Page 4, 19th February 1971

19th February 1971
Page 4
Page 4, 19th February 1971 — THE POWELL FALLACY

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People: Enoch Powell


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NO one will deny that the people of Britain should examine the implications of the growth of a coloured population in their midst, and prepare to deal with the problems it may present. The problems, indeed, arc there. They relate, however, far more to the white man's attitudes than to the immigrants' character or conduct.

This is the fallacy at the root of Enoch Powell's hysteria : the idea that what is wrong is the immigrants' presence; whereas the trouble really is the mindless prejudice of those who deny them a welcome.

The immigrant peoples here are generally no better or worse than the rest of us. Their family life, careful saving, the high opinions they win from employers, their distaste for the permissive society, their indispensable contribution to the economy and social services-all this puts many of us to shame.

There are, of course, differences between West Indians, who usually seek absorption into British life, and the Pakistani, who leaves his heart behind him. The answer is not to send him back, but to give him some reason to feel at home here.

Moreover, even if Mr. Powell's figures are right, it is farcical to suggest that a Britain about to enter Europe will be unable to absorb

by 1985. The latter, indeed, will have much both to give to and gain from Europe.

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