London Bombings Vindicate British Immigration and Multiculturalism Critic, Enoch Powell

July 20, 2005: London Bombings Vindicate British Immigration and Multiculturalism Critic, Enoch Powell


Eminent Canadian writer, George Jonas, has declared that the London bombings have vindicated the 1968 warnings of British immigration and multiculturalism critic, Enoch Powell. Mr. Powell, a classics scholar and British MP for 24 years (1950-1974), was vilified for his prediction that immigration, if done badly, would cause conflict and violence. In a speech he gave in 1968, he compared future immigration conflict in Britain to a scene in “The Aeneid” by the Roman poet Virgil.

The trail of blood flowing out of a bombed London bus and three subway lines on July 7 has led Mr. Jonas and many others to conclude that Powell was right, his multicultural critics were wrong, and that the government of Canada and all Canadians should take careful note. (Immigration Watch Canada provides a copy of Mr. Jonas' July 18 article. We especially advise Canadians to ponder a major cultural question which Mr. Jonas raises: Are they (immigrants) here to escape the Third World or to recreate it?)

Among the noteable issues that Powell raised was that the high immigration issue had to be discussed publicly and to be evaluated as either a good or bad thing. Mr. Powell's superior at that time, British Conservative Leader Edward Heath, did not agree. Heath effectively kept the issue from legitimate, public discussion by dismissing Powell from the Conservative shadow cabinet after Powell's 1968 speech. In a stroke of supreme irony, Mr. Heath died this month – about a week after the London bombings–but in time to see Mr. Powell's 37 year-old prediction come true.

Mr. Powell stated that large-scale immigration, contrary to what immigration advocates claim, was not a neutral phenomenon. Without citing any particular event, he pointed out that it was the most significant cultural development in Britain in almost 1,000 years. He implied that it had an effect similar to that of the Norman conquest of the English at Hastings in 1066. Powell used his own Wolverhampton S.W. constituents' stories to illustrate his point. He cited the example of an average English worker who saw British-born being displaced in their own country and who was determined to see all of his family emigrate to countries where they would not face the cultural humiliation of becoming a minority in the country of their birth.

Powell's speech occurred between the first and second readings of the 1968 Race Relations Bill. He feared that provisions in the bill would cause legal entanglements and would cause the courts to be used to precipitate conflict between long-time British and recent arrivals.

Most important of all, he stated that it was not just immigration per se but the sheer numbers of newcomers that would make an enormous difference to Britain. It was clear to him that Britain already had an identity and the inflow of large numbers would displace that identity. If British immigration policies in effect in the 1960's continued, immigrants would become the major population groups in many areas where British had resided for generations.

Moreover, as the police investigation of the London bombings is showing, he accurately prophesied that high immigration levels would make integration of immigrants into British society increasingly difficult. Also, the very large size of some ethnic groups would make it increasingly likely that these groups would become communities unto themselves. And their primary loyalty would be to their ethnic group rather than to Britain.

The similarities between what was happening in Britain in the 1960's and what has been occuring in Canada since the beginning of unremitting high immigration levels around 1990 are striking and clear.

The complete text of Enoch Powell's 1968 speech is available in hard copy as a collection of his essays. It is also available at The Vancouver Public Library provided the following web site: .


Immigration Watch Canada provides a summary of all of the main points made by Enoch Powell in his 1968 speech (often referred to as Powell's “Rivers of Blood” speech) on his immigration concerns:

(1) Politics should be directed towards preventing future evil, but often finds itself mired in dealing only with the present. Nevertheless, it is the politician's duty to think about the future. If he doesn't, he deserves the curses he eventually receives.

(2) An average Englishman reported that, because of immigration, he feared for the country's future. He was encouraging his children to leave Britain because he saw a future in which British became a minority in their own country.

(3) Many people do not want to hear this kind of statement, but the truth is hundreds of thousands of others are saying the same thing. Britain is experiencing the biggest social transformation in 1000 years.

(4) By the mid-1980's, the British Registrar's Office (equivalent to Statistics Canada) predicts there will be 3 1/2 million immigrants and their descendants in Britain. By the year 2000, there will be 5 to 7 million, about 10% of the population of Britain. Some areas have already been or will be overwhelmed by immigrants.

(5) Numbers are very important. What can be done to stop the trend? The
answers are (a) to stop or virtually stop, further inflow, and (b) to promote the maximum outflow. Both answers are part of the official policy of the Conservative Party.

(6) “Britain must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, 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.”

(7) The number of those coming “for settlement” have to be reduced; those coming for educational purposes do not have to be restricted.

(8) It is urgent to implement now the second element of the Conservative Party's policy: the encouragement of re-emigration.

(9) “The third element of the Conservative Party's policy is that all immigrants who are in this country as citizens should be equal before the law and that there shall be no discrimination or difference made between them by public authority. ”

(10) The Race Relations Bill at Second Reading Stage proposes to end discrimination, but “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”. “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.” “The sense of being a persecuted minority, which is growing among ordinary English people in the areas of the country which are affected, is something that those without direct experience can hardly imagine”.

(11) An older woman from my Wolverhampton constituency has described her experience of being gradually overwhelmed by immigrant newcomers who discriminated against her and made her life miserable.

(12) Integration should be the result of immigration, but the high numbers and physical concentration of immigrants mean the pressures towards integration which normally bear upon any small minority do not operate.

(13) A Labour MP, John Stonehouse, has had the courage to speak up about this matter, citing Sikh immigrants' campaigns to maintain customs inappropriate in Britain.

(14) Some immigrants are using the laws that already exist to dominate other immigrants and the British-born population. Much more conflict will come in the
future if politicians do not take a stand to reduce immigration now. “As I look ahead, I see, like the Roman, 'rivers filled with blood'.”

(15) “All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.”

Immigration Watch Canada provides you with a copy of George Jonas' article which appeared in the July 18 issue of The National Post:

The vindication of Enoch Powell

George Jonas
National Post

Monday, July 18, 2005

Some 37 years before British-born Muslim suicide bombers exploded their lethal devices in London's transportation system, a Tory parliamentarian gave a brief address to the annual meeting of the West Midlands Conservative Political Centre. The member for Wolverhampton S.W. happened to be a classical scholar. In his critique of Britain's immigration policies, delivered in Birmingham on April 20, 1968, Enoch Powell couldn't resist quoting a line of Latin poetry. “Like the Roman,” he said, “I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

This reference to Virgil's epic, The Aeneid, caused Powell's remarks to become known as his “Rivers of Blood” speech. It effectively ended the one-time Greek professor's political career. The next day, opposition leader Edward Heath dropped him from his shadow cabinet. In hastening to dismiss the maverick scholar (who during the war had also become the youngest brigadier in the British army) Heath unwittingly illustrated what in his Birmingham speech Powell had called “the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future.”

At the time of Powell's remarks, the “immediate present,” in Britain and elsewhere, was dominated by youth culture, the sexual revolution, recreational drugs, Western guilt, the New Left, opposition to the war in Vietnam, anti-colonialism, feminism, environmentalism and the resumption of a fling with Marx, this time resplendent in his Mao jacket. The Zeitgeist was in full flight, with the Red Menace of the 1950s setting in the west and the Red Romance of the 1960s rising in the east. In this intellectual and moral climate, most politicians saw nothing wrong with changing the demographic and cultural makeup of their nations by large-scale immigration from non-traditional sources. Questioning such policies seemed ethnocentric to Western elites, if not downright racist.

Even expecting a degree of integration from newcomers — some adaptation to the host country's customs, languages or mores — was viewed as a form of cultural imperialism. The American-style melting pot was being replaced by a multicultural model. Not only was there a preference for immigrants who were distant from the host country's religion, ethnicity and political culture, but a preference for perpetuating the distinction. Assimilation was a Stone Age ideal. State-of-the-art blueprints of multiculturalism called for immigrants to be encouraged — perhaps even pressured and subsidized — to maintain their separate identities.

In Birmingham, Powell voiced a concern that such policies would lead to friction and fragmentation. “Numbers are of the essence,” he said. “The significance and consequences of an alien element introduced into a country or population are profoundly different according to whether that element is one per cent or 10%.” And even more importantly: “We are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences.”

This was key, as the next 37 years demonstrated. The problem wasn't immigration or even “non-traditional” immigration. Immigrants build some of the greatest societies on earth. But just as dosage makes the difference between medicine and poison, there's a difference between assimilable and unassimilable numbers. Also between immigrants who come to fit in and those who come to stand apart; immigrants who come to settle and those who come to conquer. It isn't where the immigrants are from but where they're going: Are they here to escape the Third World or to recreate it?

Last week, the question was whether Britain's policies fostered the first kind of immigrant or the second. As the investigation into the London bombings continued, state subsidies to multicultural organizations indoctrinating home-grown suicide bombers seemed no longer a Monty Python skit.

Powell might have been grimly amused. For the remainder of his life (he died at the age of 85), he was reviled or ridiculed by the mainstream media and many fellow politicians, on the political right no less than on the political left. “In the wake of Powell's racist foray, no one had the guts to talk about Britishness,” lamented Spectator editor Boris Johnson last week, proving Powell's prescience when he said in 1968: “People are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles.” The Greek scholar's error was to see the obvious before it became obvious to a sufficient number of his confreres.

Powell was the victim of a classical education. Had he never read The Aeneid, presumably he wouldn't have talked about the Tiber foaming with blood. Conversely, had he been even more of an academic by temper, he might have quoted Virgil in Latin (he was tempted, according to his biographer, Simon Heffer). Powell saying, ” Et thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno” to a handful of Birmingham Tories would hardly have caused headlines in Britain.

But he spoke in plain English; the press had a field day and Powell never held a political post again. Last week, though, 37 years after his “Rivers of Blood” speech, as the first news footage appeared on the TV screen showing an oblong stain on the pavement spreading from a demolished London bus to the gutter, it was hard not to think of the prophetic member for Wolverhampton S.W.
National Post 2005