As far as I can work it out everything Enoch Powell thought, did or believed in is, according to Sunny, to be rejected because the man was a racist.
I’m just wondering what his alleged racism has to do with any of the following:
he was a staunch deflationist, or in modern terms a monetarist, and a believer in market forces.
Should we reject monetarism because Powell was a racist*? Monetarism is, after all, pretty much orthodox economic theory these days. Everyone agrees that there is a link between the money supply, its growth, and inflation.
during the 1960s was an advocate of free market policies which at the time were seen as extreme and unworkable
I certainly advocate free market policies: should I reject these because Powell was a racist?
Powell advocated the privatisation of the Post Office and the telephone network as early as 1964,
Should we reverse the privatisation of BT becuse Powell was a racist? Should the EU be decried as a racist organisation because they are insisting upon competition in postal services?
Should the Tories fire every candidate that the Dukes do not approve of because Powell was a racist?
On 27 July 1959 Powell gave his speech on Hola Camp of Kenya, where eleven Mau Mau were killed after refusing work in the camp. Powell noted that some MPs had described the eleven as “sub-human” but Powell responded by saying: “In general, I would say that it is a fearful doctrine, which must recoil upon the heads of those who pronounce it, to stand in judgment on a fellow human being and to say, ‘Because he was such-and-such, therefore the consequences which would otherwise flow from his death shall not flow’.” Powell also disagreed with the notion that because it was in Africa then different methods were acceptable:
“Nor can we ourselves pick and choose where and in what parts of the world we shall use this or that kind of standard. We cannot say, ‘We will have African standards in Africa, Asian standards in Asia and perhaps British standards here at home’. We have not that choice to make. We must be consistent with ourselves everywhere. All Government, all influence of man upon man, rests upon opinion. What we can do in Africa, where we still govern and where we no longer govern, depends upon the opinion which is entertained of the way in which this country acts and the way in which Englishmen act. We cannot, we dare not, in Africa of all places, fall below our own highest standards in the acceptance of responsibility”
Should we abandon the universality of human rights because Powell was a racist?
In this job he was responsible for promoting an ambitious ten-year programme of general hospital building and for beginning the neglect of the huge psychiatric institutions.
Should we tear down the hospitals, end care in the community because Powell was a racist?
In 1993 however Powell claimed that his policy could have worked but had not.
Does care in the community work or not work because Powell was a racist?
Later, he oversaw the employment of a large number of Commonwealth immigrants by the understaffed National Health Service.
Should all the Jamaicans** be fired from the NHS because Powell was a racist?
To anyone with more than half a functioning brain cell there is no connection whatsoever between Powell’s views on race and immigration and whether the above thoughts, proposals and actions are desirable or not.
It is entirely possible to advocate one, all, several or none of the above ideas and acknowledge that they come in part from Powell without needing to agree with him on race or immigration: without even agreeing with his real views, rather than the caricature often presented.
Before I went looking for what Powell had done over his career I would not have said that I was a Powellite. Now, just for the one point made above, his belief in the universality of human rights, (the quote is from a speech which Dennis Healey said was one of the great ones that he observed in his time in The Commons) I would now be entirely happy to describe myself as a Powellite, and to be so described by others.
Indeed, I would be amazed if Sunny did not also agree with that speech and that attitude, making Sunny a Powellite as well, whatever Powell’s views on race and immigration were.
*Please note, it is Sunny alleging the racism.
** As an example.