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Admire the mind... and disagree utterly.

debelidebeli Posts: 582
edited April 2015 in The cake stop
In these troubled days of small-minded 'Little-Englandism' and the wholesale dumping of blame upon an immigrant population, I have started to re-read (and re-view) the words of Enoch Powell.

Although his imagery regarding the Tiber was poorly represented in the press - and remains so in popular culture today - much of the content of his speech in Birmingham was hateful and quite opposed to my thinking.

I am (as many of us are) not many generations from a non-WASP immigrant ancestry and much of the rhetoric and thinking of Mr Powell sticks badly in my craw.

But for all that, there lies behind his Imperial nostalgia and retrovisorial yearnings a quite excellent mind.

With the topic for which he became best known now again all over the press, I mourn the passing of such extraordinary intellects in the Lower House, even though in his case much of what was spewed forth was hateful.

Today we retain the hateful thinking, but few can present its logic so clearly and fewer still can do so in a style so easy to read or listen to.

Posts

  • jawoogajawooga Posts: 530
    Nice post. Eloquently put yourself sir.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,092
    Substance over perception and soundbites.


    Politicians of conviction, whatever their colours, are a rare breed. Even rarer are those that are blessed with a first class mind and intellect.

    Is it the calibre of individual who now gravitates towards a political career or simply the spotlight of press scrutiny more revealing?
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • debelidebeli Posts: 582
    Slowmart wrote:
    Substance over perception and soundbites.


    Politicians of conviction, whatever their colours, are a rare breed. Even rarer are those that are blessed with a first class mind and intellect.

    Is it the calibre of individual who now gravitates towards a political career or simply the spotlight of press scrutiny more revealing?

    I suspect it is the former, but the latter may have some influence by acting as a filter during the upward thrust on the greasy pole within one or another party.

    Among the great minds in domestic politics in my younger years the likes of Benn, Foot and Powell stand out. I shared the politics of none of them, but all had a clarity and persuasive edge that I do not see today.

    I may just be too middle-aged and grumpy to engage in politics any longer..... sigh.....
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    A highly intelligent and eloquent man. I studied his translation of Herodotus as part of my A-level in Ancient History.

    Regarding the rise of soundbite politics, I think the most likely explanation is that the people going into politics are just as clever as ever, it's just that they have an ever lower opinion of the electorate. Not to mention the fact that televised debate seems to be putting your ideas across in a couple of minutes (See Question Time, for example).
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Debeli wrote:
    Today we retain the hateful thinking, but few can present its logic so clearly and fewer still can do so in a style so easy to read or listen to.
    Different world. Today politicians resign/are sacked if they put a single foot wrong on just one occasion (Farage seems immune at the moment but this will change if his party becomes mainstream).

    In world where a political career is curtailed as a result of calling a police officer a pleb, how long would someone of say Churchill's stature and style survive? Answer - about a week.

    Simply put - politicians today cannot afford to say what they really mean - they tread a line for fear of triggering the wrath of the vocal minority.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,831
    johnfinch wrote:
    Regarding the rise of soundbite politics, I think the most likely explanation is that the people going into politics are just as clever as ever, it's just that they have an ever lower opinion of the electorate.
    And that's not surprising, when the electorate, taken as a whole, is such a load of hypocrites. We say fine things to the pollsters, but when it comes to the crunch, we tend to vote for the party that promises the best give-aways for our demographic. Too often 'the electorate' (again, taken as a group) behaves like selfish idiots, and so the politicians respond appropriately.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,964 Lives Here
    Plenty of smart eloquent people.

    What you do with the mind is the only thing worth paying attention to. Ergo, nothing to admire.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,831
    Gosh. I just re-watched Geoffrey Howe's resignation speech of 1990, which I saw live at the time. He's not a charismatic orator, but I remember as I watched it thinking that he was bringing down the Prime Minister, and he did. And, interestingly, I think the speech is equally important today as it was then. https://youtu.be/6DHzv6LQRxU?t=1m30s
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    edited April 2015
    What you do with the mind is the only thing worth paying attention to. Ergo, nothing to admire.

    Despite disagreeing with his views on immigration, it's worth considering the world in which Enoch Powell lived. For most of his life, the world was a regular witness to ethnic conflict - Nazi Germany, India and Pakistan, South Africa, Arabs and Israelis, Hungary and her neighbours, the American south........

    Looking back with hindsight, we can see that people are generally capable of living together in multi-ethnic societies, but I can understand why people living in Powell's time would have been fearful of mass immigration and having the opinion that different ethnicities/nationalities can't co-exist harmoniously.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Personally I think you need to look at politicians with the eye of their time not your time. Powell was in a totally different time, as said in earlier post. You need to understand those times to truly take his speech in I think.

    They say conviction politics is dead, curse of pollsters and focus groups. It is not dead, you still get them in the likes of Labour's awkward squad. That used to include Galloway and Skinner. I think there are conviction politicians in all parties. Bit part players with often distasteful and very left or right wing.

    Remember though, we get the politics we deserve. I think there's been a shift towards voting less to ideologies or beliefs more to selfish or shallow reasons.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 15,289
    Politics now are more about personalities, appearance, and image.
    Actual policies are way down the list.

    Wrong, but true.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    johnfinch wrote:
    What you do with the mind is the only thing worth paying attention to. Ergo, nothing to admire.

    Despite disagreeing with his views on immigration, it's worth considering the world in which Enoch Powell lived. For most of his life, the world was a regular witness to ethnic conflict - Nazi Germany, India and Pakistan, South Africa, Arabs and Israelis, Hungary and her neighbours, the American south........

    Looking back with hindsight, we can see that people are generally capable of living together in multi-ethnic societies, but I can understand why people living in Powell's time would have been fearful of mass immigration and having the opinion that different ethnicities/nationalities can't co-exist harmoniously.

    I don't remember that speech but i do remember him on desert island disks and he talked about his time in the western desert and the way the tank crews died horribly and the total chance that you d be hit by a shell and his guilt that he survived - i was only a kid but the sadness in his voice and his words have always stayed with me.

    i recently became friends with a Polish guy and his family, they told me about the taunts they get from english children waiting for their school bus, how they are ignored by their neighbours (who r in the main white "working" class), even to the extent that he didnt feel welcome in a local cycling club he tried to join (they are moving back to Poland after 8 years in the uk, as they do not feel the uk is a great place to bring up a child) ..... how much worse would is it for an African or Asian family living in a relatively poor area? i felt ashamed to be english.

    though the times have changed, i do not believe that mass migration, esp of non so called christian migrants is good, maybe generations further down the line, we will all become integrated but i dont think so and i dont think that outside of affluent areas, integration has worked at all.

    But until recently, no one could say this without being called a racist.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,418
    Mamba, of course integration hasn't worked. That is the whole point of Multiculturalism, the failed experiment foisted upon us by the liberal left.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Ballysmate wrote:
    Mamba, of course integration hasn't worked. That is the whole point of Multiculturalism, the failed experiment foisted upon us by the liberal left.

    totally agree with integration point but the first experiments with multi culturalism was in the 50s and 60s and that was both tory and labour governments, who have continued with non eu migration to the present day.
    the EU immigration would have happened regardless of who was in power and it is business (that tends to be more conservative) that has cut wages to british workers and scoured the eu looking for cheaper workers to employ.

    would either tory or labour be talking about curbing immigration if it were not for ukip?????

    i dont see it as a left/right issue, rather that our political elite live in a bubble and are totally out of touch with the real peoples lives.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,418
    mamba80 wrote:
    Ballysmate wrote:
    Mamba, of course integration hasn't worked. That is the whole point of Multiculturalism, the failed experiment foisted upon us by the liberal left.

    totally agree with integration point but the first experiments with multi culturalism was in the 50s and 60s and that was both tory and labour governments, who have continued with non eu migration to the present day.
    the EU immigration would have happened regardless of who was in power and it is business (that tends to be more conservative) that has cut wages to british workers and scoured the eu looking for cheaper workers to employ.

    would either tory or labour be talking about curbing immigration if it were not for ukip?????

    i dont see it as a left/right issue, rather that our political elite live in a bubble and are totally out of touch with the real peoples lives.

    Because of EU treaties we are powerless to control EU migration and as you point out, until recently any politician who questioned immigration levels would have been branded racist and could kiss goodbye to his career.
    A glut of cheap labour is always gong to depress the wage market. Strange that a lot of people, mostly on the left, are pro immigration but clamour for a substantial rise in wages for the low paid. As long as there is a source of cheap labour, wages will stay depressed.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,627
    "A working class hero is something to be - they hate you if you're clever and the despise a fool". We don't hold intellectual savant's in high regard. Politics has devolved partly through the lack of political ideology and partly by pandering to the lowest common denominator driven by a Murdoch press.
    Gone are the great orators but so too has the political climate changed. Politicians have to appear to be squeaky clean, almost holier than thou which is inherently hypocritical. I honestly think that politics have been hijacked and have to adhere to the unwritten rules/aspirations of the middle classes.
    They don't want a 2 tier education system - Grammar and Comprehensive schools and why not? No way can they face the fear that little Johnny might not pass his eleven plus never mind the collective good of having technical potential and academic excellence.
    Blair sold it to us with his education, education, education and the seemingly unlimited University places. "An extra 50,000 places a year". For what? For a heap of Mickey Mouse degrees with no outcome thereby diluting and degrading the degree? No, to placate and massage the middle class electorate to get their vote.

    @ Bally. Employers need cheap labour, especially in agriculture, especially in a society where the work ethic has mostly gone. Migrants show us up because they are willing to work - that's our fault, not theirs. We create the opportunity and the vacuum. We do not have a progressive education system. We do not look to the future with a holistic perspective, we simply fire fight and muddle through everything (26th on the Global list for achievement at school).

    All the political parties dare not address poor lifestyles and preventative medicine to diffuse the ticking time bomb (that has already gone off) of poor health. It would mean such a categorical attitude and cultural shift that most would find hard to stomach (no pun intended). Unfortunately, that is what is needed and a paradigm shift away from the 'me' culture. It is without doubt that Mrs T engendered the populace to the 'me', idiosyncratic mind set and then later on, perpetuated by Blair.
    The Neo-cons heavily influence Tory policy despite the re-occurring Boom Bust that is inherent to it. Of course, the well off never suffer the consequences of it, always trying to sell the mythical idea that the wealth filters downwards given economic prosperity. After all, it is in their interest to maintain that status quo and the so called left, cannot, dare not, go against that grain. We're stuffed.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,418
    @ Bally. Employers need cheap labour, especially in agriculture, especially in a society where the work ethic has mostly gone. Migrants show us up because they are willing to work - that's our fault, not theirs. We create the opportunity and the vacuum. We do not have a progressive education system. We do not look to the future with a holistic perspective, we simply fire fight and muddle through everything (26th on the Global list for achievement at school).

    Totally agree re the work ethic, we are becoming a lazy nation. We expect everything to be handed to us. I certainly don't blame immigrants for wanting to better their lives by coming here to work hard.
    I may have recounted this tale in a previous thread about Polish workers, if so, I apologise.
    My sister in law emigrated to Florida with her American husband, where she managed to find work quite easily.
    She was shocked by the American work ethic, or lack thereof. She found Americans to be quite lazy and Floridians particularly so, compared to the UK. Much the same as I expect Polish workers found their UK counterparts.
    It would appear that the pattern is set. The more successful or affluent a nation becomes, the lower the motivation. So yes we do create the labour vacuum ourselves. How many people here look down on certain roles as being beneath them. Migrant workers have no such qualms, they roll their sleeves up and get on with it.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,092
    Look at the evolution of the welfare state and how the original intentions of the Liberal government of 1906-14 translated into reshaping the boundaries of public welfare provision which then provided the platform for the momentous changes associated with the First and Second World Wars which paved the way for the creation of the 'classic' welfare state after 1945.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,424
    Ballysmate wrote:
    @ Bally. Employers need cheap labour, especially in agriculture, especially in a society where the work ethic has mostly gone. Migrants show us up because they are willing to work - that's our fault, not theirs. We create the opportunity and the vacuum. We do not have a progressive education system. We do not look to the future with a holistic perspective, we simply fire fight and muddle through everything (26th on the Global list for achievement at school).

    Totally agree re the work ethic, we are becoming a lazy nation. We expect everything to be handed to us. I certainly don't blame immigrants for wanting to better their lives by coming here to work hard.
    I may have recounted this tale in a previous thread about Polish workers, if so, I apologise.
    My sister in law emigrated to Florida with her American husband, where she managed to find work quite easily.
    She was shocked by the American work ethic, or lack thereof. She found Americans to be quite lazy and Floridians particularly so, compared to the UK. Much the same as I expect Polish workers found their UK counterparts.
    It would appear that the pattern is set. The more successful or affluent a nation becomes, the lower the motivation. So yes we do create the labour vacuum ourselves. How many people here look down on certain roles as being beneath them. Migrant workers have no such qualms, they roll their sleeves up and get on with it.


    I deliver to a poor housing estate which borders a few private estates, the private houses are cheap because of the area and in the last few years this has led to an explosion in buy to let, and hence private renters - many of which are EU migrants and some Africans too.

    Over these last few years, delivering to these houses every day, my observations are as follows:

    The Poles tend to work. White Slovaks tend to work, and often lie about where they're from, saying they're Polish. This is because they don't want to be associated with the Roma Slovaks (who also come from Romania, Bulgaria etc). My wife is a teacher at a school local to the area and encounters the same.

    The Roma have a bad reputation and I'm not really surprised. They tend to live loads of people to a house, sit around outside all day or work on their cars. I deliver a constant stream of benefit letters to them, they're noisy and messy and I wouldn't like to live near them. They're pleasant enough when I deliver to them, I just wouldn't like to live with the mess and noise. Whether they can integrate and become useful members of society is debatable and is certainly going to take some time.

    That may sound like a sweeping generalisation, but my delivery office covers one of the biggest Roma populations in the UK so I have a lot more first hand experience than most people.

    The schools in the area are full and the council have had to build another. 50% of the children in my wife's class are non-English speaking and are learning English as a second language. To me this is unfair to the other children as they don't get the time spent with them that they otherwise would.

    Having said that, do I agree with UKIP policies etc...no, not really. Though I would like to see some kind of stricter controls because at the moment it's a free for all for anybody that wants to come here and claim benefits. Let them come, but only if they work. Otherwise give them nothing.
  • debelidebeli Posts: 582
    Daz555 wrote:
    Debeli wrote:
    Today we retain the hateful thinking, but few can present its logic so clearly and fewer still can do so in a style so easy to read or listen to.
    Different world. Today politicians resign/are sacked if they put a single foot wrong on just one occasion (Farage seems immune at the moment but this will change if his party becomes mainstream).

    In world where a political career is curtailed as a result of calling a police officer a pleb, how long would someone of say Churchill's stature and style survive? Answer - about a week.

    Simply put - politicians today cannot afford to say what they really mean - they tread a line for fear of triggering the wrath of the vocal minority.

    Interesting point about Churchill. Certainly he was a politician (statesman) of enormous stature, but I do not see him as a great political thinker of the last century in the way that Powell, Bevan, Foot and co were.

    He was almost completely without party loyalty and did indeed end his own political career on more than one occasion by failing to moderate his line. He was 'fortunate' to see his political popularity rekindled after more than once falling from grace.

    He was undoubtedly a man of enormous physical and moral courage and a leader in crisis sans pareil, but I do not put him in that category of intellectually razor-sharp but nonetheless flawed political mavericks.

    An ability he shared with Powell was his use of language, both as a speaker and as a writer. I find his Nobel Prize unmerited, but who am I to judge? He was a highly skilled user of words - like Powell, although he lacked Powell's education.

    Another thing he had in common with Powell... speech impediment. But that may not be relevant to this matter.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,092
    Debeli wrote:
    Daz555 wrote:
    Debeli wrote:
    Today we retain the hateful thinking, but few can present its logic so clearly and fewer still can do so in a style so easy to read or listen to.
    Different world. Today politicians resign/are sacked if they put a single foot wrong on just one occasion (Farage seems immune at the moment but this will change if his party becomes mainstream).

    In world where a political career is curtailed as a result of calling a police officer a pleb, how long would someone of say Churchill's stature and style survive? Answer - about a week.

    Simply put - politicians today cannot afford to say what they really mean - they tread a line for fear of triggering the wrath of the vocal minority.

    Interesting point about Churchill. Certainly he was a politician (statesman) of enormous stature, but I do not see him as a great political thinker of the last century in the way that Powell, Bevan, Foot and co were.

    He was almost completely without party loyalty and did indeed end his own political career on more than one occasion by failing to moderate his line. He was 'fortunate' to see his political popularity rekindled after more than once falling from grace.

    He was undoubtedly a man of enormous physical and moral courage and a leader in crisis sans pareil, but I do not put him in that category of intellectually razor-sharp but nonetheless flawed political mavericks.


    But he was a leader, a flawed individual on many levels and one that would not survive todays media spotlight. As with most grey leaders his emotional intelligence was first class and replace the intelligence with political effectiveness? Which is really the true measure.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
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