Why did such a brilliantly gifted person waste his talents on politics?

Enoch Powell’s political concerns were, writes Dalrymple,

responses to Britain’s precipitous national decline, the steepest part of which occurred in his lifetime, but which is continuing apace to the extent that Britain might cease to be a nation.

Powell

was born in a great power and died in an enfeebled country with no industrial or military might, precious little patriotism, and no sense of grandeur or collective purpose. That this decline — relative rather than absolute, except in such fields as the maintenance of law and order — was inevitable given the conjunctures of the age, was evident to Powell (though not at first).

This relative decline

was implicit in Disraeli’s dictum that ‘the Continent will not suffer England to be the workshop of the world’.

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