Lecturing on Enoch Powell

Lord Norton

Amidst the essay and exam marking over the past few weeks, I was also busy working on a lecture on Enoch Powell, one of the most controversial politicians of the latter half of the 20th Century as well as a distinguished parliamentarian.   The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has organised a series of lectures this year to mark the centenary of the passage of the 1911 Parliament Act.  Each lecture covers a notable parliamentarian of the past century.  I was invited to give the one on Enoch Powell.  (Earlier lectures covered Lloyd George, by Lord Morgan; F. E. Smith, by Sir Peter Tapsell MP; Nancy Astor, by Baroness Williams; Winston Churchill, by his grandson, Nicholas Soames MP; and Aneurin Bevan, by Gordon Marsden MP.)    I delivered the lecture on Tuesday evening.  Anyone wishing to watch it can see it on the BBC Parliament Channel tomorrow (Saturday) at 9.00 p.m.

UPDATE: For anyone who wishes to see the lecture, it is available on iPlayer here.

30 comments for “Lecturing on Enoch Powell

  1. MilesJSD
    milesjsd
    18/06/2011 at 3:47 am

    A twisted press-headline once ridiculed both Enoch Powell’s intellect and his intention during Immigration Debating, that:
    Question: “Mr Powell, aren’t you being negatively racialist over coloured immigration into Britain ?”
    Powell: “Not at all, in no way;
    there is only one thing I can not stand and that’s all these black b******s sneaking ashore by dead of night”.

    Which fortunately a critical-mass of Brits passed off as a stand-up-comedy joke;

    but the insidious murky spirit of which may be worse today than it was all those decades ago;

    I recall how Australia has long had a very strict pre-selection programme for its Immigration, choosing who shall be allowed to enter before they set sail from abroad to be granted residency-and-skilled-work-before-citizenship status;
    but still there remain noticeable numbers of Aussies, muttering out of earshot of the Anti-Discrimination Police, words to the effect of “All these Chinese, Japanese, Blacks, Wogs, and bloody-Poms, coming in here uninvited and stealing all our Australian jobs, living off our hard-earned taxes, and even stealing our women” (the latter, a significantly greater proportion of Australian white women choose to marry Ethnic-immigrants than do Australian white men)”.

    I hear the same sort of sickened-mindedness today, here in England.

    It helps me, to read the truth about such predecessors as the lectures referred to here bring out into day-light.

    0347St180611.JSDM.

  2. maude elwes
    18/06/2011 at 2:43 pm

    Enoch Powell was a fascinating and brilliant man who fully understood the effects immigration, if not balanced and carefully regulated, would have on British society.

    I look forward to these lectures tremendously, as each individual discussed had so much to teach in so many ways.

    And Miles, the natural instinct of all human tribes and cultures is, to keep to their own form of acceptable values. What is the phenomenon today are those who deviate from this inbred instinct, which is a natural, in built, defence mechanism.

    And here is Enoch Powell, in interview, telling it from his point of view.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxEKnDk2nE0

    And the view from today:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwO6v9POt74

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      18/06/2011 at 4:45 pm

      maude elwes: I hope you enjoy this one as much as those already delivered. As I said in opening my lecture, having been to all the previous lectures, I know what a high bar had been set.

      • maude elwes
        18/06/2011 at 5:33 pm

        @Lord Norton:

        My apologies, I had misconstrued your opening post. Truth is, I skimmed over it cockily. I’d believed, hoped, they were all to come. What a pity it will be just your own on Enoch Powell. Needless to say, I am sure it will be riveting and wait with baited breath.

        • Lord Norton
          Lord Norton
          18/06/2011 at 11:32 pm

          maude elwes: I am pleased to say that all the previous lectures are also available online.

          • maude elwes
            19/06/2011 at 1:35 pm

            @Lord Norton:

            I watched you lecture with friends of mine. We were all impressed and envious of your honest knowledge of this man and how well you handled what could have been a difficult profile.

            Thank you for the url below, how kind of you to take the time to put it up for us. I shall watch every one over the next days and if they are as good as yours they will be more than worth it.

          • Lord Norton
            Lord Norton
            19/06/2011 at 5:51 pm

            maude elwes: Many thanks. I’m delighted that the lecture was of interest. Thanks also for your appreciation of the way I handled it. It was not the easiest task to take on.

    • MilesJSD
      milesjsd
      18/06/2011 at 5:51 pm

      Ref your thinking, Maude Elwes:
      “those who deviate from inbred instinct which is a natural, in built, defence mechanism”:

      “Instinct” is the product of the Rhinic or Reptilian brain and is not breed-able;

      “Intelligence” is the product of the higher Limbic or Mammalian brain and is ‘conditionable’ (NB for ‘good’ or for ‘evil’);

      “Intellect” is the product of the highest Supra-Limbic or Human brain and is trainable and educable (again NB for ‘good’ or for ‘evil’.

      A better-elucidant field might be that delineable by such terms as
      “Behaviour”, “Conduct”, “Habit”, “Disposition”; “Persuasion”, “Belief”, “Creed”, and so forth.
      ————
      “All human tribes and cultures”:
      would this stretch to include Communities, Societies, Civilisations ?
      ————
      You appear to be trying to justify as a natural-right, any “tribe” or “culture” member’s hostility to neighbouring or other human tribe members, on questionable or even utterly false grounds such as those that I had put forward as real instances of ‘discrimination’
      which (and we all seem top have got this bit right) Enoch Powell had shared both sound Moral reasoning and powerful intellectual argumentation about, in an attempt to catalyse peaceful and friendly win-win-win Needs & Hows Recognition, Agreement, and both Social and Governance Planning, for our collective long-term Future.
      ———
      (Nonetheless I remain happy to stand simply in my, as it were, “freshman-student’s short black gown”, and learn-on, or be corrected, or plain told to “shaddap, you’re impeding our beating of the target we have already set ourselves”).

      230 words. 1751St1806.JSDM.

  3. danfilson
    19/06/2011 at 9:17 am

    There is a line in the film Empire of the Sun based on J G Ballard’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, where the boy played by Christian Bale is asked to try not to think so much (you would need to see the film to understand the context). At times both Enoch Powell and his colleague Sir Keith Joseph thought too much. I suspect that is also true of some members of the current cabinet.

    At the same time, I believe his Rivers of Blood speech was finely calculated and delivered precisely at a point in time to have both an immediate effect on the May 1968 local elections but also on the Labour Government. Whilst often characterised as an error on his part, in which he was insouciant of the dramatic consequences, my view is that he knew precisely what its impact would be and relished it. All of the same ilk as the leaflets circulated during Peter Griffiths’ successful campaign in 1964 to unseat Patrick Gordon Walker.

  4. Gareth Howell
    19/06/2011 at 11:10 am

    I attended a lecture by EP in about 1976, and
    (sorry to go on about personal family history so much but it certainly brought 17thC and before, alive for me)… and my late Pa said “Tell him afterwards that your name is Howell”
    which I duly did, in a most timorous fashion.
    “In that case you are a relative of mine!” he replied noticing my shyness! The “P” of Powell is the Welsh variation of Ap Howell, shortened to Powell for English use.

    It was no until about 2001 while I was reading Welsh history, through learning a little of the language, and making it a throughly personal journey, that I discovered precisely how he thought we were fairly closely linked, through the (Penry)Powell/Howell family of Builth Wells, one of whose members was known as the Welsh martyr, the only one,
    John Penry, who was hanged by Archbishop Whitgift’s orders in 1594. He had been selling Welsh language versions of the bible,
    which he had printed himself.

    Leaving that aside, the extraordinary academic excellence with which he supported the research, in Welsh, of the (King) Hywel Dda manuscripts(Howell the Good of Wales)was
    a huge pleasure to me to discover, and his concern for his own family descent from, yet again that amazing man Hywel Dda!(Howell the Good).

    Hywel Emmanuel’s work on all the manuscripts from the 13thC onwards,was not in vain.

    The perspective of the Classics scholar was
    a very useful one indeed, and led me further back to try to establish the precise view point of Enoch Powell, looking from Roman Times………forward to the tenth century, to the Whitland synod, or not even so far to the time of Arthurian legend,about the 7thC AD.
    ———————————-

    His opinions about immigration were political and like so much politics is here today and gone tomorrow, and as Jack Straw wisely remarked in defending his own change of opinion, facts (or was it events) change opinions.

    I am quite certain that Enoch Powell today would recognise that his “Rivers of blood” was more fitting to the recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan,and now the wider Arab “country”, and that it is only now that the worldwide melting pot of people, is bringing unforetold
    problems, which some would describe as racial on account of the clash between the Arab Muslim faith, and the Christian one loosely based on Rome, but in conflict too with Eastern Orthodox beliefs.

    We live in a “Globalist” world; nothing can change that. There are widely defined ethnic groups, which also have their own culture based bonds/ties/religions. Very little will change that.

    There are hundreds of threatened ethnic groups of which the Welsh are sometimes thought to be one, on the basis of language
    identity. Those hundreds are today severely threatened by what might be described by the “big ten” Chinese/US/Russian (the first ten languages in my Instant translation software!!!) whose ethnicity is not at risk.

    The Arab Spring may well be a strengthening of an International culture of Arabism, strenghtening of the “Arab country”,(cf The
    USA is a country) at the expense of the many subcultures, small ethnic groups, within its bounds.

    The intrusion of NATO in all these conflicts,
    in the Islamic world, is merely number ONE,
    showing clearly that it supports a world of
    Super regions, or super nations, compared with a world of vast numbers of ethnic minority interests.

    You may remember my comments and campaigning support for the ECO (Economic Community Organisation)of ten Central Asian states headed by Hamed Khazai of Afgh. That is, in fact, another of the many hopeful supernations of the world, which take their place,at the UN, not supporting ethnic diversity and multiculturalism, but a wider
    supranational region in central Asia.

    Enoch Powell might have limited himself to making remarks about the world of Rome and
    Jerusalem, and not the capital city of Islam,
    Baghdad, had he been born in a slightly different age.

    • maude elwes
      19/06/2011 at 3:21 pm

      @Gareth Howell:

      I have a feeling if Enoch Powell was alive today he would be of the same view he held in his own time and more so.

      However, I also feel he would have had his eye firmly and cleverly on the Chinese, African, US problem of today and centre on what would be in the interests of the UK in this minefield.

      http://angrychineseblogger.blog-city.com/china_america_and_the_somali_pirate_paradox.htm

  5. Baroness Murphy
    Baroness Murphy
    19/06/2011 at 12:08 pm

    I very much enjoyed your lecture Lord Norton. I interviewed Enoch Powell at length in 1990 while writing a book on the closure of the asylums and the birth of community care. He was of course the instigator of the policy when Minister for Health and I wanted to understand how the policy came about and his thoughts about why it had gone so sadly wrong. He invited me to tea at his home in Pimlico where his wife served us traditional afternoon tea while he produced tomes of notes he had written at the period between 1960 and 62 about the sequence of events. I found him an utterly compelling figure, convincingly committed to the improvement in the lives of people with mental illness and learning disability. He remained furious that the money he thought he had engineered for local authorities to provide appropriate accommodation and care for those leaving the long stay hospitals had been siphoned off elsewhere. But my abiding memory is of the many hours of work he had put into helping me by assembling the right documents in advance and being completely analytical about the what he had got right and also what he had got wrong. He deserves a better image and your lecture was an excellent contribution to his rehabilitation.

    • danfilson
      19/06/2011 at 12:40 pm

      I’ll bet that, in that context, he was fascinating, and his fury about sidetracking of funding thoroughly justified if the funding was hypothecated. The closure of asylums was a triumph especially where matched by corresponding alternative care. If it was hypothecated, then that – sadly perhaps – is localism in action.

      One of the tragedies of living in an electronic age is that so many of the drafts and exchanges that make the lives of biographers and historians so enjoyable will have disappeared into the ether. Retention of working papers only goes so far

      • danfilson
        19/06/2011 at 4:31 pm

        An omitted “not” made that meaningless. I meant to say “If it was NOT hypothecated, then that – sadly perhaps – is localism in action.”

    • Gareth Howell
      19/06/2011 at 2:39 pm

      The archive of all those notes is in one of the Cambridge colleges, probably Caius, but not difficult to find with a google search.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      25/06/2011 at 10:48 am

      Baroness Murphy: Many thanks for your comments. Enoch Powell’s role as the instigator of what became care in the community (and his views on how it had not been effectively financed and implemented) was something I would have covered had there been more time available. It is an important aspect of his time as Minister that is often not appreciated. Your experience of meeting him is very much in line with the experience of others. His archives were extensive. Simon Heffer had a real treasure trove in writing his biography.

  6. Twm O'r Nant
    20/06/2011 at 3:40 pm

    Powell’s example suggests that British attitudes to mass immigration may owe more to the experience of empire than to post-war changes in national identity.

    Heh! Heh! Yes 1/4 of the world population issued with British passports, by an overenthusiastic bureaucracy, during the 1930s, rather like the bureaucracy which has led to benefits for all, of the last 35 years.

    Creating a single country from such a disparate group of states, was easier for the
    deluded French to do, than it was for the deluded British! Also easier for the French to include Algeria within its national boundaries, and then to fight a fearsome war to disown it!

    But then if you ignore the time scales, and possibly think of the Roger Casement “case” the civil war in Ireland may not have been so very different and for the same reason.

    In that sense, the grand designs of politicians and Bureaucrats to create something “Bigger and better” namely the ECSC, and now the EU, may have a similar ending but at least there is a unity about the boundaries, which no previous organization has achieved, and at least there is a pluralist democracy to run it, rather than empire builders and imperialists, sometimes ten thousand miles away, to make the decisions!!

    At least the whole world is agreed that integrated international groups of countries are the way forward and that parliamentary democracy is the way to do it.

    FACTS CHANGE OPINIONS.

    Not many fools are members of the League of Empire Loyalists today!

  7. Senex
    20/06/2011 at 10:13 pm

    LN: Good lecture! On a personal note; if you are to embrace celebrity and give long speeches you may need some voice coaching. There was too much stress in your voice leaving you somewhat hoarse at one point.

    Personally I never liked EP; he was an absolute prat an awkward politician who could not relate to popular democracy because the notion was alien to him. In his infamous speech April 20, 1968 he quotes a constituent:

    “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country.”…“I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”

    He then goes on to qualify what had been said to him in complete denial that such people could be possessed of virtue. A high minded man he brings his lowly bigoted constituents up to his level by quoting from Virgil’s Aeneid and ‘Sibyl’s Prophecy’.

    “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’”

    Only to see thousands of unseen hands drag him into the abyss. What an utter prat!

    You had the audience tittering when you mentioned his view on a nominated (I see you have dropped the word appointed) as opposed to an elected upper house. Like Powell you were pandering not to a constituency but to the many appointed house followers that sat in the audience.

    EPs views on the upper house where quite wrong because there is no constitutional precedent for a directly elected HoL representing the plebeian. The precedent is one of an indirectly elected house representing the establishment. His fears therefore that the primacy of the HoC would be compromised was groundless but he was correct to oppose that for which there is no precedent. I look forward to the day when you are accountable to your professional peers in an indirectly elected house.

    Ref: Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” Speech
    http://www.vigay.com/misc/riversofblood.html

    • maude elwes
      21/06/2011 at 1:24 pm

      @Senex:

      First, I want to draw attention to your previous post on another thread which refers to the cited poster as ‘Buddy.’ And adds idea that working for an American company was the best position you experienced in your lifetime, as, you wrote, that company took account of you as an individual. It must have been the unique in all American companies known to man. As having had enormous personal, as well as impersonal, contact with US companies, as a mainstay for family and friends, in that underwhelming place called a super power, not one could have been, in the slightest of terms, considered having interest in the individual.

      These two sentences alone denote your notion of ‘good thinking.’ So, from that point, I really need add nothing. However, I will, and I start with your idea that all we need here in our UK parliament, as in that wonderful ‘democracy’ called the USA, is to have in place, to voice a subject, the right look and delivery of speech, rather than the content of the piece and the genuineness behind the presentation of the speaker. Hence the decline of the American administration.

      Your views on EP have to be as they are for you show no sign, on this blog, as yet, of having anything close to his breadth of knowledge or allegiance to this British population.

      Elitist’s of your ilk always use the discreditable line, Popular Democracy. The basis of your slant is totally unfounded. Political correctness in not now and has never been ‘popular democracy’ as this clip reveals. It is admitted 82% of the people of the country agreed with Enoch Powell at the time. However, their voice was disregarded. Which has led to the need to change our government to once again enable the voter to be heard and counted.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EemOiaSliSw

      Your view of ‘popular democracy’ is retail driven marketing. The kind that adheres to interest groups, disproportionate pressure groups, financially supported by those who have some kind of beneficial aim for themselves. Media sources who are little other than propaganda machines. Who are these covert and secretive groups and what is their true aim? Big money is always the answer.

      And today the voter is shouting louder and are, akin to the Arab nations, able to express their wishes openly and unfettered. And able to do so in a way they could not in Powell’s day. So your kind are finding it forever more difficult to deny them a voice.

      My only question to you is, what is in it for you that you so avidly wish to stifle free speech and acknowledge the reality of its content?

  8. Bedd Gelert
    20/06/2011 at 10:28 pm

    “He deserves a better image and your lecture was an excellent contribution to his rehabilitation.”

    Is it not possible to consider such a review for another dearly departed rapscallion, Brian Haw ??

    • danfilson
      21/06/2011 at 11:12 am

      Rapscallion indeed. There is a long history of protests outside Parliament, indeed I have been part of a large crowd outside the Lords once and certainly marched past the Palace on occasions (in mufti from my then job). But I don’t think Brian Haw of himself is of such interest as to merit a lecture on his own. Influential protests might be a worthy subject – the Chartists, the Powellite Dockers, for example.

      • maude elwes
        21/06/2011 at 1:35 pm

        Brian Haw had a mission and that was to bring to justice those who took the British people to war on a lie and to remind them of their duplicity.

        He was fortunate in that ‘the guilt’ kept him from a cell.

        RIP.

  9. Twm
    21/06/2011 at 5:19 pm

    What an utter prat!
    There is an element of that about all politicians at some time or other.

    EPs views on the upper house were quite wrong because there is no constitutional precedent for a directly elected HoL representing the plebeian. The precedent is one of an indirectly elected house representing the establishment. His fears therefore that the primacy of the HoC would be compromised was groundless but he was correct to oppose that for which there is no precedent. I look forward to the day when you are accountable to your professional peers in an indirectly elected house.

    This is a highly relevant passage from Senex’s post.

    Why he deduces that because there is no precedent, it should be opposed, I can not say.

    Why should a precedent not be set of both houses representing the plebeian/proles?

    The Establishment is perfectly capable of finding ways of representing itself in a
    bicameral parliament without resorting to a chamber to itself.

    The House of Commons and the house of Representatives/UK State Senate.

    • Senex
      22/06/2011 at 2:26 pm

      A number of reasons: I remember watching footage of a former cabinet secretary speak on house reform that change should be evolutionary not revolutionary. The same sentiment has been voiced at the despatch box in the Commons.

      I smell a rat, a mischief that would take us down the road of a republic. A HoL directly elected by the people would be such a revolution whereas an indirectly elected house would be evolution. Parliament is full of mischief and its owners are P-rats.

      The role of the house is an intangible issue that bedevils the reform process. The lower house will only buy into an elective reform of the upper house if its primacy is not an issue. A house (HoL) indirectly elected by the establishment is duty bound to represent that establishment. A house (HoC) directly elected by an electorate is duty bound to represent the people, all of them. The notion of establishment is as intangible as electorate because there is no legal definition of either.

      Besides, my politics are that the constitution should serve the needs of the people not the constitutional politics of Parliament. The way Parliament uses its vote is an issue that must be addressed.

      There is much talk of a UK Senate. Senate and Senators have a republican association. The US Congress has no way of recognising their nation’s natural aristocracy because their constitution does not accommodate aristocracy. Ours does and people are born with no notion whatsoever that one day they would end up sitting in the House of Lords. The way they arrive there is down to what they have achieved in their lifetime and what they can offer the nation by virtue of this.

      There are two ways we recognise a natural aristocracy: the honours system and ennoblement. Titles used in the house by the hereditary nobility are compulsory and an accepted honour for those with a choice.

      So that’s a ‘No’ to a Senate and a big ‘Yes’ to the continuation of a House of Lords and at the risk of offending Parliaments many levellers we should continue to recognise our natural aristocracy by ennoblement.

      • maude elwes
        26/06/2011 at 3:49 pm

        @Senex:

        There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ aristocracy. That is an ignorant man’s call for covering sycophantic behaviour. And usually spouted when one is seeking gain of some kind from those in a position to give it. It is of the days when the three musketeers roamed Europe. This is a modern world we live in and trying to sell that to the public is absurd.

        There is natural selection by physical stamina and superior intellect, this is nature’s way of seeing the most suitable continue to breed. But, there is no such thing as a ‘natural’ aristocracy. If there was France, Germany, Russia and the rest of the European countries would continue with it. Not to mention most have now married so far down you would be hard pressed to find any aristocratic blood left.

        Although, didn’t Princess Michael of Kent, tell us all she was more royal than any we have here today. Not that royals are ‘necessarily’ aristocrats, but many were given aristocratic titles to cover the blood line they thought may be, just may be, connected to monarchs.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Michael_of_Kent

        Aristocrats are simply people who found their way to the part of society who were in a position to ennoble them. A bit like Kate Middleton really. It was felt this act would keep them in positions they wanted to become accustomed to. And they were dead right, were they not?

        Next you will be trying to sell the Irish Kennedy clan as the natural aristocrats of that place across the big pond.

        No man or woman has any right to rule in a democracy without first being voted into a position to do so, via the citizens of that democracy. No others have a mandate to do so and to pretend they have is fraud.

        This little guide may assist you in your lack of understanding.

        http://www.stanford.edu/~ldiamond/iraq/WhaIsDemocracy012004.htm

        • Senex
          03/07/2011 at 3:54 pm

          Maude, you may not be aware that one Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams October 28, 1813 on the subject of a ‘Natural Aristocracy’ with both agreeing to the notion. However, your own view contradicts this when you say:

          “There is no such thing as a ‘natural’ aristocracy. That is an ignorant man’s call for covering sycophantic behaviour. And usually spouted when one is seeking gain of some kind from those in a position to give it. It is of the days when the three musketeers roamed Europe. This is a modern world we live in and trying to sell that to the public is absurd.”

          Your views on ‘natural selection’ are somewhat alarming too:

          “There is natural selection by physical stamina and superior intellect, this is nature’s way of seeing the most suitable continue to breed.” This view in the context of people would not have been out of place during the German Third Reich.

          As a leveller and a fundamental socialist your views speak volumes about the abilities of the official opposition. They cannot acknowledge excellence or the notion of a ‘natural aristocracy’ yet both are to be found within their ranks.

          You offer your views without providing evidence of them. The HoL is a place of reason that requires evidence as part of its working procedures and is why an indirectly elected house would be a major asset to the democracy we all enjoy.

          Ref: Jefferson’s Letter to John Adams
          http://www.bigeye.com/aristocracy.htm

    • maude elwes
      28/06/2011 at 3:39 pm

      @Twm:

      Great post. You’re my kind of thinker.

  10. Senex
    21/06/2011 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you Maude for a very robust reply; ones experience is ones experience and I was very fortunate to work with some excellent US companies with cultures that recognised individual effort and viewpoints. I have also worked with any number of UK companies where the internal culture is to exclude the worker, a culture of us and them.

    What you may not be aware of is that the US Senate was indirectly elected before 1913. Before this pivotal date their constitution would not allow Congress to raise taxes either. Thereafter it did raise taxes and the Senate did directly represent the people. This in my view is the moment that US decline began.

    As for your defence of EP, I have not denied that he was a gifted scholar but in my view he was a political liability who needed his constituency and who sold his soul to keep it. He pandered to the lower self rather than the higher self and the establishment never forgave him for this.

    Consider the Lords Appointment Commission or the reason why it was created. It is simply not enough to be clever; the world is full of clever people but they are often awkward. Those that fill the house having come through the commission have a greater variety of attributes to offer than just being clever.

    You must also recall what was said in the lecture about EP being a spy. Likes all spies they lurk unseen having only the most cynical view of life and people. EP was used and abused by the establishment because he was clever and he was never allowed to fully develop as a person.

    My view on popular democracy is not retail driven but that of New Labour was. It turned politics into packaging and focus groups. My view on popular democracy is that public opinion is very often uninformed and voting takes place based upon this. If it were not for the media and their desire to inform we would be in a sorry state. Correction, we are in a sorry state!

    The reason why this blogs exists at all is because the house is seen as unrepresentative of peoples needs and irrelevant. This is simply not the case; it is an informed house that demonstrates time and time again a desire to safeguard freedoms such as free speech. Had the house been included in the vote on Iraq it would have applied reason and asked to examine evidence and would have only proceeded on that basis. In the end it was excluded because it lacked elective legitimacy.

    This is the price the house pays for being appointed and it is simply not acceptable. These appointed peers cannot wash their hands and say “its nothing to do with us, we are just a reforming chamber” they must embrace change, embrace suffrage if their dignity is not to be further sullied.

    As to the “what’s in it for you”? Absolutely nothing! Except that the elected legitimacy of the house should be broadened and made more representative of the establishment so that it may share in governance and have the ability to put its best foot forward, always, instead of being a moribund hapless slave.

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