is odd in the party's political outlook, I have known a few UKIP members and found them to be decent, sincere people - hardly the foaming-at-the-mouth xenophobes (or even worse, racists) of frequent perception. And I was actually a university-mate of their current chairman, Paul Nuttall - a nice bloke and far from 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells', being in his early 30s and from Bootle, Merseyside.

As for Enoch, I take Sunder's point about the essential unreality of his position - as well as its socially destructive nature.

And it reminds me of a good joke from a young Lenny Henry...

"Enoch Powell wants to give us £1,000 to go home. Suits me. It only costs me 50p to get to Dudley."