Enoch Powell was the most powerful postwar exponent of the idea of the sovereignty of Parliament and indeed of English nationalism, opposing the coming of a multiracial society, devolution, and entry into the Common Market, as the European Union used to be called. His ideas proved unacceptable not only to Labour but also to the Conservative Party which he left in 1974. Was he, as his supporters allege, a prophet before his time; or have developments since his death shown that his fears were groundless?
This is a part of the lecture series, Making the Weather: Six politicians who shaped our age.
The other lectures in this series are as follows:
Aneurin Bevan and the Socialist Ideal
Iain Macleod and Decolonialisation
Roy Jenkins, Europe and the Civilised Society
Tony Benn and the Idea of Participation
Sir Keith Joseph and the Market Economy
Winston Churchill wrote of Joseph Chamberlain, Colonial Secretary at the beginning of the 20th century, that, even though he never became Prime Minister, he ‘made the weather’, meaning that he played a crucial role in shaping the political agenda of his day. These lectures discuss six postwar politicians, none of whom became Prime Minister, but who, like Joseph Chamberlain, also made the weather and so helped to shape the age in which we live.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/enoch-powell-and-the-sovereignty-of-parliament
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently nearly 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.
Vernon Bogdanor CBE is Emeritus Gresham Professor of Law, current Visiting Gresham Professor of Political History, Research Professor at King’s College London, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Prior to 2010, Professor Bogdanor Fellow of Brasenose College, is Professor of Government at Oxford University.
He has been an adviser to a number of governments, including those of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Israel and Slovakia. His books include The People and the Party System, Multi-Party Politics and the Constitution, Power and the People, and Devolution in the United Kingdom. He is a frequent contributor to TV, radio and the press and is a sometime special advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities (1982-83), and the House of Commons Public Service Committee. Most recently he was awarded the Sir Isaiah Berlin prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies by the Political Studies Association.
Professor Bogdanor continues his Gresham lectures with a new series for the 2015/16 academic year entitled Political Crises Since 1945.
Professor Bogdanor’s previous lecture series’ are as follows:
2014/15 Six General Elections
2013/14 Britain and Europe
2012/13 Making the Weather: Six Politicians Who Shaped Our Age
2010/12 Britain in the 20th Century
2007/09 From Roosevelt to Bush: The American Presidency: Transformation and Change
All of Professor Bogdanor’s past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.