Just five days before Britons go to the polls for a General Election, Conservative Robel Enoch Powell dropped a political bombshell in a speech to supporters in Birmingham on Saturday (February 23).
LV PAN Powell arrives in hall and walks to rostrum as audience applaud (2 shots)
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POWELL: "This is the Party leader who, on the basis of a few defaulting town councillors from Clay Cross and some foolish utterances by trade union officials, is heard accusing this political opponents of 'lacking respect' for Parliament and the Law. It is understandable that Mr. Heath does not want the electors to take this issue with them into the polling booths. He does not want the British people to decide at the ballot box the most momentous transformation in their history. He does not think they are to be trusted with anything so important - after all, they might reach the opposite conclusion to himself, and that would never do.
The entire Labour Party at this election is committed in terms to fundamental renegotiation, submission to the electorate - win or lose - and, meanwhile a moratorium upon the further progress in amalgamation. In addition, you have - if a majority in Parliament is elected, is believed to have been elected because of the commitment - you not only have an enormous external constraint upon them to carry it out, but you have a tremendous internal constraint in Parliament. For in the future Parliament, a future Parliament in which there was a majority prepared to carry out that commitment, there would be a considerable number of Conservative members, known to be opposed to the EEC, who would be supporting the then Government in carrying out that commitment, and who would be supporting those who demanded that it should be fulfilled. So, within the range of what is politically possible at all, of what can be rendered binding at all, at a General Election, you have a choice between a certainty of what you don't want, and a high probability of what you do want."
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Background: Just five days before Britons go to the polls for a General Election, Conservative Robel Enoch Powell dropped a political bombshell in a speech to supporters in Birmingham on Saturday (February 23). The rightwing Tory firebrand took the unusual stop of suggesting to British voters that they should vote for the Opposition Latour Party to help achieve his aim of getting Britain out of the European Economic Community (EEC).
Breaking the self-imposed silence following his refusal to stand for re-election in protest of Prime Minister Heath's call for a snap election, Mr. Powell has accused Mr. Heath of deceiving the British people over the Common Market issue.
In what is seen by political observers as one of the most bitter personal attacks by any British politician against a member of his own Party, Mr. Powell did not say "Vote Labour" in so many words - but he left little doubt of his feelings about the Conservative Leader, or about his feelings that Labour not only deserve to win, but would win the elections.