"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

An Open Letter to Mark Steyn, Simon Heffer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart (London), and His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer



We are rapidly approaching the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s Birmingham speech on immigration, more popularly known as the Rivers of Blood speech (April 20, 1968). Powell spoke out against unlimited immigration to England from Commonwealth nations. Because at that time such immigrants were predominantly West Indians and Asians, many saw Powell’s speech as covertly racialist. [Link to BBC documentary on the 40th anniversary—it was surprising balanced for the BBC]

The history of that speech and its time is contested. 

Here, I would like to mention one lesser known incident relating to Powell’s speech. Millie Small, the pop & reggae singer—famous for a 1964 recording of My Boy Lollipop—recorded a song called Enoch Power, mocking Powell’s speech.



Enoch Power

I arrived from Kingston Town
And now live at the bullring
Got to go to Wolverhampton
Help my brothers do a thing
They work all week
To keep the British country running
Weekend it’s reggae time
And the neighbours find it funny
So we all sing

Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell, Lord, Lord
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell, Lord, Lord
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell

The kids all stomp their boots so much
The dance floor’s really shaking
They're having fun then going Dutch
I feel my poor heart aching, so we all sing

Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell, Lord, Lord
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell, Lord, Lord
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell

One day there’ll come a time
When all men will be brothers
They’ll talk as well as dance
And live and love with each other
And they’ll all sing

Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell, Lord, Lord
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell

One day there’ll come a time
When all men will be brothers
They’ll talk as well as dance
And live and love with each other
So we’ll all sing

Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell, Lord, Lord
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell, Lord, Lord
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell

Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell
Enoch, Enoch, Enoch Powell.

My understanding is that Small is now about 70 years old, in good health, and living in England.

Please, please—will not someone—anyone—in England interview Ms Small, and ask her what she now thinks about Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech?

Mark Steyn?
Simon Heffer (journalist & Powell’s official biographer)?
Milo Yiannopoulos?
Breitbart (London)?



Seth

Welcome Instapundit and Chicago Boyz readers!


My prior post is here:

Seth Barrett Tillman, Why The Debate on “Office” and“Officers” Matters, The New Reform Club (Dec. 29, 2015, 2:21 PM)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SethBTillman  ( @SethBTillman )



3 comments:

Kneave Riggall said...

Oh, leave the silly old woman alone! Every human errs, now and then.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ah, for Powell's good ole days when hearing some reggae was the worst thing about immigration!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9831912/I-feel-like-a-stranger-where-I-live.html

Anonymous said...

Why would you imagine she will have changed her mind?