Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018

Enoch Powell and the River of Blood: A Memoir of 1968

In February 1968 the MP for Wolverhampton South West, and shadow defence secretary Enoch Powell gave a speech in Birmingham that has become notorious in British political history. So notorious that the proposed broadcasting of this speech by the BBC 50 years later has caused considerable controversy – not controversy as great perhaps as the original speech, as I will explain, but nonetheless a political storm. At that time I was living in Wolverhampton, and attending Wolverhampton Grammar School. My father was General Secretary of the local YMCA, and a well-known figure in youth and community work and community relations. He was once offered the position of first Community Relations Officer in the UK. He turned it down as he thought the first CRO should not be a white British man. The position was I think given to Harvey de Pass, a West Indian who became something of a legendary figure in this field. We lived in a flat on the upper floor of the YMCA building in the city centre. It wa…