High Time to Forget Powell's Race Fears

Birmingham Evening Mail (England), February 19, 1998 | Go to article overview

High Time to Forget Powell's Race Fears


ENOCH Powell seems controversial even in death. After his funeral I know many will be thinking of his remarkable gifts, but his analysis of race relations was unrelieved gloom.

Thirty years ago I was the Bishop's Chaplain for Community Relations at Coventry Cathedral, where race relations was part of the ministry of reconciliation. Some people then heard Enoch Powell with a chill of fear.

Many black and Asian workers knew they would never be accepted in England. Enoch Powell never even gave a glimmer of thanks to those thousands who worked in the NHS.

Neither, nearer home in the West Midlands, did he ever give a thought to those workers, mostly Pakistani Moslems, who were employed in the area's most difficult and demanding jobs - the night shifts of the core-shops and fettling-shops of heavy industries, work that no-one would do.

Thirty years later, Mr Powell's legacy is still with us in the unrelieved negativity of the perceived threat of Islam. When can we relax with our Moslem neighbours and friends and help to build a friendlier and saner community?

Very Revd Peter Berry,

Provost of Birmingham

Dark forecasts

How depressingly predictable that the death and funeral of Enoch Powell should be an occasion for countless eulogies about his life and career.

Thankfully, those dark forecasts of his in the 1960s never came true.

Much as some may try to re-write history, the likes of Mr Powell are thankfully confined to the past as the majority of us enjoy the benefits of a multi-cultural society.

Steven Courtenay

Manor House Lane,

Yardley

Forcing issue

As a secondary school secretary for many years and the wife of a Birmingham headmaster now sadly deceased, I feel able to comment on the new 'force to be used on unruly pupils' guidelines. …

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