Suella Braverman’s Washington speech described as an echo of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’

10/2/2023 12:34 AM

The comments made by the UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman in her address to the American Enterprise Institute, on Tuesday 26th September, have been likened to the controversial ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech made by Enoch Powell in 1968. In her speech, which has been described as the most inflammatory speech made by a serving Conservative MP since Enoch Powell, the Home Secretary declared that:

‘uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism, have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades…Multiculturalism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society but not of the society. If cultural change is too rapid and too big, then what was already there is diluted’

Enoch Powell supporters march on Downing Street in 1968 after his Rivers of Blood speech

The Home Secretary claims that migrants pose a 'threat to the security of the nation'

The UK Home Secretary then shockingly went on suggest that migrants are open to pursuing lives, which pose a threat to the security of the nation. She said that migrants pose ‘an existential challenge for political and cultural institutions of west’ and added that:

‘…And, in extreme cases, they could pursue lives aimed at undermining the stability and threatening the security of society…just as it is a basic rule of history that nations which cannot defend their borders will not long survive’

The tone and language of the Home Secretary 'sows fear and division in communities'

The Anti-racist campaign group, ‘Hope Not Hate’ was quick to point out the fact that Braverman was herself echoing the sentiments of extremist far right and white supremacy groups in Europe and America, who deliberately they said,  ‘sow fear and division in communities’.

Propagating ideas akin to the 'Great Replacement Theory'

Launching an online petition against the Home secretary’s comments, a HNH spokesperson said:

‘One of the most frightening statements she made was ‘if cultural change is too rapid and too big then what was already there is diluted’ and will ‘eventually disappear’. The idea that she was talking about, that as immigrants come to the West, they begin to dilute our culture to the point where it will no longer exist comes straight from the Great Replacement Theory  - a racist conspiracy theory used by the far right to say that white people are being replaced through orchestrated mass migration to the West. What’s so worrying about this speech is that it was signed off by Rishi Sunak, our Prime Minister. We must stand against this ad we must stand up for multiculturalism’

Radical right commentators have queued up to throw praise on the comments made by Braverman. Neocon columnist – Douglas Murray, wrote in the Sun Newspaper:

‘Finally a politician has told the truth about migration – for years we have been living with a defunct global system’

Patrick O’Flynn, the former UKIP MEP, praised Braverman in the Spectator for:

‘taking her cast-iron conviction onto the world stage at a time when administrations from the US to Italy are struggling to contain huge upsurges in illegal migration’

O’Flynn went on to anticipate a backlash from all those who find it difficult to reconcile Braverman’s own cultural origins with the comments she has made. He wrote:

‘Braverman must therefore know that by arguing for fundamental change to reinforce nation state borders she is putting herself once more into the firing line. The modernist left will seek to use her ethnicity against her, depicting her as a hypocrite to argue for tougher controls – even though her own parents came to the UK absolutely legally. It surely cannot be reasonable to suggest that black or brown Britons are ethically forbidden from arguing for robust immigration controls and thus unable to exercise their own judgment about what is in the national interest because of some inherited duty to outsiders’

Nitin Sawhney: 'I never imagined I would wake up one morning to see a Home Secretary of South Asian descent tell us that multiculturalism is toxic'

The renowned British musician with Indian roots, Nitin Sawhney, on his twitter page, could not hide his horror at the nature of the Home Secretary’s statements. He wrote:

‘I never imagined I would wake up one morning to see a Home Secretary of South Asian descent tell us that multiculturalism is toxic. The level of internal cognitive dissonance she must ignore every day… How do she and Sunak sustain such repeated betrayal of their own identities?’

The CEO of HIAS+JCORE, Rabbi David Mason, a Jewish organisation campaigning for refugees, responded to the home secretary’s speech in condemnation. He said:

‘Instead of using refugees and multiculturalism to create more division, surely our government should be thinking about better ways of creating cohesion and a society free from conflict’