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Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood: 50 Years Later

Enoch Powell

On 20th April 1968, Enoch Powell gave what transpired to be the most infamous speech of the 20th century. To an audience of Birmingham Conservatives, Powell spoke at length about the immigration problem that had been steadily growing in size and scope since the Second World War. He used a letter he’d received from an anti-immigration constituent – who was the only white woman in her street – to emphasise the scale of this problem, and to predict some of the consequences we would inevitably face if we remained with our heads in the sand. Whilst the vast majority of the British people supported Mr Powell, his political peers were not impressed. Tory leader Edward Heath promptly sacked him from the shadow cabinet, and Powell’s colleagues in the House of Commons moved to shun him from acceptable political discourse.

In a perverse way, this set the tone for immigration-related discourse in the modern era. Now, when this topic is raised, the bourgeois media-political class leaps forth in unison to effectively destroy any dissenting voices, and as many of you will know such criticism of immigration or immigrants themselves has been criminalised. One wonders if this is a reaction driven by fear, fear that one man with a message can ignite such support amongst ordinary people – sentiment that, in the eyes of the establishment, must be rooted out and ruthlessly crushed. It certainly was with Mr Powell. The sheer scale of popular support for the things he was saying put the fear of God into the establishment, along with their friends in the powerful pro-immigrant lobbies. Indeed, Powell received thousands of letters of support following his dismissal from the shadow cabinet, with very few negative critiques of his speech.

When he spoke, Enoch Powell told of the insanity of racial degeneration, of permitting ‘the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants’, of the dangers of the Race Relations Act(s) which essentially gave social priority to non-white immigrants, and of the future we would face if this circus was permitted to continue. He also offered an immediate solution: to reduce immigration to ‘negligible levels. In interviews and speeches given later on in his career, Powell advocated a policy of voluntary repatriation for coloured immigrants, which would involve some financial incentive for Commonwealth newcomers to return to their native lands. In fact, something along those lines was offered in the Conservative Party’s manifesto for the 1970 General Election, although this was mere lip service to popular concern and it failed to translate into coherent government policy.

Rather more prophetically, Enoch Powell discussed what would happen if the political class buried its head in the sand and failed to tackle this issue. He stated in an interview in the early 1970s that, should politicians fail to tackle this issue, that ‘a third of London and a third of Birmingham will be coloured’, alluding to the dispossession of Britain’s native people in their own land. Even Powell never believed that we would actually find ourselves in the situation that we do now, whereby 55% of “Londoners” are in fact foreigners, and that the White British population of Birmingham now constitutes a minority of the city’s demographic make-up. Unfortunately, the same can be said of a growing number of towns and cities across the country. There are boroughs in London that are comprised almost entirely of non-white residents – to the tune of 85% in some cases.

Another eerily accurate prediction of Powell’s centres around his most controversial comments. The speech he gave to Birmingham Tories in 1968 has since become known as the Rivers of Blood speech, owing to the following section:

‘As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber flowing with much blood.’

In later years, Powell continued to warn of violence and unrest as a direct consequence of mass immigration and racial diversity. Despite the picture of a well-functioning multi-racial democracy that the liberals like to paint, Enoch Powell was proven right on all counts. Beginning with the Notting Hill race riots of 1958, which preceded Powell’s intervention on this topic, there have been numerous instances that have proven his prediction to be entirely accurate, if a little on the optimistic side. In 1981 and twice in 1985, blacks rioted in London ostensibly against police brutality, but these and others of a similar nature can best be described as anti-white opportunistic disturbances. Incidents such as these occurred throughout the 1980s and 90s, right up to recent times when in 2011 black youths rioted after the death of a black criminal. These, again, were superficially motived by perceived police brutality, yet it quickly degenerated into a free-for-all in which black youths looted shops and offices. Since the turn of the 21st century, we have also begun to see more overtly violent results of “diversity”. On 7th July 2005, the reality of Islamic immigration was brought home to the people as a group of Jihadists bombed trains and buses in Britain’s capital. Since then, of course, we have witnessed numerous terrorist atrocities on the streets of England, perpetrated by Sunni Muslims who were either second or third generation immigrants. Just last year, there were no less than 4 Islamic terrorist attacks in England, one of which resulted in the deaths of 22 mostly teenage girls attending a concert in Greater Manchester. Additionally, over the last 2 decades we have witnessed the rape of English girls by mostly Pakistani men on an industrial scale, with this scourge infecting towns and cities from Newcastle to Newport, Telford, Rotherham, Rochdale and many, many more. These are precisely the Rivers of Blood Powell warned of, and the reality has been so much worse than even he could have predicted.

It’s interesting that despite being presented with the evidence as demonstrated above, Powell’s detractors still dismiss his rhetoric as alarming and incorrect. This is quite an intellectually peculiar position to take, yet it’s very typical of the pseudo-intellectual liberal elite that runs Britain today; nothing can be permitted to infringe on their multi-racial utopian fantasy, even the truth.

So what of Powell’s legacy? To his detractors, of course, he will always be the truculent racialist that they’ve painted him as for the last half a century. Yet to his growing number of admirers, Powell has been posthumously vindicated. Indeed, he can now fairly be represented as the voice of moderation and reason in a world of pro-immigrant extremism. Everything he said is as accurate and relevant today as it was 50 years ago, and his analysis of the importance of race will unquestionably stand the test of time. There are probably, in fact, a number of people who derided Powell’s viewpoints at the time but who are now today, when faced with the overwhelming evidence, somewhat regretting their opposition. There is an entire generation of people who perhaps should have listened, should have taken notice, and should have heeded the warning he offered them. This was the generation who turned their backs on one of the greatest minds of British politics in order to remain closeted in their liberal bubble – the boomers, if you please. They failed to act, and now today we’re paying the price.

Whilst it is true that Powell has been more than vindicated by the events of the last 2 decades, this is of little consolation to his erstwhile supporters. Whether he was right or not, and regardless of who believes it, the British nation stands in ruin as a result of insane immigration policies. When Powell gave his famous speech, the number was 50,000 per annum. Today, the annual gross migration figure sits well over 600,000, almost 300,000 of whom are racially non-European. Around 25% of our population is non-native, a figure which discounts illegal immigrants and is only set to rise and rise in the years to come, given that our native fertility rate is around the 1.5 mark. Whether or not the United Kingdom is finished, time will tell. But taking Powell’s warning at face value would have averted probable catastrophe, which is why it’s with great bitterness that we say, Enoch Powell was right.

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