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Enoch Powell's slow rehabilitation

Jon Bright (London, OK): Paul Gilroy writing in the Guardian today:

Today a chorus of racial realists, neo-patriots, clash of civilisation-ists and practitioners of joined-up thinking thrill at being able to use expurgated Enoch as a sock puppet with which to enact their own anxieties about swamping, security, failed multiculture, social cohesion and home-grown terrorism. A new-found love of Powell's works and statesmanship is even deployed to facilitate the return of New Labour's no-longer-lefty prodigals to the bosom of a conservative nation they thought they had lost. Their electoral tactics now require them to argue that honest Enoch's concern with the corrosive effects of immigration was prescient.

From all sides, we're told that years of hate-fuelled immigration-talk can be effectively "de-racialised" at a stroke without giving attention to the political baggage that it has accumulated. This aspiration reassures all who dwell comfortably within the bubble of official politics that they are right to believe they can make anything mean exactly what they want it to mean.

Is he right?


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