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Tuesday 3 July 2012

And Again Enoch Wasn’t Right

In The Piranha Brothers, the Monty Python send-up of the story of the Krays, one of the Piranhas’ henchmen tries ludicrously to burnish the image of one of them. “He was a lovely man ... lovely ... he bought his mother flowers an’ that” came the gushing tribute, as if this justified all the less lovely behaviour of an East End gangster. Something similar has been in train at Mail Online.

It's That Cover Again

The target of all the gushing at the RightMinds empire of the preposterously puffed-up Simon Heffer is, once again, the late and otherwise not universally lamented Enoch Powell. The Hefferlump has demonstrated his strange obsession with Powell way beyond merely commemorating what would have been his hundredth birthday with a series of revisionist reminiscences.

That series has continued today with a piece by William Forbes (who he? Dunno), who tells that he decided to pronounce on Powell only when he had seen which way the wind was blowing. “Most Englishmen now do not see him as the blatant racist his enemies lambasted, the left-wingers of those days excoriated, and his leader, Edward Heath, condemned” he proffers, wrongly.

Those who are not blatantly racist do not make speeches talking about “the black man having the whip hand over the white man”, and nor do they talk of encouraging repatriation, the latter being a central feature of the Powell speech (you can see the full text HERE). Much of what Powell said would nowadays be a bit strong even for Nick Griffin and his pals at the BNP.

This does not detain Forbes, who instead smears Sailor Heath as being “prejudiced” and pretends that the storm that followed Powell’s infamous speech was some kind of temporary phenomenon (it wasn’t). Oh, and Forbes thinks that Powell having been a Brigadier in the army, while Heath was a mere Colonel, made the latter “betray” his hero. What a load of codswallop.

What Forbes, and all the rest of the revisionists, manage to miss is that Powell never saw active service. Heath most certainly did. And Powell was not universally liked among his fellow Tory MPs: he stood for the leadership after Alec Douglas-Home resigned, but came a distant third behind Heath and Reginald Maudling. Perhaps those MPs already knew of his obsession with immigration.

Yes, Powell’s 1968 speech was not the first manifestation of his anti-immigration stance. He had made his views clear at the General Election four years earlier, and had clashed with Heath over allowing in the Kenya Asians following the discriminatory acts of Jomo Kenyatta. None of this makes Forbes’ article, of course: its purpose is merely to make a political failure look like greatness.

No doubt, knowing Heffer, there will be more. And that’s not good enough.

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