Rivers of Blood Speech

Rivers Of Blood Speech

Enoch Powell's April 20, 1968 address to the General Meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre (commonly called "Rivers of Blood" speech) was a speech criticising Commonwealth immigration, as well as proposed anti-discrimination legislation in the United Kingdom made on 20 April 1968 by Enoch Powell (1912–1998), the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West. Though Powell referred to the speech as "the Birmingham speech", it is otherwise known as the "Rivers of Blood" speech, a title derived from its allusion to a line from Virgil's Aeneid. Although the phrase "rivers of blood" does not appear in the speech, it does include the line, "As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood.'"

The speech caused a political storm, making Powell one of the most talked about, though divisive, politicians in the country, and leading to his dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet by Conservative party leader Edward Heath. According to most accounts, the popularity of Powell's perspective on race may have played a decisive contributory factor in the Conservatives' surprise victory in the 1970 general election, and he became one of the most persistent rebels opposing the subsequent Heath government.

Read more about Rivers Of Blood Speech:  Background, The Speech, Reaction, Identity of The Woman Mentioned in The Speech, Right-wing Support For The Speech, Acknowledgement From Party Leaders

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Rivers Of Blood Speech - Acknowledgement From Party Leaders
... Thirty years after the speech, Edward Heath admitted that Powell's remarks on the "economic burden of immigration" had been "not without prescience." ...

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