Many believed that Black people threatened jobs and opportunities for white people, and that they presented a challenge to the British "way of life". In 1968, some 82% of people supported the views of Conservative MP Enoch Powell who famously warned of "rivers of blood" if immigration was not halted.
Bernie did not intend to stay in Britain but to gain qualifications and to return to Guyana. His mother had already arrived in the UK, and lived with his younger sisters in Haringey, and he joined her in 1963. He described vividly his first impressions of Britain: