policy of recruiting Caribbean workersrnfor hospitals, for which he came underrnfire after 1968. An amusing anecdote ofrnhis tenure is that when he was visiting arnfriend, he went to say good night to thernfriend’s voung children. He knelt down,rnpicked up a potty from under the bedrnand smelt it. One of the children askedrnhim why he had done that. “It is myrnjob,” he replied.rnHis views had evolved into unabashedrnEnglish nationalism, whose svmptomsrnincluded anti-Americanism, anti-EuropeanrnEconomic Community sentiment,rnand growing reservations about the advisabilitv’rnof permitting large-scale immigration.rnHis romantic view was cr)’stallizedrnin his speech to the Roval Socich’ of St.rnGeorge in 1961, in which he mentionedrnhow the Athenians, returning to Athensrnafter its sacking bv Xerxes, found theirrnsacred olive tree still growing amid thernruins:rnSo we todaw at the heart of a anishedrnEmpire, amid the fragmentsrnof a departed glor)’, seem to find,rnlike one of her own oak trees,rnstanding and growing, the sap stillrnrising from her ancient roots tornmeet tlie spring, England herselfrn. . . from brass and stone, from linernand efiFig}’, [our ancestors’] eyesrnlook out at us, and we gaze intornthem, as if v’e would win some answerrnfrom their silence . .. tell usrnwhat it is that binds us together;rnshow us the clue that leads throughrna thousand ears; whisper to us thernsecret of this charmed life of England,rnthat we in our hme mayrnknow how to hold it fast.rnBut in 1968, in Birmingham, Powellrnmade what has become known as hisrn”Rivers of Blood” speech against immigration,rnand the chorus of outrage hasrnstill not died awav. We must be “mad,rnliterally mad, as a nation,” he said, to permitrnimmigration on this scale, “It is likernwatching a nation busily heaping up itsrnown funeral pyre, , . . As I look ahead Irnam filled with foreboding. Like the Roman,rn’I seem to see the river Tiber foamingrnwith much blood.'” He read fromrnthe letter of a constituent who had written,rn”hi this country, in 15 or 20 yearsrntime, the black man will have the whiprnhand over the white man” and alluded tornthe plight of a white pensioner who wasrn”now the only white in her street” andrnwho had had excreta pushed through herrnletterbox by “picaninnies.”rnAlthough it was well received by therncrowd, the speech, which had been partlyrntelevised, was widely condemned bothrnfor its content and its terminology. It wasrncalled an “evil speech” bv the Times, andrnTon Benn spoke hvperbolically ofrn”Belsen in 1945.” Party leader TedrnHeath sacked Powell from his post asrnShadow Defence Spokesman withoutrngiving him the benefit of the doubt.rnHowecr, the London dockers andrnthe meat porters of Smithfield Marketrnmarched in Powell’s support, and withinrntwo weeks of the speech, he had receivedrnover 120,000 letters of support from thernpublic. “Yet,” as Denis Kaxanagh wroternin his obituan’ of Powell in the left-leaningrnIndependent on February 9, “thernspeech that made him also destroyedrnhim . . . the more popular he becamernthe more unacceptable he was to the politicalrnelite.” Not all that much hasrnchanged; our present polifical elite is atrnleast partly made up of the former students,rnnow broadcasters and sociologyrnprofessors, who used to disrupt Powell’srnspeeches after 1968, shouting “DisembowelrnEnoch Powell!” and banging onrntables to drown out his voice.rnPowell was never allowed to forgetrnthat speech. On the one hand, publicrnopinion was very much on his side, andrnPowell seems to have been instrumentalrnin winning the 1970 election for thernConseraties, as the pro-Tor- swing wasrngreatest in his home base of the WestrnMidlands. On the other hand, the clearlyrnimmoderate tone of parts of the speechrnmay have given ammunition to thosernwho cared nothing about the nation.rnDespite some of the terminology, Powell’srnthoughts on immigrahon were wise.rnWlio can doubt his 1968 view that “Immigrationrnis the fulcrum by which Englandrnis to be overturned”? Wlio can sayrnin total confidence that Powell wasrnwrong about the black man having “thernwhip hand oer the white man” whenrnone considers how race-based legislationrnand political correctness are destroyingrnBritish freedoms? Powell’s view on thernracial dilemma was sophisticated andrneven compassionate: “It’s not impossiblern[for a black person to be British] but it isrndifficult. . . . What’s wrong with racism?rnRacism is the basis of nationalityracismrnis nationalit)’. . . nations are usuallyrnbased on the self-identification of itsrnmembers and that’s normallv due to similaritiesrnthat we call racial similarities.. . .rnAn Englishman can loe India withoutrnwishing to see it on the streets of Birmingham.”rnHis relationship with Heath kept deteriorating,rnas Heath was determined tornimmerse Britain in the European EconomicrnCommunity’ and Powell, now arnforce to be reckoned with in the partyrnand in the countr)’ at large, was equallyrndetermined to keep Britain free. Einally,rnhe horrified Conservatives all over therncountr)’ when he urged voters to choosernLabour in 1974, because Labour hadrnpromised a referendum on EEC membership.rn(Labour won, but the 1975 referendum,rnof course, was lost.) He thenrnswitched parties and became UlsterrnUnionist MP for South Down betweenrn1974 and 1987. He resigned in 1985rnover the Anglo-Irish Agreement but wasrnre-elected the following year.rnIn between all of this, he continued tornapply his formidable intellect and gift ofrnexpression to many areas, in particular tornShakespeare (he cast doubt on the plays’rnauthorship) and the Bible (he believedrnthat the Gospels had been written by arncommittee and that Jesus Christ hadrnbeen stoned rather than crucified). Hernoften traveled alone on the Tube beh’rneen Westminster and Sloane Squarernand was always listed in the telephonernbooks. To relax, he went fox-hunting,rnwatched Jacques Tati films, and walkedrnaround country churches. Although hernusually looked forbidding, Powell wasrnnot without fun. ^^ked if his book on thernGospels was intended for the generalrnreader, he said that it was intended “forrnthe general reader who understands Aramaicrnand Greek.” His old friend. SirrnTeddy I’aylor, MP, recalled how theyrnhad once been locked into a cemeter’ inrnGlasgow b- mistake, having taken toornlong to look at some old headstonesrnwhich had interested Powell:rnWe then had to climb over a wallrnwhich was about eight feet high,rnwhich involved considerable inconveniencernand possible danger.rnHowever eventually we got overrnthe wall, and Enoch with that delightfulrnsmile .said to me: “Wliat arnwonderful headline that wouldrnmake, Teddy—’Enoch climbs outrnfrom the dead!*”rnPowell died in London on February 8.rnThere was controversy even at his funeral.rnBecause he had been a churchwardenrnat St. Margaret’s Church, next tornWestminster Abbey, for ten vears, hisrnNOVEMBER 1998/37rnrnrn