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Should the BBC be doing this?

(125 Posts)
maryeliza54 Thu 12-Apr-18 23:17:28

Is it right to broadcast the whole of the Rivers of Blood Speech?

paddyann Thu 12-Apr-18 23:36:07

all part of the governments divisive policy....then the brain dead will blame the immigrants for all their problems instead of the government who cause more issues daily

Primrose65 Thu 12-Apr-18 23:41:53

They did broadcast a documentary about it 10 years ago on the 40th anniversary, so I don't think it's a new concept as such. I think the full speech is already in the public domain too. Will anyone bother to watch it?

maryeliza54 Thu 12-Apr-18 23:42:35

I’m listening to a phone in on this- lots of people saying it’s a great idea because Powell was right. I wonder if it would happen with a speech that was anti-Semitic?

maryeliza54 Thu 12-Apr-18 23:48:38

I think it’s on the radio. So yes the audience will probably be small but it’s already causing a stir - not in a good way. I don’t know what I think - as an academic exercise putting the speech in its historical context and discussing it is one thing but the publicity around it is perhaps a problem.

MawBroon Fri 13-Apr-18 00:10:37

I think it is useful to hear all of what Enoch Powell said and not just the sound bite.
This speech is often referred to as the “rivers of blood” speech, for example, not a phrase he actually used.

Bridgeit Fri 13-Apr-18 00:14:22

Depends if it is definitely going to be critiqued and debated as has been said, if this is correct then it would be acceptable in terms of learning &understanding.

maryeliza54 Fri 13-Apr-18 00:22:50

My concern is that it won’t be used like that - Most people who will cheer it on won’t listen to the programme and any contextualisation and critiquing that takes place. I remember it very well and the horror in our house so I’m biased I suppose

Anniebach Fri 13-Apr-18 09:05:05

The brain dead ? That is so offensive.

Grannybags Fri 13-Apr-18 09:23:27

I wonder why they are using the voice of an actor and not showing Enoch Powell himself?

MawBroon Fri 13-Apr-18 09:30:00

The whole speech was not recorded, only extracts and Powell has of course been dead for 20 years.

Grannybags Fri 13-Apr-18 09:36:18

Ah thanks MawBroon I didn't realise only some of the speech was recorded

jura2 Fri 13-Apr-18 09:40:30


sunseeker Fri 13-Apr-18 09:53:23

Whilst I disagree with the sentiments Powell expressed I am uncomfortable with banning any discussion about his speech. Surely discussing such speeches in a calm balanced way means that the more extreme points can be dealt with. At the moment, as others have said, it is known as the "rivers of blood" speech and that portion as been used as a rallying cry for racists. Broadcasting the whole speech could put an end to that.

luluaugust Fri 13-Apr-18 09:59:09

This speech, which very few people have ever heard all of, is part of history and has been used by so many people for their own ends I think it might be a good idea to hear it all and have it discussed, E P was an academic and was quite at home quoting the classics I do wonder apart from that quote just how it will sound to modern ears. I can't remember any other bit of it than the infamous quote.

annodomini Fri 13-Apr-18 10:15:16

My reaction to this news is 'let sleeping dogs lie'. This irresponsible revival is already causing controversy and adding grist to the mill of the vocal racist minority.

Anniebach Fri 13-Apr-18 10:26:51

Not all who are troubled by immigration are racist, fear plays a part too. It is wrong to class all as brain dead or racist .

Jane10 Fri 13-Apr-18 10:31:05

Would disallowing the BBC to present this be 'no platforming'? Would this be giving in to 'snowflakes'?
Surely informed discussion would be illustrative?

MawBroon Fri 13-Apr-18 10:38:15

To leave the public perception of what Powell said as a prediction of “rivers of blood” is a distortion and potentially much more inflammatory than to read or hear the whole thing.
Sound bites may encapsulate the spirit of an argument, but they can also distort by what they omit.
I think we need to face up to the whole speech, take the trouble to research or understand the context and only then are we free to form our own conclusions.
It may be that in its entirety, the speech is underwhelming , it may have grains of truth or it may be a rant (although Powell was an intelligent man and as good an orator as Churchill) but we can only judge on what he said - not the edited version.
Still think “No” jura?
If so, why?

Baggs Fri 13-Apr-18 11:10:21

I read the so-called Rivers of Blood speech in full today while waiting at a bus-stop. The Telegraph published it in full in 2007. Google is your friend.

While it's easy to see why what Powell said was thought outrageously racist by some people, it's also easy to see how his real concern was about integration or, rather, about lack of integration and the development of sub-cultures of people wanting special privileges because of their different cultures and religions.

MawBroon Fri 13-Apr-18 11:13:15

You have beaten me to it Baggs. Interesting what you say. It pretty much justifies the release of the whole speech to me, but of course the attendant publicity is bound to whip up controversy

Baggs Fri 13-Apr-18 11:20:39

Something else worth saying is that the most supposedly risque parts of the speech are in quotation marks. Powell was repeating what constituents had said to him. The fact that he sympathised with their concerns and spelled out his own fears (see my post above) does not make him or the speech racist in my view.

And, even if it is racist, possibly especially if it is racist, it needs to be out there in the open being discussed.

There's no excuse not to read it all. I'll be interested to hear other people's interpretations.

jura2 Fri 13-Apr-18 11:42:39

Can anyone explain to me why that was decided- what is the rationale behind it?

We have seen a rise of the far right, both in Europe and in the UK recently - my concern is that it will stir up groups like the EDL and BF - and not just make rational people think.

maryeliza54 Fri 13-Apr-18 12:11:21

This gives more detail and sounds interesting - especially the bit about how he misunderstood the US situation

jura2 Fri 13-Apr-18 12:26:47

From the Telegraph:

Yet while Mr Powell was serving his political exile in the 1990s, senior Ukip figures were trying to win his support.

Mr Farage drove Mr Powell to a rally at Newbury racecourse, where Mr Powell spoke, and then met him a few months later in Bow, east London,

Mr Farage then wrote to Mr Powell from his home address asking him to support his candidature in the Eastleigh by-election in May 1994. Mr Powell declined the offer after giving it “very serious consideration”.

The following year Mr Powell was asked to stand as a Ukip candidate in the 1995 European Parliament election, and then by the 1997 general election, against Michael Howard, the then-Tory home secretary. He declined both.

The documents show that Mr Powell was approached and granted endorsements for three Ukip candidates for election to Parliament between 1994 and 1997, although he turned down a request from the National Front.

Mr Farage has never made a secret of his admiration for Mr Powell, saying in 2008 that he was his “political hero”. One of the books on sale on Ukip’s website attempts to find "common ground" with Mr Powell's views.

Speaking last month to The Telegraph Mr Farage said the “general point” of Mr Powell’s speech had been “absolutely right”.