Good old Enoch

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
thirdcrank
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Good old Enoch

Postby thirdcrank » 11 May 2015, 5:25pm

Good old Enoch, he had the right idea
was something I seemed to hear a lot when I was a young man.

Enoch Powell, who attacked the proposals (for compulsory motor cycle helmets) in the House of Commons in April 1973, in the debate on the bill which made helmets compulsory.

"The maintenance of the principles of individual freedom and responsibility is more important than the avoidance of the loss of lives through the personal decision of individuals," Powell told fellow MPs,

"Whether those lives are lost swimming or mountaineering or boating, or riding horseback, or on a motor cycle."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32622465

He might well have added, "You never know where it may lead."

Tonyf33
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby Tonyf33 » 12 May 2015, 3:31am

I found the full article relating to EP's discussion on the matter, he's not wrong.
http://motorcycleminds.org/?p=1232

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bovlomov
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby bovlomov » 12 May 2015, 7:56am

There aren't many libertarians left in the Tory party. Shame! We need them more than ever.

Bicycler
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby Bicycler » 12 May 2015, 12:51pm

bovlomov wrote:There aren't many libertarians left in the Tory party. Shame! We need them more than ever.

I quite agree. Governments have been getting increasingly authoritarian. As have the electorate's expectations; "they should ban this", "that should be banned".

I actually met Enoch and (surprisingly a friend of his) Labour stalwart Tony Benn campaigning against the common market. Both were very pleasant. Obviously Powell's "rivers of blood" speech was political suicide but like many other issues he wasn't afraid to stand up for what he thought was right. He turned down a life peerage when offered because he had campaigned against their introduction years earlier. He was principled, even if the principles may have been wrong. An interesting figure.
Last edited by Bicycler on 12 May 2015, 2:37pm, edited 1 time in total.

AlaninWales
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby AlaninWales » 12 May 2015, 1:14pm

I have never seen the full text of the "Rivers of Blood" speech, but remember from reports at the time being puzzled as to why it was so condemned.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_of_Blood_speech
It seemed to me from reports at the time that he was simply stating the undeniable truth that immigration worried some a great deal, that some people were genuinely frightened in their homes (something I have seen in inner city areas) due to a rapidly changing environment and culture shock. That he was (and is) condemned for this was a burying of heads in the sand.

Can anyone point me at a part of the speech that actually advocated violence (as he was accused of) or intolerance?

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bovlomov
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby bovlomov » 12 May 2015, 1:17pm

Bicycler wrote: An interesting figure.

And he knew how to make a speech (as can be seen in Tony's link).

Bicycler
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby Bicycler » 12 May 2015, 2:17pm

Alan, full text of the speech here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3643 ... peech.html He did not advocate violence and I can honestly believe he was trying to warn and avoid what he saw as likely violence. He was, however, against continued immigration and argued against anti-discrimination legislation. From a present day perspective, many would class that as intolerant (though it's a word which is used rather vaguely without precise definition). In the context of 1960s immigration policy and Powell's liberal views it's a lot more arguable. I'd say he was motivated by conservative desires to prevent demographic change and liberal beliefs in the rule of law rather than a prejudice against immigrants.

Part of what he got blamed for was the reaction he provoked. In a way this is the problem we see whenever anybody makes any attempt to discuss the negatives of immigration. Inevitably some racists support the person/party and they then discredit him/it by association. The phrase "Enoch was right" became the catchphrase of supporters of the National Front in the 70s which made it impossible for sensible people to appear to agree. It killed most parliamentary debate on the subject for decades.

People also criticised the emotive language of the speech. A classics scholar like Powell may have understood the reference but talk of "funeral pyres" and "the River Tiber foaming with much blood" appeared to many others as being all a bit apocalyptic and a potential spark for racial violence.

Bringing this back on topic. I think the decline of liberalism is reflected in the cycle helmet debate. It almost always revolves around the efficacy of helmets and the effects of helmet promotion and laws rather than the sanctity of individual liberty. Even many of those who wish for it to remain a matter of choice wish it out of practical concerns such as uncertainty about efficacy and concerns about cycling levels rather than a fundamental belief in freedom. Sadly, the modern belief in parliament's inalienable right to interfere in people's self-regarding actions is one on which both red and blue parties agree. We'll miss them lib dems.
Last edited by Bicycler on 12 May 2015, 3:04pm, edited 3 times in total.

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby Phil Fouracre » 12 May 2015, 2:41pm

Bloody hell! I didn't realise it was in '68, doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself? Never read it before, interesting - I think he would be turning in his grave, as the saying goes, to see how wildly adrift his figures were..........!
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

Bicycler
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby Bicycler » 12 May 2015, 2:44pm

Phil Fouracre wrote:Bloody hell! I didn't realise it was in '68, doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself? Never read it before, interesting - I think he would be turning in his grave, as the saying goes, to see how wildly adrift his figures were..........!

Yeah, it's worth bearing in mind that he was concerned with commonwealth migration which was the big concern of the time. We can probably forgive him for not predicting the late 20th and early-21st century migration from within the EU

AlaninWales
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby AlaninWales » 12 May 2015, 3:15pm

Thanks for the link Bicycler, it's not a subject I've been very bothered about really or I suppose I would have dug it out years ago. I think that his sacking was part of a closing down of libertarian thought within an increasingly authoritarian regime (both on the left and right) and we are now reaping what was sown then.

Steady rider
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby Steady rider » 12 May 2015, 7:22pm

http://jech.bmj.com/content/37/1/66.full.pdf

The BBC article missed the report.

maxcherry
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby maxcherry » 12 May 2015, 7:38pm

So Enoch wanted to keep the country 'White and English' and the bloodline untainted unlike America.


Ok then....
Honestly chaps, I'm a female!

beardy
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby beardy » 12 May 2015, 7:58pm

Well to be fair the American blood line was almost eradicated by the white and English.

maxcherry
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby maxcherry » 12 May 2015, 8:11pm

beardy wrote:Well to be fair the American blood line was almost eradicated by the white and English.



With bullets, mass genocide, small pox blankets, disease, rape and torcher (the list goes on). Is that what is coming to the UK?
Honestly chaps, I'm a female!

Bicycler
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Re: Good old Enoch

Postby Bicycler » 12 May 2015, 8:35pm

maxcherry wrote:So Enoch wanted to keep the country 'White and English' and the bloodline untainted unlike America.

You are drawing conclusions there which I'd argue can't be drawn from what he said. In particular he didn't suggest different treatment of white and non-white immigrants. It is the scale of immigration, rather than immigration itself which he objects to. You have added a concern for racial purity which is absent in his speech; he does not mention 'bloodlines' or inter-breeding (in fact he bemoans how mass immigration discourages integration). The American problem he does not want to see replicated is not racial impurity but racial tension and violence (bear in mind the time he was speaking - US racial tensions were big news in the 1960s).

I'm not saying 'Enoch was right', nor defending the speech, but his words do need to be read in context bearing in mind the times and without us putting words into his mouth
Last edited by Bicycler on 12 May 2015, 8:43pm, edited 1 time in total.