By all accounts, Archive On 4 – broadcast at the same time on a Saturday night as Britain’s Got Talent – is a classy programme which takes bits of old audio on a particular theme and builds an interesting and intelligent discussion around them.
Why, then, BBC news media editor Amol Rajan chose to announce this week’s edition in the breathless manner of David Walliams reviewing a semi-clad sword swallower, is a question the corporation will likely be asking itself for some time. “On Saturday, for the first time ever, Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech will be read in full on UK radio,” Rajan gushed in a tweet which – whatever his intentions – promoted this piece of populism as a pleasure to be savoured as opposed to an incitement to racial hatred to be summarily dismissed [ . . . ]
Like Powell, Farage et al have presented immigrants as a drain on resources, pushing hard-working indigenous Brits out of jobs, schools and the health services as opposed to a net value to the country’s economy. They have conjured up an image of Armageddon so vivid that just before the EU referendum in places like rural Cumbria – where space is plentiful and immigration limited – residents would talk in horror about an anticipated flood of new people from countries like Romania and Bulgaria.