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Why Enoch was Right
Diversity is not always a strength. In this context, diversity means fewer white people, fewer Englishmen, and fewer Christians. There are those who would celebrate that. I would call them racists.
Perhaps my mixed heritage provides me with a different perspective on the topic of immigration. My father’s family are from Jamaica, originally Nigeria, and my mother’s family are from England. I am, therefore, ethnically half Afro-Caribbean and half English. Most liberals would defend my father’s family in their right to self-determination, whether in Jamaica or in Africa. Why, then, do they not afford my mother’s family the same privilege? Surely, all countries should be able to have a conversation about national security, borders and immigration levels. Not only is it in their best interest, but it is also the job of any government – to protect the national security and borders of the nation because, without them, we do not have a country.
However, the Left has done a great job of toxifying the topic of immigration. Anyone who broaches the subject is instantly labelled a racist, a xenophobe or a bigot. This is not by accident; it is a political policy. The Labour Party is on record saying they wanted to “rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date” Labour decided to brand Tories racists to “deter them from criticising the covert initiative.”
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This isn’t a problem unique to Labour, though. The Conservatives have exacerbated the problem over the past decade, continuously promising to cap/cut/control immigration in their manifestos. It could be argued that the primary reason the Tories gained an 80-seat majority in the last election was to give Boris Johnson a mandate to “get Brexit done” and regain our national sovereignty. Why they squandered it is anyone’s guess.
Open borders do not work for many reasons. The strain on public institutions such as schools, hospitals, social care and welfare is obvious and has been covered more extensively elsewhere. It is true that cheap foreign labour is pricing Englishmen out of work, but the liberal response is to mock the working classes by sneering and mimicking, “they’re coming over here, stealing our jobs.” How does the UK economy benefit from a dozen Eastern European migrants holed up in a one-bedroom flat, working all hours in manual labour and sending the money back home to their motherland? The average Englishman cannot compete.
The more immediate problem is the breakdown of social cohesion, culture, and values. Back to my original point, I would defend to the hilt my father’s family’s right to protect their Jamaican culture. I do not see why the liberal Left find it so offensive that I would do the same for my mother’s family’s English culture. In fact, the biggest surprise to me in this debate so far has been the number of people who have insisted there is no English culture.
The English language, including the written works of the King James Bible, William Shakespeare and the Book of Common Prayer - three of the most popular and most commonly read books in the world. English architecture, from Pugin’s Palace of Westminster and the Elizabeth Tower to Wren’s Hampton Court Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. English food, from a good old English breakfast fry-up to a Sunday roast. English entertainment, ranging from the Royal Ballet to Punch n Judy.
English culture is extensive, varied and beautiful. Our heritage promotes tourism all year round, with people visiting our stately homes and museums. We exported a love of beer, tea, and fish & chips around the world, just as much as our tales of Goldilocks and my childhood favourite, Robin Hood. I didn’t even mention sport, technology, science and religion. To suggest the English have no culture is dishonest and purposefully provocative, if not self-denigration.
As a retort, many on the Left show their racist colours with arguments such as “but the English didn’t invent tea” or “St George wasn’t born in England”. No one is suggesting they did/were. My argument is that it doesn’t matter.
My issue here isn’t exclusively with the Left, either. There are many on the far-Right – “ethnonats” – who would say I have no business in this debate, as I am not English. This seems to be a flawed pure-bloody argument. If ethnicity is rooted in tradition, ancestry, language, history, culture, nationality and religion, then I can attest I am English on all accounts. Then comes the argument that ethnicity is genetic, in which case my DNA test shows I am both English and Afro-Caribbean, 52% and 48%, respectively – those magic Brexit numbers again. But what the far-Right really cares about is skin colour. That’s when we get into the territory of racism. There is an argument to be made that English is a nationality, a culture, and an ethnicity, but I argue against anyone who claims to be English, one has to be white. There is nuance in all things.
Why is any of this important? If we don’t protect our culture, our heritage and our values, if we don’t promote them as important to us, we will lose them. An argument can be made in favour of immigration, but even so, one should acknowledge that incoming immigrants should be expected to integrate into their chosen society. Newcomers should assimilate, not attempt to override. If I moved to Qatar, I would assume that I couldn’t drink alcohol in most places. If I moved to Japan, I would expect to bow when I met a stranger. If someone moves to England, they should be expected to queue for entry to a busy venue. Minor, trivial examples, but the point is clear. If one is moving to England, one should embrace English culture and speak English. There is nothing racist about that expectation.
The recent census data from the Office for National Statistics clearly shows that the English and Christians are the only demographics shrinking in numbers. Every other culture, ethnicity and religion is on the rise. If England is to remain predominantly English and Christian, then something has to be done. There is nothing to suggest England cannot become a multi-racial society, but I would argue it is detrimental to aim for multiculturalism, and there is a difference. There needs to be a primary culture to unite people, and in England, that should be the English culture.
Now, on to Enoch Powell. I do not agree with everything Enoch Powell said. I would struggle to find a single politician I do agree with entirely. But I think there is much to be learnt from his Birmingham speech. Political opponents have tarnished his name, but that does not negate the fact that he had a lot to say on this matter. Powell served this country most of his adult life in the armed forces or the Houses of Parliament. He was a mainstream politician with a tremendous amount of public support. He was an intellectual who spoke multiple languages, including Urdu – which he learnt to better engage with his Pakistani constituents. He was a public servant. Powell’s Birmingham speech (known commonly as “Rivers of Blood” is often commented on as being beyond the pale, but it made a lot of sense.
Raheem Kassam hit the nail on the head in his critically acclaimed book Enoch was Right.
In the speech, Powell recounted a conversation with one of his constituents, a middle-aged working man, a few weeks earlier. Powell said that the man told him: "If I had the money to go, I wouldn't stay in this country... I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan't be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas." The man finished by saying to Powell: "In this country in 15 or 20 years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man".
Thanks to the global Ponzi scheme known as Black Lives Matter, it is now impossible to have a serious conversation about race in this country. The term racism has been redefined from believing in racial superiority/inferiority to a sin that can only be committed by white people. There are many on the Left who genuinely believe a black person cannot be racist. As someone of mixed heritage, I can assure you anyone can be racist, and anyone can be the victim of racism. I have seen my black family members racially abused, and I have seen my white family members racially abused. I have been racially abused by both white and black people. No racial demographic should be exempt from the standards of good behaviour, and no one should be subjected to racial abuse, no matter their skin colour. The imagery of the whip is incendiary but accurate.
Powell went on:
Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that the country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen.
Many an Englishman feels the same way now. There are many areas across the country where the demographics are changing rapidly, where foreign nationals – mostly young men - are housed in hotels, dependent on the taxpayer. The numbers are far higher today, with immigration at 1.1 million this past year and both illegal and legal immigration at record highs.
The problem is usually more prevalent in working-class communities. The elite establishment making the decisions rarely has to face the problems of increased crime. Worse still, the elite establishment is often complicit in covering up the problem. We only have to look at Rochdale, Telford, Rotherham, Oxford, and Blackpool to see the prevalence of Pakistani Moslem rape gangs, how bad the problem is, and how often it is covered up in the name of “protecting multicultural relations” or “diversity”.
Powell quoted a letter he received from a woman in Northumberland, about an elderly woman living on a Wolverhampton street where she was the only white resident. The woman's husband and two sons had died in World War II and she had rented out the rooms in her house. Once immigrants had moved into the street in which she lived, her white lodgers left. Two black men had knocked on her door at 7:00 am to use her telephone to call their employers, but she refused, as she would have done to any other stranger knocking at her door at such an hour, and was subsequently verbally abused. The woman had asked her local authority for a rates reduction, but was told by a council officer to let out the rooms of her house. When the woman said the only tenants would be black, the council officer replied: "Racial prejudice won't get you anywhere in this country."
Again, this is a problem we see today. The assumption of guilt, the accusations of racism. Critical Race Theory dictates that we should not be asking, “was this racist?” but instead ask, “how was this racist?” It seems this has been going on for some time. A woman has every right not to let strangers into her house, and no one has a right to demand entry. Likewise, we have seen what happens in neighbourhoods with little to no integration. Ghettos are created. Former residents move out, and areas of deprivation are created, resulting in a vicious dependency cycle.
Powell advocated voluntary re-emigration by "generous grants and assistance" and he mentioned that immigrants had asked him whether it was possible. He said that all citizens should be equal before the law, and that:
All citizens are equal before the law. Hardly a racist argument.
This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendants should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to an inquisition as to his reasons and motives for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.
The Equality Act was supposedly designed to protect minority groups against discrimination. In fact, it has resorted to the special treatment and elevation of particular groups into a privileged and special class. This is not based on minority status, either. Christians are a minority group in England now but are consistently discriminated against. Certain only communities have been seemingly granted special privileges that set them beyond reproach, and any criticism resorts in dire and very serious consequences.
He argued that journalists who urged the government to pass anti-discrimination laws were "of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it". Powell described what he perceived to be the evolving position of the indigenous population:
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 provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.
Hospital beds and school places are in even higher demand. Some neighbourhoods have been changed beyond all recognition. Affirmative action / positive discrimination means ethnic minorities are often more likely to get a job. This breeds resentment and disillusion. Surely, a better approach is a meritocracy. Hire the best person for the job, regardless of their background.
Powell warned that if the legislation proposed for the then–Race Relations Bill were to be passed it would bring about discrimination against the native population:
The discrimination and the deprivation, the sense of alarm and of resentment, lies not with the immigrant population but with those among whom they have come and are still coming. This is why to enact legislation of the kind before parliament at this moment is to risk throwing a match on to gunpowder.
This is an important point. Many of the Left says, “but you wouldn’t have been born without immigration,” which is true but does not mean we should have a policy of open borders and endless immigration. The Australian points-based system is a good example, as was our Windrush scheme, of attracting the skills/talents we need to improve society, not uncontrolled/unlimited.
This is not a policy of “send them back” it is more a case of putting a hold on further increases as we are at capacity and struggling to cope.
Powell was concerned about the current level of immigration and argued that it must be controlled:
In these circumstances nothing will suffice but that the total inflow for settlement should be reduced at once to negligible proportions, and that the necessary legislative and administrative measures be taken without delay.
Controlled immigration is important. A nation is not sovereign if it has no right to control its own borders. That is one reason many of us voted to leave the European Union.
Powell argued that he felt that although "many thousands" of immigrants wanted to integrate, he felt that the majority did not, and that some had vested interests in fostering racial and religious differences "with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population". Powell's peroration of the speech gave rise to its popular title. He quotes the Sibyl's prophecy in the epic poem Aeneid, 6, 86–87, of "wars, terrible wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood".
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, 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 century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.
There are those who do not want to integrate. There are those who think their culture and their values are superior to our own. Surely, any rational person can see why that conflict might be a problem.
Enoch Powell was right on many points, but he was dismissed as a bigot. Those who are unwilling to entertain his ideas are the true bigots.
Diversity is not always a strength; it is often an Achilles heel. In this context, diversity means fewer white people, fewer Englishmen, and fewer Christians. There are those who would celebrate that. I would call them the racists.
Fr Calvin Robinson is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.