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Enoch Powell

Data de nascimento: 16. Junho 1912
Data de falecimento: 8. Fevereiro 1998
Outros nomes: Sir John Enoch Powell

John Enoch Powell, MBE, foi um político, acadêmico, escritor e poeta britânico. Foi deputado no Partido Conservador do Reino Unido de 1950 a 1974, do Partido Unionista do Ulster de 1974 a 1987, e ministro da Saúde do Reino Unido de 1960 a 1963. Ganhou maior destaque em 1968, quando fez seu controverso discurso, "Rios de Sangue", contra a imigração.

Antes de entrar para a política, foi um catedrático notável, tornando-se um doutor licenciado em grego antigo com apenas 25 anos. Durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, desempenhou papeis no Serviço de Inteligência, chegando ao posto de brigadeiro quando tinha, aproximadamente, 30 anos.

Foi também poeta. Seus primeiros trabalhos foram publicados em 1937, tal como numerosos livros políticos e clássicos.

Citações Enoch Powell

„I was born ambitious, I suppose I shall die ambitious. I can no more change it than the colour of my eyes.“

—  Enoch Powell

Russell Harty Plus, ITV (1973), excerpted in "Odd Man Out", BBC TV profile by Michael Cockerell transmitted on 11 November 1995

„Does the right hon. Lady understand—if she does not yet understand she soon will—that the penalty for treachery is to fall into public contempt?“

—  Enoch Powell

Question in the House of Commons (14 November 1985) to Margaret Thatcher the day before she signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement

„To tell the indigenous inhabitants of Brixton or Southall or Leicester or Bradford or Birmingham or Wolverhampton, to tell the pensioners ending their days in streets of nightly terror unrecognisable as their former neighbourhoods, to tell the people of towns and cities where whole districts have been transformed into enclaves of foreign lands, that "the man with a coloured face could be an enrichment to my life and that of my neighbours" is to drive them beyond the limits of endurance. It is not so much that it is obvious twaddle. It is that it makes cruel mockery of the experience and fears of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of ordinary, decent men and women…In understanding this matter, the beginning of wisdom is to grasp the law that in human societies power is never left unclaimed and unused. It does not blow about, like wastepaper on the streets, ownerless and inert. Men's nature is not only, as Thucydides long ago asserted, to exert power where they have it: men cannot help themselves from exerting power where they have it, whether they want to or not…It is the business of the leaders of distinct and separate populations to see that the power which they possess is used to benefit those for whom they speak. Leaders who fail to do so, or to do so fast enough, find themselves outflanked and superseded by those who are less squeamish. The Gresham's Law of extremism, that the more extreme drives out the less extreme, is one of the basic rules of political mechanics which operate in this field: it is a corollary of the general principle that no political power exist without being used. Both the general law and its Gresham's corollary point, in contemporary circumstances, towards the resort to physical violence, in the form of firearms or high explosive, as being so probable as to be predicted with virtual certainty. The experience of the last decade and more, all round the world, shows that acts of violence, however apparently irrational or inappropriate their targets, precipitate a frenzied search on the part of the society attacked to discover and remedy more and more grievances, real or imaginary, among those from whom the violence is supposed to emanate or on whose behalf it is supposed to be exercised. Those commanding a position of political leverage would then be superhuman if they could refrain from pointing to the acts of terrorism and, while condemning them, declaring that further and faster concessions and grants of privilege are the only means to avoid such acts being repeated on a rising scale. This is what produces the gearing effect of terrorism in the contemporary world, yielding huge results from acts of violence perpetrated by minimal numbers. It is not, I repeat again and again, that the mass of a particular population are violently or criminally disposed. Far from it; that population soon becomes itself the prisoner of the violence and machinations of an infinitely small minority among it. Just a few thugs, a few shots, a few bombs at the right place and time – and that is enough for disproportionate consequences to follow.“

—  Enoch Powell

Speech to the Stretford Young Conservatives (21 January 1977), from A Nation or No Nation? Six Years in British Politics (Elliot Right Way Books, 1977), pp. 168-171

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