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Pure, Fucking Profit

Joanna Biggs: ‘Assembly’, 15 July 2021

by Natasha Brown.
Hamish Hamilton, 105 pp., £12.99, June, 978 0 241 51570 9
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... her colonial subjects. Not soldiers, this time, but nurses to carry a wavering NHS on their backs. Enoch Powell himself sailed upon Barbados and implored us, come. And so we came and built and mended and nursed; cooked and cleaned. We paid taxes, paid extortionate rent to the few landlords who would take us. We were hated. The National Front ...

How shall we sing the Lord’s song?

Bernard Williams, 2 April 1981

Religion and Public Doctrine in England 
by Maurice Cowling.
Cambridge, 475 pp., £20, December 1980, 0 521 23289 9
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... use of quotations can give itself away: a clear example is provided by what, in his discussion of Enoch Powell, he euphemistically calls the question of ‘immigration’. In discussing immigration, Powell was careful not to express hostility to immigrants. In demanding a reduction in their numbers, he claimed to be ...

One for the road

Ian Hamilton, 21 March 1991

by Kingsley Amis.
Hutchinson, 346 pp., £16.99, March 1991, 0 09 174533 0
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... Sacred Rhino of Uganda’? Thirdly, there will be a near-embargo on genealogical bullshit, Tony Powell stuff about the ancient Amises of Virginia, USA. We get a grandad with hairs sticking out of his red nose (‘how much I disliked and was repelled by him’), a grandma – ‘large, dreadful, hairy-faced’ – whom he remembers having ‘loathed and ...

It’s a riot

Michael Ignatieff, 20 August 1981

‘Civil Disturbances’: Hansard, Vol. 8, Nos 143-144, 16 July 1981 – 17 July 1981 
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... fact that blacks and whites rioted together, and by uniting in the comforting ritual of banning Enoch Powell from the confines of respectable discourse. The banishment of Powell allowed the House the comfort of believing that ‘we are all multiracialists now.’ Yet the real divisions on race reappeared ...

Up the Garden Path

R.W. Johnson: Michael Foot, 26 April 2007

Michael Foot: A Life 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Harper, 568 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 0 00 717826 1
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... SDLP and Ulster Unionists, the SNP and Plaid Cymru, the Communist Party, the National Front and Enoch Powell, with his immense appeal to working-class Tories. Never in our history had there been such a perfect class alignment, but it failed dismally – the ‘no’ vote reached only 32.8 per cent – in the face of a massively better funded media ...

Not Very Permeable

Colin Kidd: Rory Stewart’s Borderlands, 19 January 2017

The Marches: Border Walks with My Father 
by Rory Stewart.
Cape, 351 pp., £18.99, October 2016, 978 0 224 09768 0
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... seems foreign, a country that espouses the anti-EU and anti-immigrant values once associated with Enoch Powell. The Anglo-Scottish Union survives, for the moment, because, with oil prices low, an independent Scotland divorced from the English economy would be unable to sustain much in the way of a welfare state. Nevertheless, Britishness is ...


Karl Miller: Conflict of Two Egos, 3 June 1982

... government. Fishing in the troubled waters of the South Atlantic, as he has fished in others, Enoch Powell has claimed that the nation is formidable once again, by virtue of this unity, and he has since declared that ‘we must win.’ At any cost, apparently. I doubt whether we have been as unanimous as he thinks. Since the crisis broke, I have met ...

Young Ones

Hugh Barnes, 5 June 1986

Damaged Gods 
by Julie Burchill.
Century, 152 pp., £8.95, March 1986, 0 7126 1140 1
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Love it or shove it: The Best of Julie Burchill 
Century, 148 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 7126 0746 3Show More
Girls on Film 
by Julie Burchill.
Virgin, 192 pp., £5.99, March 1986, 9780863691348
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Less than Zero 
by Bret Easton Ellis.
Picador, 208 pp., £2.95, February 1986, 0 330 29400 8
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... xenophobia hardly ever slips, and each year she more closely resembles her political hero, Enoch Powell, from whose speeches she quotes liberally in her texts. From the outset Burchill’s career described an upward curve. She arrived in London immediately after leaving school in the mid-Seventies. She won a contest for cub contributors to the NME ...

Red Souls

Neal Ascherson, 22 May 1980

Russian Hide and Seek 
by Kingsley Amis.
Hutchinson, 240 pp., £5.95, May 1980, 0 09 142050 4
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... come to bits in his paws; his natural condition is that of the reign of Nicholas I. I think it was Enoch Powell who unexpectedly attacked Solzhenitsyn a few years ago, observing that no Englishman should tolerate being lectured about liberty by a Russian, and that outburst might even have been the germ of Russian Hide and Seek, which, funny as it ...

English Changing

Frank Kermode, 7 February 1980

The State of the Language 
edited by Leonard Michaels and Christopher Ricks.
California, 609 pp., £14.95, January 1980, 0 520 03763 4
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... of our joining the Common Market. It is no coincidence that the best political styles belong to Enoch Powell, Anthony Wedgwood-Benn and Michael Foot, all men ‘committed to working on and defending the idea of the United Kingdom’. As it happens, Mr Powell himself contributes a piece on ‘The Language of ...

Tearing up the Race Card

Paul Foot, 30 November 1995

The New Untouchables: Immigration and the New World Worker 
by Nigel Harris.
Tauris, 256 pp., £25, October 1995, 1 85043 956 7
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The Cambridge Survey of World Migration 
edited by Robin Cohen.
Cambridge, 570 pp., £75, November 1995, 0 521 44405 5
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... trade unions or moving of its own accord from one country to the next. I remember interviewing Enoch Powell on this subject more than 27 years ago, just after he had made his monstrous (and, in hindsight, ridiculous) speech against immigration. What future would there be for his precious free market, I asked, after he had imposed the most rigid ...

Early Hillhead Man

Paul Addison, 6 May 1982

Churchill’s Political Philosophy 
by Martin Gilbert.
Oxford, 119 pp., £8, November 1981, 0 19 726005 5
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Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years 
by Martin Gilbert.
Macmillan, 279 pp., £8.95, September 1981, 0 333 32564 8
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Churchill and de Gaulle 
by François Kersaudy.
Collins, 476 pp., £12.95, September 1981, 0 00 216328 4
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The Diaries of Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart 
edited by Kenneth Young.
Macmillan, 800 pp., £30, October 1981, 0 333 18480 7
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Churchill’s Indian Summer 
by Anthony Seldon.
Hodder, 667 pp., £14.95, October 1981, 0 340 25456 4
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... too, has to be reconstructed as he appeared at the time in the eyes of respectable opinion: the Enoch Powell of the day. Alas, biographers often confine their sympathy to a single individual and his allies, and so it is here. The wealth of research is flawed by a determination to prosecute ‘the guilty men’ on Churchill’s behalf. But if the ...

Soldier, Sailor, Poacher

E.S. Turner, 3 October 1985

Great Britons: 20th-Century Lives 
by Harold Oxbury.
Oxford, 371 pp., £14.95, September 1985, 0 19 211599 5
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The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes 
edited by Max Hastings.
Oxford, 514 pp., £9.50, October 1985, 0 19 214107 4
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The Long Affray: The Poaching Wars in Britain 
by Harry Hopkins.
Secker, 344 pp., £12.95, August 1985, 9780436201028
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... regard in which war correspondents were held by all ranks. Anyone who may have tried to picture Enoch Powell at war will be fascinated by an account of a hazardous drive across Algeria, with the ‘Professor’, then a lieutenant-colonel, in minimal control of the vehicle, giving impromptu lectures on Classical matters. If only there had been, in the ...


John Sutherland, 21 January 1982

Brave Old World 
by Philippe Curval, translated by Steve Cox.
Allison and Busby, 262 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 407 0
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The Insider 
by Christopher Evans.
Faber, 215 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 571 11774 0
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by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 185 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 410 0
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From the Heat of the Day 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 159 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 0 85031 325 2
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One Generation 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 202 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 9780850312546
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by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... from the EEC (so much for Curval) and compulsory repatriation of ‘aliens’. He is not called Enoch Powell. The SPG has just been enlarged to regimental strength. The outgoing Tory government has denationalised the Health Service. England are doing badly in the Test series against South Africa. The insider of the title is an outsider – an alien. He ...


Carolyn Steedman: Tory Ladies , 4 June 1987

... I have to look at what it was she actually believed: in repatriation, in capital punishment, that Enoch Powell was wonderful; that she was different from other people, finer and more deserving than them. Being brought up a woman is certainly significant in making political journeys like this, but so is class, and we need an analysis that allows us to ...

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