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Discussion > Was Enoch Powell a Prophet or a Pariah?

golf charlie
Believe it or not the major doctrinal difference between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches which caused the original split centres round the Latin word "filioque". As always where a major religion breaks apart like that subsequent developments have widened the differences.
However, there is still a mutual recognition of ordination, sacraments, etc. To that extent Catholic and Orthodox would have a relatively easy task (please note the word 'relatively'!) should there be the will for reconciliation. The same applies where the Anglicans are concerned or did until they went off and started ordaining women (and no! I am not going to get embroiled in that debate). The reasons for that split are well-known and there is still a sizeable proportion of Anglican parishes that are more Catholic than a lot of Catholic parishes I have been in!
And even those other denominations where the differences of theology would probably be insurmountable are not about to start a civil war because they disagree — Paisley Road West after an Old Firm game perhaps being the exception.
Islam puzzles me because while it claims to be a religion of peace almost everything I know of it belies that claim.
If Christians who agree that there is more that unites them in their beliefs than divides them can manage to tolerate their differences I cannot understand why Muslims, whose religion is supposedly based on the direct word of God, can be so at daggers drawn with each other.

May 7, 2016 at 2:56 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson, I am not a theologian, or a religious person, but had a christian upbringing and education. Through work and personal life I have encountered 'issues' around religions, much of it founded on ignorance and mistrust, but some of it founded on hatred going back through many generations.

It is absurd to assume all Christians have the same set of right/wrong values and integrity, but Christians tend to assume Moslems do, and Moslems make the same assumptions about Christians.

Some white people don't 'understand' racism until they have travelled abroad and been treated as a second class citizen, because they were white. I have been abroad and been discriminated against for not being a Moslem. I thought it funny, then I felt annoyance and frustration, then I thought about my attitudes. This was before 9/11.

Since 9/11 an awful lot more info is available about Islam, but it tends to concentrate on exposing the hypocrisy of Islam, rather than the hypocrisies of Christianity. I have no desire to live under Islamic Law!

It is VERY difficult for one Moslem to denounce another for being mad/bad/stupid. UK media do not slag off a convicted criminal for being a bad christian, even if they have had their hands in the collection money. It would be wrong to denounce all Moslems for not denouncing the minority of Moslems who are evil.

May 7, 2016 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mike Jackson (contd)! Sorry had to post and dash!

A goblet raised from the Mary Rose has a Latin Inscription "With God on our side, how can we lose?"

I presume the goblet was made after Henry viii had declared independence from Rome, but England was not a Protestant country. The Mary Rose was not built to do anything but fight in battles in the Channel/North Sea/Irish Sea etc. Certainly no further. There is no reason to suppose that their opponents would not have had similar goblets with the same Christian message.

May 7, 2016 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Alan Kendall on May 6, 2016 at 2:41 PM
As Martin A posts, on May 6, 2016 at 7:20 PM, before becoming an MP, Enoch Powell became a full professor of ancient Greek at the age of 25, so I expect he thought most people knew Virgil's Aeneid, even if they couldn't translate it, on the fly. :)

"While at university, in one Greek prose examination lasting three hours, he was asked to translate a passage into Greek. Powell walked out after one and a half hours, having produced translations in the styles of Plato and Thucydides."

If you know the reference :) , it shows that the analysis was correct, but the delivery was poor, as I remember people commenting at the time. And the phrase "rivers of blood" does not appear in the speech:
"As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood."

There was a wise post on May 7, 2016 at 3:20 PM in Unthreaded:
" I suggest that before trashing a third party here we take the time to read that person's biography first."

Alan Reed on May 6, 2016 at 2:35 PM
"I imagine Powell might oppose the extension of the British Empire to already populated places."
The British Commonwealth, that replaced the Empire, was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, so the Empire was history, even in the Sixties.

But, in fact, the Commonwealth has been extended:
wiki: "The first member to be admitted without having any constitutional link to the British Empire or a Commonwealth member was Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, in 1995 ..."

golf charlie on May 6, 2016 at 12:04 AM
"Dung, the radicalisation of Moslems has not been caused by UK issues, but has been allowed to be cultivated in the UK , for fear of accusations of Political Incorrectness."

True, violent imperialism has been a theme for 1400 years, starting at the beginning, as the 'Three Stages of Jihad' clip that I mentioned on the EU thread explains. The three stages are easily recognisable, but the Zeroth Stage is the most interesting and, like all Zeroth Laws, it was thought about last! And it is added to the clip as a postscript.

May 8, 2016 at 11:38 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Changing the subject? Not really: just redirecting our focus to the only part of the world that we can change: ourselves:
TheAmericanConservative: Why We Need Limits

... which links to this, which broadens the discussion even further:
spiked-online: Can Humanity Live Without Borders?
I see that Hannan's speech (in the EU are joking thread) is a great example of the problems discussed within.

... and this, which makes me feel like I want to laugh and cry at the same time :) :
Stop Saying ‘I Feel Like’

Here, there is a discussion which highlights how much Europe has changed, how we can't see the changes and what we do to exacerbate our problems. It doesn't matter who or what is forcing that change on us. It is why we cannot resist those changes that needs to be deduced, and to take the first steps to remedy the problem. We also need to decide what we want and even who 'we' are:
How Feminism Destroyed Europe | Iben Thranholm and Stefan Molyneux

May 8, 2016 at 11:47 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

golf charlie
I have to agree with the belief that "with God on our side, how can we lose?" because it is the only argument that (to a believer) makes any sense.
The scriptwriter for The Longest Day put the words "Sometimes I wonder whose side God is on" into mouths from both sides, one "cursing" the weather, the other the fact that nobody dared wake up Hitler to get authorisation for the release of the Panzer divisions. Which, I have always thought, neatly sums up the dilemma!
In essence (forgive the slight detour into theology) God is on everyone's side because he wants us to enjoy eternal life. Which is a good reason for him not to take sides in purely human battles.
Or you could put it another way: we are supposed to be on his side, not the other way round!
There certainly are "issues" around religion in general but if I were going to get into a debate on that subject I wouldn't start it here for all sorts of reasons; not being enough of an theologian to avoid making a fool of myself is just the first!

May 8, 2016 at 12:35 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Robert Christopher

Thanks for that.

Powell was about 37 in 1949 and was thought to have become anti-imperialist a couple of years earlier.

May 8, 2016 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Mike Jackson, people use religion to justify hatred. It is reasonable to fear anyone who has sworn to kill, whatever their motivation.

The Thread is about Enoch Powell, and I assume his original comment was about immigration, at that time from the West Indies and Indian sub Continent. I doubt that Powell envisaged Religious hatred, just cultural/racial, and I suspect it was the average white anglo-saxon that he feared would hate/distrust the immigrants -and he was right initially.

I don't think Powell envisaged how a minority of Moslem extremists could create so many problems around the world. OBL may be dead, but his fanatics can point to his legacy, and smile, thanking God. In the 1400s, Joan D'Arc was no Saint to the English!

May 8, 2016 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Alan Reed, Powell only became anti colonialist after the failure of his first great cause. He opposed granting independence to India, which he later claimed was the impulse that led him to stand for Parliament. He wanted to be Viceroy of India. He learned Urdu so as to be prepared.

May 8, 2016 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes


Quite. So Powell was imperialist first and later anti-imperialist.

Wiki sums it up:

"Little Englander" is an epithet applied in criticisms of British nationalists, English nationalists, or English people who are regarded as xenophobic and/or overly nationalistic and are often accused of being "ignorant" and "boorish". It is sometimes applied to opponents of globalism, multilateralism and internationalism, such as those who are against membership in the European Union.

Originally it applied to a wing of the Liberal Party opposed to expansion of the British Empire in the 19th century, who wanted "England" to extend no farther than the borders of the United Kingdom.

I think Enoch became a Little Englander of the original kind.

May 8, 2016 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Mike Jackson, I'm no theologian either, but I've long enjoyed this passage:

"There is one more anecdote which sounds authentic and relevant. We have no date for it, but it would be odd if it were not at least a year or two after 1588. Philip was walking in the inner garden of San Lorenzo when he heard the gardener declaring that after so much work done to train the pear trees on the south wall, God simply could not allow the promised fruit to be blighted. Philip called to him in a sterner tone than he commonly used among his monks; 'Brother Nicholas! Brother Nicholas, mind what you say! It is impiety, and almost blasphemy, to presume to know the will of God. It comes from the sin of pride. Even kings, brother Nicholas,' he went on more gently, 'must submit to being used by God's will without knowing what it is. They must never seek to use it.' "

from 'The Armada', by Garrett Mattingly.

May 8, 2016 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

diogenes, thanks for that info about EP. I am not sure whether to feel impressed or appalled that his motivation for entering politics was to be Viceroy of India.

I don't think EP foresaw the Green Blob enforcing fuel poverty on rural India, (and elsewhere) so that many would keep dying of 19th century problems. If the impoverished of the world could wage war on modern Green Imperialists, many more lives in India could be saved/rescued. The Green Blob would rather focus world attention on how the Indian Government wants to impoverish them.

May 9, 2016 at 8:40 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie
Re Mary Rose goblet
God on Our Side

May 9, 2016 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

golf c

I suspect that Enoch would have been strongly in favour of the people of India doing everything in their power to deliver economic success. But, he was a strange man, Whenever I saw in-depth interviews with him on TV, he came across in a very strange way - such as delivering quotes from Goethe in a German accent that was unrecognisable. Who else would do a translation of a book of Herodotus in the style of the Authorised Version of nthe Bible? Clever but not knowledgeable.

May 9, 2016 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Or should that be knowledgeable but not clever...

May 9, 2016 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

awaiting the usual sort of response from tht his idea has been exploded, he was correct all along

May 10, 2016 at 12:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

SandyS, thank you for that link. It neatly sums up the present position, with the added twist that the Christian West is now subjected to another faith's war.

May 10, 2016 at 12:58 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

During his lifetime, my memory is that he was viewed as a bit of an oddball. In hindsight, I can understand why politicians of all parties were happy to have his support on an issue, but didn't necessarily want to share a platform with him.

Is anything more known about why he saw Viceroy of India as his destiny/birthright? I am not sure whether to think delusional, pretentious or simply the highest office he could hold as a British Citizen.

I have never been to India, but separately, both my parent's families had interesting connections in the 15(?) years upto and including Independence

May 10, 2016 at 1:28 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Is Trevor Phillips a Prophet or a Pariah?

Like Powell, Phillips is criticising the behaviour of Britain’s politicians, media and educated elite, unable to even to recognise the “dark side of the diverse society”:
"Britain risks “flames” of racial and religious conflict because of a “liberal self-delusion” over the impact of mass immigration, the former head of the equality watchdog Trevor Phillips claims today.

In a startling assault on decades of official multiculturalism and diversity policy, the founding chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission argues the UK is being allowed to “sleepwalk to catastrophe” by leaders too “touchy”, “smug”, “complacent” and “squeamish” to talk about race.

Drawing a direct parallel with Enoch Powell’s notorious “rivers of blood” speech, he likens Britain’s politicians, media and educated elite in general to the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned, unable even to recognise the “dark side of the diverse society”.
“Rome may not yet be in flames, but I think I can smell the smouldering whilst we hum to the music of liberal self-delusion.”"

Daily Telegraph: Britain ‘sleepwalking to catastrophe’ over race: Trevor Phillips

No wonder Britain’s politicians, media and educated elite responded like they did to Powell's speech.

In my link to on May 8th at 11:38, it is reported:
"Powell was to say later, given the uproar caused by the quote, that he regretted not having said it in Latin!"

Is that why 'flames' is within quotation marks?

May 10, 2016 at 9:44 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Mike Jackson on May 7, 2016 at 2:56 PM
"Islam puzzles me because while it claims to be a religion of peace almost everything I know of it belies that claim.
If Christians who agree that there is more that unites them in their beliefs than divides them can manage to tolerate their differences I cannot understand why Muslims, whose religion is supposedly based on the direct word of God, can be so at daggers drawn with each other."

Google 'three stages of jihad youtube', and you should see a twenty five minute clip that will give a rather intense explanation. It is the Zeroth Stage, tacked onto the end that is the key to understanding the situation - after you have listened to the first three, of course!

May 10, 2016 at 9:54 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Rereading this thread, I think that Martin A is right in suggesting that Powel probably was autistic to some degree. I think I read once that he was a fine pianist but because he was not good enough to make a career out of it he gave it up altogether and never touched a piano again. Kingsley Amis is amusing in his memoirs. This was his last encounter:

"My last meeting with Powell, and I mean last, as the reader will see, took place at the Spectator party in 1988. I spotted the great man standing by himself, wearing his familiar look of slightly resentful slight bafflement, went up to him and said: "Hallo, Mr Powell, it's Kingsley Amis", all unaware that I was about to receive the most economical put down of my career. So far. Julian Barnes, who was standing next to me, confirms that I pronounced my name loudly, slowly and clearly.

Powell pursed his lips like a flautist's. The notation does not exist that would indicate how short a time it took him to pronounce his next vocable. "Who?"
"Kingsley......Amis", as before or more so in all respects.
That was it and no wonder that within the next three seconds I had spotted someone I knew standing nearby with whom I simply had to go and have a word.

Again what can one say? ........But it also perhaps needs saying that that the world is built on people babbling things like, "Of course, my dear fellow, how very absurd of me not to have recognised you", when they have no idea whom they are talking to, and if you are going into politics with hope of success, instead of some obscure branch of the truth-at-any-price business, you had better come to terms with that widely grasped fact."

Amis is surely right, and it does illustrate the lack of empathy and I would suggest the reason why Powell seemed to have no notion how people would react to his words, which may have been right but were also inflammatory. As a consequence he made it very difficult to address these issues without stirring up the determined to be offended brigade.

May 10, 2016 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Robert Christopher, we have reached the position in the UK around equality awareness, that a white anglo-saxon would not be allowed to say what Trevor Phillips has just said.

If more publicity could be given to moderate Moslems who are able to denounce the extremists, and their views and actions.

Those who wanted to appease that nice Herr Hitler back in the 1930s, thought that was the way to secure peace.

May 10, 2016 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie on May 10, 2016 at 10:17 AM

I thought that too, but you know hard it is to express truths. :)

Have you listen to the clip I suggested in my last post?

May 10, 2016 at 10:47 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Dung, what an excellent put-down in the Phillips' article :) :
"A spokesman for the anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate said: "Attention does need to be paid to extremists on all sides, and also to the plight of the white working class in de-industrialised areas, who are often abandoned to the likes to Ukip."

May 10, 2016 at 10:52 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Here is the Phillips Report, where it can also be downloaded using the 'DOWNLOAD PDF' button: Race and Faith: The Deafening Silence

Trevor Phillips, May 2016

May 10, 2016 at 1:00 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher