P004 Fifty years on from ‘Rivers of Blood’

Tissot, 20 April 2018

A brief history lesson (I think more than ever EVERYONE needs to know their history, especially with given the UK’s current identity crisis): today is the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. It’s amazing that parts of the speech are still echoed by individuals such as Tommy Robinson and groups like Britain First, as well as in the mainstream media and government policy. Britain is being overrun. Brexit (close the doors). The Windrush fiasco and Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ for immigration. The rise of far right and the idea the Europe is losing its white Christian identity. It’s funny and almost ironic that immigrants, who are mostly in the lowest socio-economic group with no real political power, could cause all this!

The first sentence from Enoch speech for me reflects what is the cause of tension: Power. Race relations, in the Western context, has meant white Europeans (mainly men) giving up power for the abstract concept of equality in order to make another group (who are considered inferior) the same. I do not think European psychology has coped well with this shift in race and gender equality. What comes up time and time again, and is so forcefully shown by Enoch’s speech, is this fear that conceding some power will lead to the downfall of white European hegemony. (This fear is played out in numerous ways in current discourse on the right; today’s catchy phrase is ‘white genocide’.) Is all the oppression and nonsense based on this? A fear? Losing control? Power? A reality where the European would be the ‘other’? I can imagine that would put the fear of God into most Europeans given they are aware of awful treatment of minority groups. However this dystopian nightmare scenario envisaged by the right will not come to pass. We don’t want retribution: my demands are much simpler. I want to be treated fairly in all areas of life. The living embodiment of Kant’s maxim, ‘Act as you would want all other people to act towards all other people’. This is all we have ever wanted.