Seriously bizarre argument

Enoch Powell would never have joined the UK Independence Party because it is threatening to deny voters a say over Britain’s place in Europe, his former archivist has claimed.

Enoch didn’t in fact join so the first part of that is fine. But the party that campaigns for the voters to have a say, the party which has managed to keep the idea of the voters having a say on the agenda (the major achievement of the party’s existence in fact) is therefore threatening to deny the voters a say?

Idiot twaddle there methinks.

24 thoughts on “Seriously bizarre argument”

  1. So voting for a party that wants the UK to leave the EU (and assuming UKIP do well enough to show a large proportion of the public agree with its aims) is worse than a referendum? Which one is true democracy?

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    People like their political views tied up in neat bundles. Neat and consistent bundles. So if you like Europe and like Powell, it follows that Powell must have liked Europe. If you hate Powell but like Europe, it follows he must have hated it.

    Anything else creates too much cognitive dysfunction.

    Personally I think Powell was the smartest man to grace modern British politics. So I like to think that he would have hated Europe. But much of British politics is a team sport and unlike, say, Empire, no one is quite sure which side their team supports. Labour has been all over the place in particular. So Powell might have supported either side, or both, at various times. Although I am sure he had an excellent and well thought out case whatever he did.

  3. There are plenty of people who dislike the EU but wouldn’t vote for UKIP. Thats why a referendum is essential, that’s why Dave is doing everything he can to avoid one, and that’s why the Left won’t even countenance a referendum they will lose.

  4. What argument there is, is that Cast-Iron Dave has promised a 2017 referendum if he gets back in next May; but if UKIP steals enough Tory votes, we’ll end up with a Lab/SNP coalition that definitely won’t offer one.

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    ” Powell was the smartest man to grace modern British politics.”
    Tony Blair was smart. Brown presumed he was entitled to be smart because of… Dave thinks he’s smart. Miliband’s been told he’s smart.
    Powell wasn’t smart or he would have prospered longer in politics. He was learned & honourable. Not smart assets to have in politics.

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke (not) in spain – “Tony Blair was smart.”

    No I don’t think he was. Hard to think of a single clever idea Blair had. He was an empty shell that adopted whatever ideas clever people around him put forward.

    “Brown presumed he was entitled to be smart because of…”

    What?

    “Dave thinks he’s smart.”

    I doubt he does. Actually.

    “Miliband’s been told he’s smart.”

    He may be. Not showing a lot of signs of it though.

    “Powell wasn’t smart or he would have prospered longer in politics. He was learned & honourable. Not smart assets to have in politics.”

    I think you can be smart and learned and honourable. I don’t think you can have a particularly successful political career if you have too many of those traits. As Blair showed. But Powell was smart. Perhaps too smart. But not dishonest.

  7. Powell was too intellectual for his own good.

    He is, of course, now best known for his “Rivers of Blood” speech, which had precisely the opposite effect to what he must have intended. It’s possible that if he’d been less keen on the classical metaphors, and stated his case more simply and with less apocalyptic rhetoric, it would have been better received.

    (Though, bearing in mind the stuff about “grinning piccaninnies”, perhaps not.)

    His argument against a papal visit to Britain on the grounds that the Queen and the Pope couldn’t be in the same country at the same time was just odd.

    If he’d said “I’m an Ulster Unionist MP and we’re not big fans of Popery, so keep the man in the big pointy hat out of Britain”, while that wouldn’t have been a terribly inspiring message, at least it would have been a comprehensible one.

    He once said “Europe can never be a democracy because there is no European demos”, and of course that is true. The EU views democracy in much the same way as a burglar views those “this is a neighbourhood watch area” signs.

  8. bloke (not) in spain

    ” Hard to think of a single clever idea Blair had. ”
    He had one very clever idea. “Tony Blair”
    Similar to Disney having Micky Mouse.

  9. Camorgueron has broken so many promises that the referendum one is worthless.

    Richard North thinks that said promise is the only game in town but I think he is kidding himself. TPTB are not going to allow any referendum unless they are 100 % certain it will turn out their way.

  10. In aiming for the big splash, Powell replaced judgement with hype, and ended with a speech that was as malevolent in tone as it was counter-productive to his argument (and would continue being so for decades thereafter).

    This is scarcely smart, and I like to think he regretted it.

  11. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Many compare Powell with AW Benn in their rhetorical skills and intellectual powers. They shared many traits: opposition to nuclear arms, an innate anti-americanism, opposition to the EU.

    But whereas Powell defined his positions on the basis of Aristotelian (I think) logic and in so doing often painted himself into corners, Benn simply acted out of prejudice .
    This is no better shown than by Benn’s refusal to share a platform with Powell in the Common Market referendum and of course his inexcusable opposition to the Falklands campaign, which Powell wholeheartedly supported.

    Powell was afraid that we would see the sort of inter-racial strife that is so obvious in USA. We nearly reached that nadir in the 1980s, but somehow averted the full-blown war that he foresaw. The strife now is one of cultures: immigration as an issue has become de-racified by Eastern Europeans and influxes by specific immigrant groups and of course fundamentalist Islam amongst 2nd or 3rd generation settlers.

    And in the sort of dialectic paradox that would have amused him, Enoch was right and wrong at the same time.

    .

  12. bloke (not) in spain

    “Many compare Powell with AW Benn in their rhetorical skills and intellectual powers.”

    !!!!

    Benn’s standard response was “That’s a very important & interesting question you’ve asked. But the question I’d like to answer….”

    Double-glazing sales training primer, page twelve.

    Oh, he was Oxbridge wasn’t he? Figures.

  13. I want a referendum in 2017. If it comes I will vote to leave the EU (and will then start campaigning to withdraw from the ECHR). But whatever the outcome, I will abide by the settled will of the British people.
    Others SAY they want a referendum, buy actually don’t want to take the chance of fighting and losing. So they tell themselves the promise of a referendum is a big lie. Then they campaign to take votes away from the only party offering the British people a say. And they convince themselves that they’re “all the same”. I don’t believe them; not a word.

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    Jack C – “In aiming for the big splash, Powell replaced judgement with hype, and ended with a speech that was as malevolent in tone as it was counter-productive to his argument (and would continue being so for decades thereafter).”

    Wow. A post with something like substance. You are improving Jack. I don’t think that he aimed for the big splash. I think he would have been Mau Mau’ed no matter what. It probably was counter-productive, but Powell was not malevolent. He was simply logical. That sounds a bit harsh to the modern touchy-feely generation but that does not reflect badly on him.

    “This is scarcely smart, and I like to think he regretted it.”

    I am sure you do. But you are not acting in good faith are you?

    Bloke no Longer in Austria – “Powell was afraid that we would see the sort of inter-racial strife that is so obvious in USA. We nearly reached that nadir in the 1980s, but somehow averted the full-blown war that he foresaw. The strife now is one of cultures: immigration as an issue has become de-racified by Eastern Europeans and influxes by specific immigrant groups and of course fundamentalist Islam amongst 2nd or 3rd generation settlers.”

    Islam is a racial issue of precisely the type Powell was talking about. I don’t think we have avoided it. Like the US, we now have a de facto low-level civil war with the Black communities in the form of crime. They have rejected our values, and hence our legal system, but that rejection is not yet organised. We have also had brown terrorists splatter British blood, bone and flesh all over the Underground. Not to mention the de facto civil war that is going on against non-Muslim communities that live too close to Muslim ones.

    We talk about Eastern European immigration because of the legacy of Powell – everyone knows if they are too honest about the non-White their careers will be over. But no one much minds the Poles. They are just a stalking horse for the communities people do mind.

    “And in the sort of dialectic paradox that would have amused him, Enoch was right and wrong at the same time.”

    He was not wrong. We are like the proverbial boiled frog. The increase in violence against us has been so slow and gradual we have become accustom to it. If 1400 British girls had been gang raped in the 1950s there would have been riots.

  15. Powell was very good analysing and editing ancient Greek texts (see the Oxford Classical Text edition of Thucydides, edited by one “Johannes Enoch Powell”. Apart from that, he was an unprincipled, unscrupulous idiot.

  16. So Much for Subtlety

    Luke – “Apart from that, he was an unprincipled, unscrupulous idiot.”

    When did he ever do anything unprincipled in his life? If anything his problem was he took principle to an insane length. Unscrupulous? Likewise – how do you justify that claim?

  17. SMFS,
    Powell knew the speech was going to be very controversial indeed, and said so.

    I’m also not sure how you can describe some of the speech as malevolent in tone. He provided significant ammunition to those that wanted to close down the debate, and we’ve suffered for it.

    Don’t forget, the Commonwealth provided a great many bodies for the war effort only a few years before. A little ungrateful don’t you think?

  18. So Much for Subtlety

    Jack C – “Powell knew the speech was going to be very controversial indeed, and said so.”

    So what? Everything Polly says is controversial. Oh wait. She is malevolent.

    “I’m also not sure how you can describe some of the speech as malevolent in tone. He provided significant ammunition to those that wanted to close down the debate, and we’ve suffered for it.”

    He did not intended to provide the Left with the ammunition. They took what he said and twisted it beyond recognition. It is absurd to suggest he wanted to shut down debate on this topic. He saw a problem and he said some mildly sensible things about – supported by the majority of the British population.

    “Don’t forget, the Commonwealth provided a great many bodies for the war effort only a few years before. A little ungrateful don’t you think?”

    The White Commonwealth, sure. The rest of the Commonwealth was mainly concerned with job training or fought for the money. When they did not mutiny. India lost fewer soldiers than Finland. Although it had about 70 times the population of Australia, it lost about twice as many soldiers.

    Not that it matters as the illiterate Bengali we took did not fight on either side in the war.

  19. If you’re going to be disingenuous, Tim, try a bit fucking harder to conceal what you’re doing. Vote Farage, get Miliband; that’s all that’s being suggested. It’ll probably happen, too, then you’ll be a happy band of kippers, won’t you?

  20. “I’ll take time out to say it again: racism is thick; racists are thick arseholes.”

    How would you characterise those who willfully fail to notice the stark differences between different cultures and the people they consist of?

  21. Powell was like UKIP – he’d say anything (and I mean anything) to get elected. That’s why I say he was unprincipled. NB his enthusiasm for Commonwealth immigrants when he was health minister – cheap nurses were good when he was trying to keep NHS budget down.

    See also Farage’s swipes at “college boys”. He suddenly approves of “college boys” if they are racist ancient Greek textual critics.

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