Rivers of Blood

BBC Two Saturday 8 March 2008

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Forty years after Enoch Powell's infamous speech predicting that mass immigration would lead to violence on our streets, filmmaker Denys Blakeway explores the impact of the maverick Conservative MP's words and legacy.

Powell was a member of Edward Heath's Shadow Cabinet when he made the Rivers of Blood speech in 1968, so-called because he quoted the Roman poet Virgil's prophesy: "I see the Tiber foaming with much blood". He was immediately sacked, but not before sparking furious debate, with his words dividing the nation.

This film examines Powell's speech in unprecedented detail, discovering how his core argument was ignored in favour of his incendiary language. It questions what led him to speak out in the first place and traces the speech's effect on immigration policy in Britain.

Credits:

Crew

  • Narrator/writer... Denys Blakeway
  • Producer/director... Ashley Gething
  • Executive producer... Fiona Stourton
  • Executive producer for BBC... Eamon Hardy
  • Blakeway Productions

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