Dick Cavett And Enoch Powell: Civilized, Edifying Discussion That Would Never Take Place Today



“‘Racist’ is one of the modern terms of abuse,” Enoch Powell tells Dick Cavett. “The term of abuse is more effective the less defined it is. Then you can throw it at anybody and anything.”

“It all sounds reasonable,” replies Cavett, to Mr. Powell’s lucid explanation as to the question of which people belonged in England, given the British Empire’s reach and diffuse definition of citizen vs. subject.

I’ve repeatedly made the point in columns and to my friend David Vance, who lives in the UK, that all the racial nonsense the British are agonizing over is imported from America—doesn’t belong in Britain—so I love that this is Powell’s first point: The race baggage is American; not British.

Before him, explained Powell, nobody in government had cared enough to give voice to the sorrow Britons were feeling to over the possibility of losing their home, England, as they knew it. Powell was giving context to his 1968, “rivers of blood” speech.

READ more Barely-A-Blog Posts about Enoch Powell.

Link via https://britishbullybees.blogspot.com/2021/03/enoch-powell-on-being-called-racist.html

One thought on “Dick Cavett And Enoch Powell: Civilized, Edifying Discussion That Would Never Take Place Today

  1. Ian “Red” Rivers

    That was definitely a different time, when intelligent people left and right could discuss the issues with civility. How instructive to hear Powell talk about the concept of British subjects, and the logical outcome of that policy in the age of air travel. How refreshing to see Dick Cavett give Powell time to make his point, and then to admit that what he said was reasonable. To think that 50 years ago we Americans were already exporting the concept of racism to the rest of the European world. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Leon Trotsky one of the early innovators in weaponizing the racist accusation? I think I’d read somewhere that he may have even invented the concept, but I have to imagine the pedigree is older than that.

    BTW, there are a lot of good Dick Cavett YouTubes available, as you can imagine. He did a lot of terrific interviews over the years. I think you can even find the famous Norman Mailer/Gore Vidal showdown on one of those Cavett videos. That one convinced me of Vidal’s courage, watching him laugh and crack jokes vis a vis Mailer’s menacing posture

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