We were warned

Next April will mark the 50th anniversary of a controversial speech in England.  But while there was much pearl-clutching and vapors at the time it was delivered, yesterday’s events in Manchester prove that it was indeed prophetic and, if anything, understated.  Enoch Powell may have known his words would not be received well, but they are worth reviewing today:

…the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician. Those who knowingly shirk it deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after…

In 15 or 20 years, on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants. That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General’s Office.

There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London. Of course, it will not be evenly distributed from Margate to Aberystwyth and from Penzance to Aberdeen. Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population…

But while, to the immigrant, entry to this country was admission to privileges and opportunities eagerly sought, the impact upon the existing population was very different. For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country.

They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

And all of this was said well before the term “jihad” once again became a household word in the West.  Those who encouraged the idea of utopian multiculturalism will have much blood on their hands before this is over.  It’s said that those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it (see: Roman Empire, barbarian immigrations).  For those of us who do study history, we are condemned to see the folly of those who fail to learn their lessons.  Those lessons, more often than not, are paid for in blood and ought to be valued far more than they are.  But in our human arrogance, each generation says “this time it’ll be different.”

No, it won’t.

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