• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

Points of View

George Kearton

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#2
Excellent piece - an alternative Enoch Powell takes a large part in the latter chapters of "The Longest Road" (volume nine of my "House of Stuart Sequence", with Tom for forthcoming publication)
 

David Flin

I am not a security blanket
#3
Enoch Powell is one of the figures that can't be kept out of TLs set in the UK in the 1970s/1980s. I don't particularly object to that. He was, after all, a figure of some influence, and eminently quotable. His speeches also have a rhythm about them that makes his style very easy to emulate.

What annoys me are those TLs where the author clearly has just picked him because of the Rivers of Blood speech, and extrapolated from that without doing any research into other areas, and without having a clue about the man (once described as: High Intelligence, Low Wisdom). His ability to compromise was second to none. Correction, it was none.
 

Alex Richards

With his appurtenances
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#4
Enoch Powell is one of the figures that can't be kept out of TLs set in the UK in the 1970s/1980s. I don't particularly object to that. He was, after all, a figure of some influence, and eminently quotable. His speeches also have a rhythm about them that makes his style very easy to emulate.

What annoys me are those TLs where the author clearly has just picked him because of the Rivers of Blood speech, and extrapolated from that without doing any research into other areas, and without having a clue about the man (once described as: High Intelligence, Low Wisdom). His ability to compromise was second to none. Correction, it was none.
I always get the impression that he was the sort of person who'd either manage to get to the top by being the right person for a difficult job, or would always end up blowing out and fading to the backbenches. I just can't see him managing to be 'senior minister across a long-lived government'.
 

David Flin

I am not a security blanket
#5
I always get the impression that he was the sort of person who'd either manage to get to the top by being the right person for a difficult job, or would always end up blowing out and fading to the backbenches. I just can't see him managing to be 'senior minister across a long-lived government'.
Not willing to compromise would be a good starting point. If he felt logic to him to a certain position, he'd hold on to that position, come Hell or high water. When you look at his speeches, they are full of the logic of x follows y follows z, without regard for the shades of grey that normal human beings come with.

He could turn a phrase (his speech regarding Thatcher both before and after the Falklands was genuinely brilliant), and he knew his Classics, but compromising to win a consensus? Not a hope.

Unfortunately, getting to the top spot in anything pretty much requires the ability to be able to take account of alternate points of view. His getting to a top position would effectively require a bizarre set of circumstances eliminating all possible competition. By contrast, Thatcher was a veritable weather vane of shifting positions and sympathy with differences of opinion.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#6
Not willing to compromise would be a good starting point. If he felt logic to him to a certain position, he'd hold on to that position, come Hell or high water. When you look at his speeches, they are full of the logic of x follows y follows z, without regard for the shades of grey that normal human beings come with.

He could turn a phrase (his speech regarding Thatcher both before and after the Falklands was genuinely brilliant), and he knew his Classics, but compromising to win a consensus? Not a hope.

Unfortunately, getting to the top spot in anything pretty much requires the ability to be able to take account of alternate points of view. His getting to a top position would effectively require a bizarre set of circumstances eliminating all possible competition. By contrast, Thatcher was a veritable weather vane of shifting positions and sympathy with differences of opinion.
I have him 'cast' as Viceroy of India - this was apparently, and in OTL, one of his youthful ambitions and led him to learning Urdu in the late 1930's.
 

Geordie

Member of Parliament for the Valley of Old Swazz
Published by SLP
#9
An interesting prompt for things to consider when writing a TL. Do you plan to go into this further, or is it a stand alone article?
 

Indicus

Active member
#11
It was his ambition, but then, when I was in my youth, it was my ambition to be a Hollywood star.

He might have wanted the job, but no-one was ever going to give it to him.
In any case, by the time he became a politician, India was an independent nation. Even if Britain could hold on to India to the extent that he became Viceroy, I think his uncompromising nature would result in bloodshed and he'd quickly be recalled after a "Powell Go Back" campaign.
 

David Flin

I am not a security blanket
#12
In any case, by the time he became a politician, India was an independent nation. Even if Britain could hold on to India to the extent that he became Viceroy, I think his uncompromising nature would result in bloodshed and he'd quickly be recalled after a "Powell Go Back" campaign.
There's also the aspect of the logic, which could cause problems back home. For example, his views on the Mau Mau in Kenya were uncompromising and, for those who only know his Rivers of Blood speech, surprising.

Powell noted that some MPs had described the eleven as "sub-human", but Powell responded by saying: "In general, I would say that it is a fearful doctrine, which must recoil upon the heads of those who pronounce it, to stand in judgement on a fellow human being and to say, 'Because he was such-and-such, therefore the consequences which would otherwise flow from his death shall not flow'

Nor can we ourselves pick and choose where and in what parts of the world we shall use this or that kind of standard. We cannot say, "We will have African standards in Africa, Asian standards in Asia and perhaps British standards here at home". We have not that choice to make. We must be consistent with ourselves everywhere. All Government, all influence of man upon man, rests upon opinion. What we can do in Africa, where we still govern and where we no longer govern, depends upon the opinion which is entertained of the way in which this country acts and the way in which Englishmen act. We cannot, we dare not, in Africa of all places, fall below our own highest standards in the acceptance of responsibility

Given that the only conceivable time for him to be Viceroy would be in the period between WW2 and Independence (pre WW2, and he's too young; post Independence there's no Viceroy post), such certainty is likely to backfire quite spectacularly, and probably perceived as imposing British standards on a newly-independent/independent country-to-be, regardless of what that country may desire.

Given some of Gandhi's comments regarding Africans, one could end up with the unexpected situation of Gandhi denouncing Africans as sub-human Kaffirs, and Powell defending them as fellow human beings. It would be a logical interpretation of their known views and comments.