Liketheroman
“Like The Roman, I Seem To See 'The River Tiber Foaming With Much Blood'”--Enoch Powell's Great Speech
Jf
April 15, 2018, 05:53 PM
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As Steve Sailer writes below, the BBC broadcast Enoch Powell's April 20, 1968 speech warning the British of the dangers of mass non-white immigration and multiculturalism, read by the same actor who played Emperor Palpatine.(I believe the original, given to the Annual General Meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre, Birmingham, England, on April 20, 1968, , was not recorded on tape.) I have read the speech, of course, but not listened to it. Write me and tell me if you think actor Ian McDiarmid is trying to sound evil:

 

UPDATE: Deleted from YouTube--the BBC version is here.

 

We posted a version of this speech, headed Like The Roman, I Seem To See “The River Tiber Foaming With Much Blood” with added links in 2002.

 

At the time, I wrote that "Everyone refers to this as the "Rivers of Blood" speech. As you can see below, he didn't quite say that. Simon Heffer's excellent biography of Powell was not called Rivers of Blood, it was called Like The Roman.(The Roman in question was Virgil,  in the Aeneid VI, 87. )

 

The number of misinterpretations and misquotes of this speech is quite large. The New York Times, reporting on this broadcast, said

Enoch Powell, a Conservative member of Parliament, gave what became known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech in 1968. In it, he attacked racial integration as a “ludicrous misconception” and “a dangerous delusion,” and predicted that “in 15 or 20 years’ time, the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”

No, he didn't predict that. He reported that one of his constituents had predicted that:

A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalized industries. After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: "If I had the money to go, I wouldn't stay in this country."

 

I made some deprecatory reply, to the effect that even this Government wouldn't last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: "I have three children, all of them have been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan't be satisfied till I have seen them settled overseas. In this country in fifteen or twenty years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man."

 

I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?

 

The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so. Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that this country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else.

One thing you need to know is that while the Conservative Party leadership leadership disavowed Powell, both parties took measures to limit immigration, so the prediction did not really come true until the 21st century. Here are some earlier VDARE.com articles on Powell's speech and career. The first two are by me: