“When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most say immigration,” he wrote. “Many insist: ‘Enoch Powell was right.’
My emphasis. Notice the way in which he attributes rather unpleasant views to other people. Hastilow then goes onto say: “He was right. It has changed dramatically”
No doubt his supporters will claim that he is not actually endorsing Enoch Powell’s views. That he is merely reporting other people endorsing such views. No doubt that his supporters will claim that it is true that Britain has changed dramatically. What’s he done wrong!?
The answer is that he is guilty of a double slieght-of-pen. First, by presenting the arguments of “many” other people, he is citing them approvingly and endorsing them. Its a trick of prose employed precisely to give himself cover, when he raises Powell’s spectre. He does not question the legitimacy of those views, nor make the distinction clear.
Second: The phrase “changed dramatically” When Powell sent out his warning, he saw it in purely negative terms. So “changed dramatically” is incomplete? For the better or worse, Nigel? Or about the same, Nigel? Or just dramatically different, Nigel? (why are all Tory candidates called Nigel?) Either Hastilow is also endorsing Powell’s fear that Britain is dramatically worse because of immigration… Or he is employing a meaningless truism. If the former, then he should rightly be ashamed of himself. If the latter, then he is being disingenuous.
It is an irritating turn of events I wish would never have happened. Hastilow’s dexterity with words, which surely come so easy to former newspaper editor, allow him to conjour up a shield of righteousness. You can bet he is not contrite, and that he will, in time, cite his forced withdrawl of his candidacy as an example of the Politically Correct elite knee-jerking him out the door.
But it is no such thing.