“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’.” – British politician Enoch Powell (1912-1998), speaking out on this date in 1968 in Birmingham not only against proposed anti-discrimination legislation but against unchecked immigration from British Commonwealth countries to the U.K.
(The “Roman” that Powell alluded to was Virgil, who in the Aeneid wrote of the Sibyl’s prophecy of “wars, terrible wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood.” For all his brilliance and maverick tendencies, Powell publicly displayed his racist views in this speech, which resulted in him being kicked out of the Tories’ Shadow Cabinet. He later left the party altogether to become an Ulster Unionist.
Conservative Republicans who are restless about John McCain’s pro-immigration views might ask themselves if they want their party to share Powell’s fate in the political wilderness for years to come.)
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