Tag Archives: conservative party


A fascinating podcast in which the historian Andrew Roberts discusses his new biography of Winston Churchill, (https://audioboom.com/posts/7039259-churchill-andrew-roberts-in-conversation-with-robert-tombs).

While the conversation between Robert Tombs and Roberts is both interesting and witty, I found the questions posed by members of the audience, following on from the discussion rather more illuminating.

While Roberts is by no means uncritical of Churchill he is (as indeed am I) an admirer of the man who played a pivotal role in saving Europe from Nazi tyranny, and we should all be eternally grateful to Churchill for doing so.


Enoch Powell Poet

In 1968, the late John Enoch Powell, a member of Edward Heath’s Conservative Shadow Cabinet, delivered what has gone down in history as “The Rivers of Blood” speech. In it Powell argued that non-white immigration into the United Kingdom should be halted and that those immigrants already present should be encouraged to return to their countries of origin. The speech was condemned by Heath and led to Powell being dismissed from the Shadow Cabinet.

The decision of BBC Radio 4 to broadcast the speech in full at 8 PM (UK time) on the evening of 14th April, has provoked much controversy (see, for example https://www.telegraph.co.uk/radio/what-to-listen-to/bbc-radio-4-broadcast-enoch-powells-rivers-blood-speech-first/).

I in no way endorse Powell’s views on race, as can be seen from my poem “Kipling May Regret”, https://scvincent.com/2018/03/26/guest-author-kevin-morris-kipling-may-regret/. However the furore over the impending broadcast reminded me that Powell was (as well as being a politician) a poet of some distinction, http://laudatortemporisacti.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/cheerful-thoughts-from-enoch-powell.html.

We can (and should) separate a man’s views from his literary output. Consequently, while in no way endorsing Powell’s opinions on race, one can appreciate his verse which does, to my mind have echoes of that of A. E. Housman.


Dining With Enoch

London is a melting pot with people from all parts of the world living, working and sometimes loving together. The lady who assists me in formatting my books and other administrative tasks is black British. Her boyfriend is white. This is, to me a sign of progress, that love and friendship can overcome racial and other differences.

Unfortunately not everyone thinks in the same way. Yesterday evening as I sat in my favourite Indian restaurant enjoying a curry I overheard the following snatch of conversation

Man, “Enoch Powell was right”.

Fellow diner sitting on an adjacent table, “Yes”.

Back in April 1968, the late Enoch Powell (a member of Edward Heath’s Conservative Shadow Cabinet) delivered what has come to be known as “The Rivers of Blood” speech, so called because of the line

“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like

the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood.'”

Powell was referring to the racial conflict which he believed would flow from allowing non-white immigrants into the United Kingdom. He called for “voluntary repatriation” of non-white immigrants and opposed the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation.

The speech lead to Powell’s dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet and is, to this day still sighted by opponents of a multi racial society.

I have known the owner of the Indian restaurant for many years. He and his staff are wonderful, kind, charming people and it is particularly sad that a customer chose to invoke Powell’s views on race in an approving manner in that restaurant. I wonder if the speaker considered the irony of his support for Powell’s sentiments as he sat enjoying his curry in an Indian restaurant which (had Powell had his way) would, in all probability not have existed. I doubt that this gentleman has much capacity for self examination so the answer is, almost certainly no.

Ultimately love and friendship cut across racial lines and Powell’s views are, thankfully slowly dying out.

For information on Powell’s speech please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_of_Blood_speech

Controversy Rages Over Mantel’s Fantasy About The Assasination Of Margaret Thatcher

The author, Hilary Mantel has written a short story in which she imagines the assassination of the late Lady Thatcher. The story is set in 1983 and imagines a fictional scenario in which a middle-class lady allows an IRA terrorist into her house to assassinate the Prime Minister.

Mantel’s story has been condemned by people of all political complexions as being in poor taste and some are calling for the police to investigate. Others defend the story on the grounds of literary freedom. It is, they argue a work of fiction and Mantel has every write to express herself. For one of the many articles on this hot potato please see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2764520/Hilary-Mantel-unrepentant-backlash-grows-fantasies-assassinating-Margaret-Thatcher.html

The Face Of Bigotry

This morning I popped into my local Whetherspoons pub for breakfast. As I sat tucking into my fry up the words of a fellow customer reached me.

“I don’t go into Croydon because of the blacks”.

The man then proceeded to regail his fellow patrons with his views on race relations which where reminiscent of those expounded by the late Enoch Powell in his “Rivers Of Blood” speech delivered on 20 April 1968, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3643823/Enoch-Powells-Rivers-of-Blood-speech.html. The speech derived it’s title from Powell’s statement

“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like

the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

I am white and my first girlfriend was of West Indian origin but born in the UK which makes her as British as I am. It is not the colour of a person’s skin but what lies within which renders them human. The colour of one’s skin is a mere accident of birth and to imply (as my fellow pub goer did) that an entire section of the population ought to be avoided due to the colour of their skin is monstrous. I was sorely tempted to walk across and express my displeasure to the speaker, however this would have served no purpose other than making me feel better and could have resulted in a blazing argument. Such an argument would have benefited no one so I held my tongue.

One of the strengths of the area in which I live is that people of many races live together in harmony. People are just that, people. Skin colour is surface deep, it is the heart which beats within that matters.

empty vessels make the most noise

The sound of birds tweting happily away is one of the most beautiful this world has to offer. The singing of birds is especially beautiful during the Dawn Chorus and late in the evening just as our feathered friends are preparing to roost for the night. There is, however another kind of tweting which sets my teeth on edge, that of twitter.com.

My objections to Twitter are twofold, first it promotes (not always but often) inanity of the worst kind and, second twitter.com leads people to behave irresponsibly and, on occasions with a blatant disregard to the law.

As regards pointless tweting I really don’t care that Jo Bloggs is having coffee in Mcdonalds or some other restaurant and I smile with disbelief at those who religiously follow Jo Blogg’s tweats. Apart from my concerns regarding those who note all Jo’s tweats I also can’t help thinking that Mr Blogs might enjoy his coffee even more if he didn’t feel the necessity of tweting to all and sundry about his drinking habits.

Of course who people choose to follow is their own concern, It is no business of mine grimace though I may. However of real concern is the irresponsible attitude adopted by some users of Twitter. This was most recently exemplified by approximately 10,000 users of Twitter who either accused a senior member of the British Tory (Conservative) Party of being a paedophile or retweted these wholly false allegations. Given the falsity of the tweats the gentleman in question has, not surprisingly instructed lawyers to sue the tweters in question. As it stands a number of prominent people stand to lose significant sums of money if they are proved to have made the false allegations in question.

Paedophilia is a horrendous crime, however to make baseless allegations concerning innocent individuals is wholly inexcusable. Of course tongues will wag in pubs and other public places and one can not prevent this. However in the case of Twitter baseless accusations can be tweted around the globe to hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of seconds and the names of wholly innocent people become blackened. People who have never in their lives harmed a child have been attacked and, on occasions killed due to wholly baseless rumours regarding them. People need to think rather than jumping on the band wagon and using Twitter to fuel the rumour mill.

When I think of Twitter that phrase of Shakespeare’s springs unbidden into my mind “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing”.

Having said all that I do use Twitter to promote my blog so I am speaking with something of a fawked tongue. However I am seriously considering closing my Twitter account as I don’t like the ethos which all to often it seems to spawn. Of course there are countless numbers of decent Twitter users but I still don’t like the shallowness which it all to often appears to represent.