If she did feel afraid, she wasn’t alone. But she also wasn’t in a significant majority, even amongst people of her own descent.
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Following Powell’s speech — where he laid out official Conservative Party policy surrounding immigration and voluntary repatriation — BBC polling revealed 74 per cent of white Englishmen over 21 said they agreed with him. Fifty-five per cent said no to compulsory deportation, while 35 per cent said yes.
Eighty-two per cent said there should be further controls on immigration, while 59 per cent said wives and children shouldn’t be stopped joining their immigrant husbands and fathers.
Amongst coloured immigrants the 1968 poll revealed that 38 per cent said would return to their homes with financial assistance, with 43 per cent saying no, and eight per cent stating the UK was their home.
Forty-seven per cent of coloured immigrants said they would support more controls on immigration, with just 30 per cent saying no.
It’s no surprise that Ms. Abbott wishes to portray Powell and his speech as some terrifying thing from yesteryear — she’s a radical Marxist. That’s her job, as it is the Labour Party’s now.
The Labour Party that won the election in 1974 could not have done so without Powell’s extraordinary intervention in the days preceeding the vote. He was incredibly popular — following the ’68 speech — with much of Labour’s core demographic including the London dock-workers who marched in support of him a few years earlier.
Labour at the time was the party refusing to take Britain into the common market (today transfigured into the European Union) and Powell clobbered his former party — the Tories — by issuing the following statement ahead of the election:
[The main issue is whether Britain will] “remain a democratic nation … or whether it will become one province in a new Europe super-state”.
Abbott — being more flibbertigibbet than scholar — will probably not even know, let alone be willing to recognise any of this.
After all, she plainly and ostensibly proudly fails to recognise how the British public — of migrant backgrounds and not — want more immigration controls to this day.
The 2013 British Social Attitudes Survey showed that “[o]ver 56% chose ‘reduced a lot’, while 77% chose either ‘reduced a lot’ or ‘reduced a little’” when asked about the sheer number of people entering Britain.
We should probably be quite thankful the Labour Party continue to shoot themselves in the foot on this issue, else a Prime Minister Corbyn may be a more realistic prospect than it currently is.
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