Friday, April 13, 2018

Powell booked

So it's the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech, and the BBC has decided to commemorate that fact by broadcasting the entire text on the radio, something that wasn't done at the time Powell made it. There's no tape, either, so they're having an actor read it.

And much concern is being raised. Is it really appropriate to commemorate this way a speech which, even at the time, was considered so toxically racist that it got Powell - previously an important figure in the Conservative Party - summarily sacked from the front bench and permanently exiled to the lunatic fringes of British politics?

The BBC says, they're not honoring it; they'll interrupt it with commentaries and critiques and so on, but a lot of people are still very disturbed by this.

My suggestion for cutting this dilemma is inspired by the story of the Welsh Guard band which had been ordered to play to welcome a visit of the Saudi King. Not feeling desirous of honoring him, but not wishing to disobey orders, they expressed their opinion by bringing him in to the tune of the "Imperial March" from Star Wars. The King had no idea, of course ...

So here's my suggestion. You can broadcast Enoch Powell's racist speech ... so long as the actor you get to read it is the one who played the Emperor Palpatine in the movies. That'd send a Welsh Guard kind of message.

And guess what? They don't make note of the connection, they just give his name, but that's exactly who they got.

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