Enoch Powell wasn’t racist because…


by Sunny
30th August, 2009 at 2:35 am    

I have a suggestion for Islamist nutjobs. You may have noticed they suffer from a lot of negative publicity and people keep painting them as supremacists, racists etc. Assume an organisation such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, who I have no time for, don’t want people to get the impression they’re supremacists. What they should do is that rather than express opinions themselves, they should let others speak for them.
It could go something like this:

Brothas and sistaz, you may know we don’t want to turn Britain into an Islamic state. You may also be surprised to hear that we have nothing against tha Jews. No really, we don’t. What about our history you say? Ha ha! Fogeddabout. We have turned over a new leaf. Don’t laugh you there in the back!

Anyway, we don’t do that sort of rubbish. However, I have this letter from a brother who accosted me in the street the other day. The brother said that Jews control the world and the media and all the governments of the Middle East. The Arab people are being oppressed, he said! He went on further to add that we need a revolution in the Middle East and turn it into the sort of Islamic state The Prophet (pbuh) would have wanted.

Brothas and sistaz, I thought it was an interesting letter. You know, we should not ignore these sorts of opinions! We do not subscribe to them but there are people out there with these thoughts and they should be listened to!

Now why did this thought enter my head? Oh yeah, because some brothas keep saying Enoch Powell wasn’t a nasty man, he was just reading out letters handed to him by certifiable nazis. He felt incumbent to read them and implore upon his audience that they pay heed. I pity the fool who comes to me with these arguments.
[Thanks to Tom Freeman for the inspiration.]

As a side-note, I love the way Mr Eugenides compares my earlier defence of Virendra Sharma over Subash Chandra Bose as the same as defending Enoch Powell. Erm yeah. One was a high-ranking British politician who warned that black and white people mixing would lead to race war. The other was a lowly freedom fighter trying to get rid of the British Raj from India who had ruled his country for centuries and killed millions of people in the process. Obviously both are roughly in the same situation. By the same measure Churchill is a dictator who should never be spoken off highly forever.

PS: This rant by Carmen is excellent.

PPS: Normally don’t agree with Oliver Kamm but he has a brilliant put-down of Enoch Powell and Dan Hannan.

PPPS: Don’t normally agree with Peter Risdon either but…


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Enoch Powell wasn’t racist because… http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5693


  2. Arguing the Sunny Hundal way

    [...] Allow me, if I may, to adpot Sunny Hundal’s form of logic for a moment: [...]




  1. Andy — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:53 am  

    This probably won’t be picked up as much but Michael Portaloo is in the Times singing the praises of Charles Murray, of ‘Bell Curve’ fame.

    http://bit.ly/V2sz9

  2. Roger — on 30th August, 2009 at 3:06 am  

    If Powell was not a racist what he did was all the more vile.

  3. Sunny — on 30th August, 2009 at 3:33 am  

    Andy – thanks, I plan to cover it on LC.

  4. Katy Newton — on 30th August, 2009 at 11:20 am  

    I don’t agree with Mr E’s likening of Bose to Powell, but I don’t think Mr E was saying that Powell wasn’t racist, was he?

  5. Sunny — on 30th August, 2009 at 1:34 pm  

    No I don’t think Mr E was defending Powell. That was a commenter on his blog.

  6. Shatterface — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    Say what you want about Powell’s politics, he had great timing.

    Oops, sorry, that was Bernard Manning.

    I get them confused sometimes.

  7. Shatterface — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    ‘One was a high-ranking British politician who warned that black and white people mixing would lead to race war. The other was a lowly freedom fighter trying to get rid of the British Raj from India who had ruled his country for centuries and killed millions of people in the process.’

    One supported the Nazis, the other was an outspoken critic of appeasement who served in the Intelligence Corp.

  8. Sunny — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:44 pm  

    He didn’t support the nazis any more than Churchill supported Stalin.

    He was trying to get rid of the evil right next to him – the British Raj.

  9. Dalbir — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:48 pm  

    Powell might as well have joined the nazis with the views he held.

  10. Boyo — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:53 pm  

    So the British Raj was evil Sunny? I suppose it depends how you define evil…

  11. Boyo — on 30th August, 2009 at 2:56 pm  

    Comparing Powell to a Nazi is almost as simple-minded as some of his own thinking.

  12. Sunny — on 30th August, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

    In fact Bose didn’t even go as far as Churchill because he was opposed by a lot of Indians including Gandhi.

    Whereas Churchill actually entered into a pact before and after. Now, I’m waiting for you, Dale and Worstall to start an anti-Churchill campaign. Let us know when you’ve got it going yeah?

  13. soru — on 30th August, 2009 at 11:19 pm  

    The other was a lowly freedom fighter trying to get rid of the British Raj from India who had ruled his country for centuries

    This is invidious nonsense. Feel free to let him off allying with Hitler – anyone can make a mistake. But the WWII Japanese, who he actively fought for, were about as racist as they come.

  14. Sunny — on 30th August, 2009 at 11:54 pm  

    But the WWII Japanese, who he actively fought for, were about as racist as they come.

    They were. But unless you can offer proof that he wanted the Japs to rule Indians, or that he bought into Japanese racism, I’m not sure what point you’re making. He was trying to play off one enemy against another equally bad foe.

    Like that’s never happened in society. Churchill would never do such a thing. Neither the Americans eh? I must have imagined that photo opp with Stalin, Churchill and Harry Truman.

  15. soru — on 31st August, 2009 at 1:05 am  

    ‘He was trying to play off one enemy against another equally bad foe. ‘

    And, in his own view, so was Hitler.

    As Hitler was prepared to colaberate with Stalin in ortder to get the power to gas the Jews, would your twisted logic somehow make him a good guy too?

    How about Mussolini? How could he reasonably expect to recreate the glory of Republican Rome without making a few deals with some jumped-up angry Austrian?

    You can only take moral relativism so far – once you start expressing admiration for a self-proclaimed fascist who started a futile war of aggression _specifically because he was worried that otherwise his country might become too democratic_, you have kind of lost the plot.

  16. douglas clark — on 31st August, 2009 at 1:06 am  

    The arguement against Bose is that he was a useful idiot. As Rumbold says elsewhere it is next to impossible to extrapolate ‘what ifs’ but the reason for the battle of Kohima / Imphal was at the very least to allow the Japanese to regain air superiority over Burma. Which at the very least would have required a deep buffer zone. In other words there were greater geopolitical forces at work.

    The wikipedia entry on India in WW2 says this:

    By 1942, neighbouring Burma was invaded by Japan. By then it had already captured the Indian territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. As a major possession of the United Kingdom, Japan looked to invade India, as it provided natural resources and could possibly be used as a staging post for an advance into the Middle East and the British oil fields in Persia and Iraq. Japan ceded the Andaman and Nicobar islands to the Provisional Government of Free India on October 21, 1943. In March 1944, Japan initiated an offensive into India’s and advanced as far as Kohima in Nagaland.

    Whether the highlighted phrase is accurate or not, it does seem to me that Bose was on the wrong side at the wrong time.

  17. Sunny — on 31st August, 2009 at 1:53 am  

    As Hitler was prepared to colaberate with Stalin in ortder to get the power to gas the Jews, would your twisted logic somehow make him a good guy too?

    What the hell? I’ve never heard some bizarre logic. Churchill did make an alliance with Stalin to save is own skin. Was that a problem for you?

    I agree with douglas – he had the wrong idea at the wrong time. Though, the Japanese had no power to invade India. They could barely hold on to China and had to withdraw after the ‘rape of Nanjing’.

  18. Boyo — on 31st August, 2009 at 7:38 am  

    I don’t know much about Bose, but it doesn’t sound unreasonable to me to take up arms against the foreign occupier, and ally oneself to the Germans – after all it was what the Finns did. Even if, up until it was time to hand-over, the British Raj, far from being “evil”, was demonstrably one of the best things to ever happen to India ;-)

    Or is it cos I’s racist? :-0

  19. Boyo — on 31st August, 2009 at 7:40 am  

    Don’t you love these pointless what-if threads about the second world war? Must be the silly season…

  20. persephone — on 31st August, 2009 at 9:20 am  

    immigration, far from being “evil”, is demonstrably one of the best things to ever happen to the UK ;-)

  21. Boyo — on 31st August, 2009 at 9:29 am  

    Couldn’t agree more, as demonstrably its product!

  22. George — on 31st August, 2009 at 12:09 pm  

    Never heard of Virendra Sharma. India considers Subash Chandra Bose as a hero of sorts. I believe he went to see Hitler for help but the arch Aryan told him that Indians could do with more Euro colonialism, not less.
    And what did Enoch Powell say anyway in that fateful year 1968?

    “We must be mad, literally mad as a nation, to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population… As I look ahead I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood!’”

    Is this really so inflammatory for a nationalist? Nobody anywhere has welcomed South Asian immigrants – they are perceived to be too socially coarse and pre-mordern. And are the Hindu rightwing organisations any less tolerant of Muslims in their midst?

  23. Rumbold — on 31st August, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

    Sunny:

    Just to reiterate, the Churchill/Stalin and Bose/Japan comparison is invalid. Churchill allied with Stalin only after Hitler had invaded the USSR, and he did so in order to reduce pressure on British forces on the Western front. If the USSR had defeated the Nazis there was never any danger that they might occupy Britain. Bose on the other hand knew that if the Japanese were successful, it would have left them in control of India.

  24. douglas clark — on 31st August, 2009 at 4:31 pm  

    Sunny,

    Err..

    The rape of Nanking happened in 1937. Here is a map of Japanese occupation of China in 1940:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_Occupation_-_Map.jpg

    The point being that the Japanese were not out of it at that time.

    China was on the Allied side in WW2, and gained hugely from the outcome.

    I said this in an earlier thread, or something like it:

    It is said that the battles around Kohima / Imphal were the ‘Stalingrad of the East’.

    I disagree.

    I think it was India’s nearest equivalent to Gettysburg.

    For Indians fought on both sides in that battle. The vast majority fought on the Allied side. Boses’ forces were a rag bag of captured Indians whose option, absent joining his ‘army’ were too horrible to contemplate.

    If Bose was a patriot, he had a funny way of showing it.

  25. indigenouslutoner — on 31st August, 2009 at 5:27 pm  
  26. Sam Pauli — on 1st September, 2009 at 10:22 am  

    rot in hell enoch and say hi to adolph Antifa Hooligans

  27. Jai — on 1st September, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

    Even if, up until it was time to hand-over, the British Raj, far from being “evil”, was demonstrably one of the best things to ever happen to India

    So the British Raj was evil Sunny? I suppose it depends how you define evil…

    Let’s try the following:

    1. Invading and subsequently annexing other people’s territory due to a deliberate policy of imperial expansion, achieved via a combination of Machievallian inteference in local politics & governments, an explicit policy of “Divide & Rule”, and military aggression.

    2. Draining the target territories of wealth for several centuries.

    3. Being directly responsible for millions of famine-related deaths due to administrative mismanagement.

    4. From the start of the 19th century onwards, initiating a series of calculated policies to create distance between British officers in the subcontinent and the local population, in order to prevent integration, assimilation and intermarriage involving the British officers and to deliberately foster a sense of “us and them”.

    5. From the start of the 19th century onwards, being motivated increasingly by a combination of racial theories and Christian evangelism. We are all still having to live with the legacy of those racist attitudes today.

    6. In many cases, being motivated by an assumption of being “the new Romans” and emulating some of their more malevolent imperial policies & attitudes, whilst simultaneously claiming to be acting in the name of a religion a) whose followers were persecuted by the Romans until the reign of Constantine and b) whose ideals (especially the teachings of Christ) the imperialists were grossly contradicting.

    7. Forcibly subjugating the local population directly or via proxies, and thereby ruling against their will. Not exactly democratic.

    8. Numerous human rights violations against civilians involved in working towards Indian independence and/or involved in peaceful protests. Not to mention what was done to large numbers of captured Indian soldiers involved in revolutionary fighting during the events of 1857.

    I could go on, but I think this will suffice for now.

    Or is it cos I’s racist? :-0

    If you would have been happy for Britain to have been annexed by the Germans, the USSR, or any future superpower (China being the obvious example at this stage), against the wishes of the local British population and with the British government, military and civilian population treated in exactly the same way that their Indian counterparts were treated during the establishment, expansion and enforcement of colonial rule, then your stance may have some merit. If not, then….well, hypocrisy is not a positive character trait.

  28. douglas clark — on 1st September, 2009 at 1:18 pm  

    I’d like to ask Boyo exactly how he benefited from ‘The Empire’. I certainly didn’t. And wouldn’t have wanted to either.

    Are we seeing yet another example of rose coloured spectacles being applied to the past here?

    Just asking.

  29. Jai — on 1st September, 2009 at 3:06 pm  

    Douglas,

    Like Mr Hitchens and some of his supporters (re: the Daily Mail article via the other thread), I get the feeling that some Brits are happy with the basic concept of imperialism and view it as a positive thing as long as Britain is the imperial power concerned, ideally the most dominant imperial power of all.

    If anyone else is an imperial power and Britain itself is hypothetically on the receiving end of the aggression, domination and subjugation involved, then of course the other party is “evil”.

    There’s a little bit of a contradiction there, I believe…..

  30. Boyo — on 1st September, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

    oh per-lease douglas. You’re a Scot, are you not? Everybody knows the Empire was Scotland’s job creation scheme, writ large…

    anyway, i didn’t say it benefited the brits, only that we did the WHOLE WORLD a favour ;-)

  31. Jai — on 1st September, 2009 at 5:48 pm  

    I’m sure Al Qaeda and their various supporters also think they’re “doing the whole world a favour” via their aspirations to impose the supposed benefits of a global caliphate on the rest of us against our will.

    Of course, something else they have in common with many Victorian-era colonialists in particular is the fact that AQ’s leaders also suffer from the illusion that they belong to the (right interpretation of the) right religion and are doing God’s will, regardless of the wishes of — and impact on — the targets of their agenda and regardless of how much they break their religion’s humanitarian ideals & principles in the process.

  32. douglas clark — on 1st September, 2009 at 7:58 pm  

    Boyo,

    Yes, I am Scot. But I have real difficulties in seeing how I am supposed to have benefited from Empire. There probably were a lot of Scots that did, particularily in North America, but I take it your arguement is more based on political institutions than it is on individual wealth?

  33. ryan — on 22nd October, 2009 at 11:13 pm  

    Enoch Powell was right and im sick of the islamification of Britain and the rest of Europe, get us out of Europe and get them out of our motherland

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