There was a big speech-related controversy in UK this week, as the BBC broadcast a dramatic re-reading of “Rivers of Blood,” a 1968 speech remembered as one of the most divisive in British history.
Delivered 50 years ago today by Conservative British parliament member Enoch Powell, the speech contended that racial integration was a “dangerous delusion,” and predicted grave consequences of same.
Was the BBC right to broadcast the speech as a historical document—or wrong to broadcast it, as an opening of old wounds? That’s the sort of debate that can get hot in the offices of Vital Speeches.
Hoping some smart British scribes can help us settle it before it comes to blows. —DM