A man of controversy, but of integrity as well. The Left would have you believe that the man was the incarnate of evil, though he only sought to raise the level of awareness within a culture of silence that prevailed at the time. His ‘rivers of blood’ speech may have missed the mark, but his condemnation of multiculturalism and the EEC stand the test of time.
NOTE: Though I disagree on some of his foreign policies, I wouldn’t place him on the fringe.
[…] It was this intellectual clarity which caused him to oppose British entry to what was then known as the Common Market. At the start of 1971, during the final stage of negotiations, Powell took himself round Europe speaking in Turin (in Italian), Frankfurt (in German) and Lyon (in French). As he remarked: “There is no more ignorant vulgarity than to treat language as an impediment to intercourse, which education, habit, travel, trade, abolish and then remove.” He used these speeches to warn his French, Italian and German audiences that the British tradition of national sovereignty and parliamentary democracy was incompatible with European economic and political union.
He warned: “A common currency means common government; the one is meaningless and impossible without the other.” This remark defines today’s European predicament. On foreign policy he was equally clear-sighted, arguing for a defence strategy based rigorously on the national interest. He was against the American invasion of Vietnam from the start: “The point is that the Americans do not live in south-east Asia, whereas the North Vietnamese and their neighbours do.” On the same principle it can be assumed that Powell would have opposed the Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya interventions.