As I understand it for a contemporary politician to praise a dead politician who made some controversial remarks about ethnic relations 40 years ago means that he should be ostracised and must lose the whip.
However when a contemporary politician praises a dead politician who made some controversial remarks about ethnic relations 40 years ago then that's fine.
I must be missing something. Labour calls for Daniel Hannan to be disciplined for praising Enoch Powell, even though it was quite clearly not in relation to Powell's record on immigration and even the ludicrous 'dog whistle' argument doesn't stand up to much scrutiny given the forum in which he made the remarks.
The predictions made in Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech were incorrect and it is not unreasonable to argue that they inflamed racial tensions in a most unhelpful way. The late W.F. Deedes has argued that Powell's speech made it much harder for later politicians to even address immigration.
However he never argued for mass ethnic cleansing as the recently deceased Ted Kennedy did when in the context of Northern Ireland he said that protestants " should be given a decent opportunity to go back to Britain". Kennedy's remarks were made in the context of the murderous atmosphere of early 1970s Ulster where the rivers were already "foaming with much blood" even before this crass ignorant intervention. It was a much more dangerous arena for political demagoguery than peaceful mainland Britain.
Yet Gordon Brown's praise of this man is acceptable whereas Hannan's praise of Powell is beyond the pale and Brown specifically praises Kennedy in relation to Northern Ireland whereas Hannan specifically disagrees with Powell comments on immigration! If instead of warning of the dangers of mass immigration (however inaccurately), Enoch Powell had waited for several hundred years before demanding that the descendents of those immigrants be given an opportunity to leave then that would it be okay to praise him?
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