From the Grassroots has unearthed a number of controversial issues in our research. We’ve put some of these together, with interview clips, images and archive footage, as ‘Talking Points’. We would love to hear your views! Let us know what you think on each ‘Talking Point’ page, or even start a discussion of your own in ‘Your Memories’. We’ll add more ‘Talking Points’ about Devon’s rich political history as we find them.
On 23rd October 1968 the Conservative politician Enoch Powell was invited to speak at the University of Exeter. Just six months earlier he had delivered his controversial ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech criticising Commonwealth immigration and anti-discrimination laws in the UK. The speech created a political storm that subsequently led to his dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet.
Powell had apparently come to the University of Exeter to speak on economic policy not on the issue of immigration, nonetheless, granting the politician a voice at the campus proved to be a contentious issue within the student population. You can see what happened during the interview in the below archive clip from the South West Film and TV archive.