Assessment

Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech sparked an intense debate that is still relevant today. Particularly when discussing whether Powell succeeds in delivering his message.

Back in 1968, his speech divided Britain. On the one hand, it was considered offensive, racist, xenophobic, and provoking. Therefore, Powell was fired from his position as Shadow Defence Secretary the following day. He was fired because some felt that he portrayed the Conservative Party in a negative light and because people feared that his speech would damage race relations in the UK. This strong reaction implies that Powell’s speech did not work. The personal costs were pretty high for him, and he did not succeed in preventing the Race Relations Bill.

On the other hand, Powell can be considered successful in sending his message across, as he succeeded in starting a debate on immigration. Soon after the speech was delivered, opinion polls showed that the majority of Britons agreed with Powell and supported his anti-immigration views. Many of his supporters were against the Race Relations Bill of 196...

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