After his attack on the NHS, the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan continues with his one-man quest to make the Tories look as bad as possible, by praising Enoch Powell (next week: why we shouldn’t name railway stations after victories over the French). Mr. Hannan claimed that Enoch Powell was one of his political influences because he was:
“Somebody who understood the importance of national democracy, who understood why you need to live in an independent country and what that meant, as well as being a free marketeer and a small-government Conservative.”
Mr. Hannan was not talking directly about immigration and race, and as Sunder Katwala points out, he has criticised Enoch Powell’s views on immigration in the past. Other politicians have lauded mass murderers and been excused. Yet he was still wrong to praise Enoch Powell, given the connotations surrounding him.
Any mention of Enoch Powell brings up bad memories for some, and understandably so. He was not some otherworldly academic absently quoting Virgil in a seminar. This was a deliberate message from a highly intelligent and articulate politician: that the rivers of blood would flow if Britain allowed too many non-white immigrants in. How many times have the words ‘Enoch was right’ been uttered? He felt that only white people could be British, even if in law non-whites could be born here or acquire citizenship. He was a racist who knew what he was saying and knew the effect in would have (though probably not the scale). He should not be anyoneâ€™s inspiration for understanding how to live in “an independent country”.
With regards to the EU, there is nothing extreme about Enoch Powell’s views, but why would you single out a man who helped to poison race relations? Harold Shipman might have had sensible ideas about reforming GPs’ surgeries, but you wouldn’t cite him when putting forward ideas.
As Sunder Katwala shows in his excellent post on Next Left, Messers Hannan and Powell don’t even agree on a lot of issues.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: British Identity,EDL