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Special points of interest: No. 54 - August 2010 

• Thoughts on multiculturalism 

• Goodbye to on old friend and comrade 

• Libertarian beliefs in Britain 

• A more! 


















I begin by merely restating what is a matter of 
public record. The membership of both the 
SIF generally and that of its Executive Com¬ 
mittee and National Council is these days on 
average ... not in the first flush of youth. 
Recent years have seen the death or retire¬ 
ment or attempted retirement (oh, the arms 
that have had to be twisted...) of a number 
of Officers who have run the SIF for some 

As a callow youth of even now just 45, during 
this same time I have found myself taking on 
more and more functions such editing as well 
as writing for this journal, organising the 
membership subscriptions and arranging and 
promoting most of the SIF’s public meetings. 

Assuming that such an accumulation of re¬ 
sponsibilities (I hesitate to say “power”) is 
benignly intended (and I became involved in 
the SIF after the attempted take-over in the 
early 1990s), the problem remains: what hap¬ 
pens when “events” happen to that individ¬ 
ual? Which, some good and some bad, is 
exactly what happened to me and for which I 

I will not bore readers with the details, only 
to say that some matters have been success¬ 
fully concluded whilst others are still very 

much ongoing. In any event, I am trying to 
get back into the swing of things and I thank 
members for their patience. 

Nevertheless, it is an indication that we need 
to think about the future of the SIF. Could 
we be doing things in a radically different 
fashion? Or has our time passed? 

Which brings me to the main contents of this 
issue of The Individual. And a further apology 
from me. Readers may be depressed by my 
analysis of the prevalence of libertarian views 
in Britain. However, we do ourselves no 
favours at all by fooling ourselves about the 
dire situation that lovers of individual free¬ 
dom find themselves in today’s world. 

I am pleased to publish Peter Richards’ biog¬ 
raphy of Enoch Powell. It is fair to say that 
Powell will always remain “controversial” and 
his life and career always overshadowed by 
the “Rivers of Blood” speech. A speech 
which, I suspect, was rather inflammatory in 
tone and possibly inaccurate in its predictions 
had the British state and society perused a 
policy of assimilation. 

Nevertheless, this article serves his memory 
well by reminding us of the decidedly libertar- 

(Continued on page 8) 


Views expressed in The Individual 
are not necessarily those of the 
Editor or the SIF and its members, but 
are presented as a contribution to 

Inside this issue: 

At the Margins of Politics: The Prevalence (and Irrelevance?) of Libertarian 2 

Attitudes in the UK - Dr Nigel Gervos Meek 

Only policies or opinions that have 
been approved by the SIF 
Management Committee, and are 
noted as such, can be taken as 
having formal SIF approval. This 
also applies to editorial comments in 
this journal. 

Enoch Powell: Libertarian, Tory and Nationalist - Peter Rithords 


Edited by Dr Nigel Gervas Meek 
and published by the Society for 
Individual Freedom. Contact details 
can be found on the back page. 

Page 2 




Dr Nigel Gervas Meek 

“How already 
popular is the 
product that one is 
trying to sell?” 

How many of “us” are there? 

Large numbers of people can hold very silly 
views. Small numbers of people can hold very 
sensible views. In other words, the number of 
people who believe X or Y is not necessarily an 
indication of the goodness or veracity of X or Y. 

Nevertheless, if one is engaged in social market¬ 
ing, the selling of ideas rather than brands of 
toothpaste, then it must be sensible to have some 
idea of where one stands vis-a-vis one’s potential 
market. How already popular is the product that 
one is trying to sell? Is one pushing at an open 
door, or is that door locked, barred and indeed 
possibly booby-trapped. This is important. It 
surely requires a different approach if one is try¬ 
ing to sell something that people already want 
(even if they are not consciously aware of it) as 
against if one is trying to sell something that peo¬ 
ple do yet not want (even if they are not con¬ 
sciously aware of it). 

This article aims to do just that: to ascertain using 
at least reasonably academically defensible meth¬ 
ods the degree to which the British population 
already adheres to economically and/or personally 
liberal (in the SIF’s proper, 19 th century sense of 
the term) attitudes. 

Finding suitable measures 

It is not my intention to start from first principles 
or to try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, I start by 
accepting the views of a number of authorities on 
the measurement of political attitudes, including 
the prevalence of libertarian ones, who emphasise 
the primacy of matters connected with (1) eco¬ 
nomics or socio-economic relationships on the 
one hand and (2) civil liberties, morality or law 
and order on the other. 

Anthony Heath and Richard Topf (1987: 59) ar¬ 
gued that, “These two sets of variables might be 
said to represent the two most fundamental ideo¬ 
logical principles in contemporary society.” J.A. 
Fleishman (1988/1991: 3) agreed, noting that 
such a “two-dimensional model adequately de¬ 
scribes the structure of social attitudes”. 

This assumption accepted, I have chosen to use 
two widely-used, statistically valid and reliable 
multi-item scales or dimensions to measure these 

sets of attitudes. These are the (in my view unfor¬ 
tunately named) Left-Right dimension as a measure 
of attitudes towards economics or socio¬ 
economic relationships and the Authoritarian- 
Libertarian dimension as a measure of attitudes 
towards civil liberties, morality or law and order. 

Each of these dimensions consists of a number of 
relevant items to which people are asked to re¬ 
spond. This is for a number of reasons. For ex¬ 
ample, rather than crudely ask people if they con¬ 
sider themselves to be “libertarian or authoritarian 
or somewhere in-between”, one can assess com¬ 
plex constructs that cannot be summarized in a 
single question. Also, multi-item scales are also 
more reliable and less volatile than single-item 
questions: they even-out the impact of individual 

As is often the case in social research, these items 
are presented with a response option set that I am 
sure readers will be familiar with: a 5-point set of 
Agree strongly, Agree, Neither agree nor disagree, 
Disagree and Disagree strongly. The responses to 
these items are added together to give a final sore 
or measure along each dimension. 

The items for each dimension are as follows: 


• Young today don’t have enough respect 
for traditional British values. 

• People who break the law should be given 
stiffer sentences. 

• For some crimes, the death penalty is the 
most appropriate sentence. 

• Schools should teach children to obey 

• The law should always be obeyed, even if a 
particular law is wrong. 

• Censorship of films and magazines is nec¬ 
essary to uphold moral standards. 

(Sometimes this dimension is encountered with 
an additional item regarding attitudes towards 
homosexuals. However, this is not always the 
case and I have not used such an item in the fol¬ 
lowing analysis.) 

(Continued on page 4) 

Page 4 


"... there is a bias 
amongst the British 
public against the 
sort of beliefs that 
inspire the SIF.” 

(Continued from page 2) 


• Government should redistribute income 
from the better off to those who are less 
well off. 

• Big business benefits owners at the ex¬ 
pense of workers. 

• Ordinary working people do not get their 
fair share of the nation’s wealth. 

• There is one law for the rich and one for 
the poor. 

• Management will always try to get the bet¬ 
ter of employees if it gets the chance. 

Technical issues 

Whilst I do not intend this to be a full-blown 
academic essay, nevertheless I ought to deal with 
a few issues. 

The Authoritarianism-libertarianism and Left-Right 
dimensions have been widely used in this country 
for a great many years (including by me). In par¬ 
ticular, they are well-known amongst social re¬ 
searchers for their use in the almost-annual British 
Social Attitudes series of surveys. The data for the 
following analysis is from the BSA 2008, the most 
recent available to the generalist researcher. 

The principal investigator was the National Cen¬ 
tre for Social Research. The fieldwork was con¬ 
ducted during June through November 2008 and 
the target population was all adults aged 18 and 
over living in private households in Great Britain 
(excluding the ‘crofting counties’ north of the 
Caledonian Canal). In total, there were 4468 re¬ 
spondents although this does not mean that all 
respondents answered or were asked all questions. 
Further details can be found on the UK Data 
Archive website, details below. 

The dataset for the BSA 2008 includes a weight¬ 
ing item. Weighting is used to adjust the ob¬ 
served population to more closely match the 
population ascertained by previous research such 
as the National Census. In the following analysis I 
have not used weighting. It complicates matters 
and a little experimentation indicates the differ¬ 
ences in results between weighted and non- 
weighted data were of the most marginal sort if 
they could be detected at all. 

Finally, observant readers will have noticed that 
the dimensions are unbalanced. That is, the 
wording for the constituent items are in the same 
direction with (for example) “Disagree” responses 
on the Left-Right dimension always indicating sup¬ 
port for economically liberal or free-market or 
inegalitarian views. Methodologically this is bad 
practice. When the dimensions were developed 
there were balanced and unbalanced versions, but 

it seems that custom and practice led to the al¬ 
most invariable use of the unbalanced versions 
used here. That said, in the early to mid 1990s 
two leading researchers in the field, Geoffrey Ev¬ 
ans and Anthony Fleath, looked at this issue for 
these two dimensions. They concluded that in 
practice the effects were often small. 

A first look 

Before proceeding, to avoid any confusion over 
nomenclature, from now on I shall refer to the 
Left-Right dimension as the Economic dimension 
and to the Authoritarianism-Libertarianism dimen¬ 
sion as the Personal dimension. 

3841 people validly responded to all five items of 
the Economic dimension and 3860 validly re¬ 
sponded to all six items of the Personal dimension. 

Since there are 5 items each with a 5-point re¬ 
sponse set, the possible range of scores for the 
Economic dimension is 5 (economic illiberalism or 
collectivism or similar) to 25 (economic liberalism 
or individualism or similar). Since there are 6 
items each with a 5-point response set, the possi¬ 
ble range of scores for the Personal dimension is 6 
(personal illiberalism or collectivism or similar) to 
30 (personal liberalism or individualism or simi¬ 
lar). Since both scales are odd in number rather 
than even, they both have a convenient midpoint: 
15 for the economic dimension and 18 for the 
economic dimension. 

One does not have to resort to further statistical 
analysis to understand what can be seen in Charts 
1 and 2. In both cases, but particularly in the case 
of the Personal dimension, the majority of respon¬ 
dents fall in the illiberal (collectivist or egalitarian 
or similar) half of the dimensions. Only 23% of 
respondents can be described by these very gener¬ 
ous measures as Economic Liberals against 67% 
who can be described as Economic IUiberals. 
Only 9% of respondents can be described as Per¬ 
sonal Liberals against 87% who can be described 
as Personal IUiberals. (All figures rounded.) 

In short, there is a bias amongst the British public 
against the sort of beliefs that inspire the SIF. 

A more focused look 

For ease of analysis, these rather lengthy dimen¬ 
sions can be collapsed. I have done this by taking 
each dimension and dividing it into three meas¬ 
ured along each dimension in absolute terms. So, 
starting with the Economic dimension, those scor¬ 
ing 5 to 11 (inclusive) can be labelled Economic 
IUiberals, those scoring 12 to 18 can be labelled 
Economic Centrists and those scoring 19 to 25 
can be labelled Economic Liberals. 

(Continued on page 6) 

NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 5 

Page 6 


(Continued from page 4) 

The same procedure is done with the Personal 
dimension. Those scoring 6 to 13 (inclusive) can 
be labelled Personal Illiberals, those scoring 14 to 
22 can be labelled Personal Centrists and those 
scoring 23 to 30 can be labelled Personal Liberals. 
(A little fudging is required since the range of the 
Personal dimension does not quite neatly divide by 
3. I have increased the Centrist category by 1 so 
that the two end categories are the same length as 
each other.) 

This has the effect that those labelled Illiberals, 
Centrists or Liberals or can be considered robus¬ 
tly so and not just falling one score either side of 
the midpoint, but without requiring “extremist” 

The number of respondents to each dimension 
remains the same. 

Those members of the public who are liberals on 
both the Economic and Personal dimensions I have 
labelled Libertarians. Those who are liberals on 
just one of the two dimensions and are Centrists 
on the other I have labelled Near-Libertarians. 
Examples of the latter might be staunch civil lib¬ 
erties supporters who take a moderate view about 
economics or staunch free-marketeers who take a 
moderate view on civil liberties. Going down one 
level more, those who are Centrists along both 
dimensions I have labelled, rather inevitably, Cen¬ 

So, how many are there? Of the 3779 valid re¬ 
spondents, a near-invisible 0.2% (just 9 individu¬ 
als) can be described as Libertarians, believing in 
both Personal and Economic liberty. A further 
5.2% are Near-Libertarians. In short, only one- 
twentieth of the British population can be de¬ 
scribed as “libertarian” using even the most gen¬ 
erous of measures. 

"... only one- 
twentieth of the 
British population 
can be described as 
“libertarian” using 
even the most 
generous of 

When plotted on Charts 3 and 4, the story for 
libertarians becomes even more stark and bleak. 
That said, it should be noted that in both cases, a 
plurality (the biggest group) fall into the Centrist 
category, although in the case of the Personal di¬ 
mension it requires analysis to the first decimal 
point to separate them from the Illiberals. The 
British public are not a bunch of commies, Nazis, 
Trots, fascists or whatever one’s favourite pejora¬ 
tive term might be. But they lean towards it. 

Using these three-level measures, only 8% of re¬ 
spondents can be described as Economic Liberals 
against 36% who can be described as Economic 
Illiberals. Only a risible 2% of respondents can 
be described as Personal Liberals against 49% 
who can be described as Personal Illiberals. (All 
figures rounded.) 

Are there are any “true” liberals? 

For reasons which I have written and spoken 
about elsewhere, I do not favour a one¬ 
dimensional model of politics such is seen in the 
traditional “left and right” manner of speaking. 
As suggested throughout this essay there are at 
least two separate dimensions of politics of crucial 
importance: personal and economic. However, 
for the illustrative purposes of this present article 
we shall allow ourselves the ease of a creating a 
simple one-dimensional typology of political atti¬ 

To return to the question: what proportion of the 
British population can be considered all-round 
liberals or libertarians or at least something close? 
To analyse this, using the three-level typologies 
discussed above I further recoded the data using 
only those who can be measured along both di¬ 
mensions: a total of 3779 respondents. 

Just under one-third (31%) of the British popula¬ 
tion are Centrists. That’s something, I suppose. 

But it gets worse. I also created categories for 
Authoritarians and Near-Authoritarians using the 
reverse of the procedure just noted. Well over 
one-third (37.5%) of the population can be de¬ 
scribed as Near-Authoritarians and over one-fifth 
(21.6%) can be described as Authoritarians. For 
them, Orwell’s 1984 was a blueprint, not a warn¬ 

Readers adept at mental arithmetic will have spot¬ 
ted that a small proportion (4.5%) of the respon¬ 
dents appear to have gone missing from this 
analysis. The raw (not categorised into three) 
Personal and Economic dimensions are significantly 
positively correlated with each other. Those tend¬ 
ing to have illiberal views along one tend to have 
illiberal views along the other and vice-versa. 
Given that, and within the severe limitations of a 
one-dimensional typology, these 4.5% of respon¬ 
dents might be regarded as “conflicted”. 

They marry liberal views along one dimension 
with illiberal views along the other. These people 
exist but I’ve often found such individuals to be 
decidedly mm. They tend to be the sort that will 
march against any perceived government infringe¬ 
ment of civil liberties whilst simultaneously long¬ 
ing for the day when we all have to queue for our 
daily food rations at the People’s Food Dispen¬ 
sary (with them as the Commissar). Or at the 
other extreme, they tend to be the sort that wants 
to see a return to the good old days when children 
had to work 18 hours a day down coal mines and 
who have never yet met a gay man that they did¬ 
n’t want to imprison. (I perhaps exaggerate to 
make the point...) 


NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 7 

Final remarks 

I can almost hear some readers saying, “But wait a 
minute. What about all those protests against tax 
rises or ID cards or whatnot?” Indeed. The 
problem is that these tend to be discrete issues 
(“bugbears” as I noted above) that particularly 
vex individuals. They rarely if ever rise to the 
level of a component of what my German family 
and friends would call Weltanschauung: a compre¬ 
hensive view of the world and human life. 

tarian constituency worth speaking of to vote for 
an avowedly libertarian party even under the most 
generous of proportional representation systems. 

So, what is to be done? But this is a question I 
have no intention of trying to answer here. The 
purpose of this essay has been merely to set the 
scene. And things look bleak. I leave it to those 
more actively engaged in the promotion of liber¬ 
tarian ideas to try to solve this puzzle. I hope that 
they can, but I am not optimistic. 

“It seems that “the 
movement” has 
made no 

This is not to say that we libertarians should scoff 
at such single-issue activism. Far from it. It may 
often be the only way that we can make any pro¬ 
gress at all. However, we should not fool our¬ 
selves into thinking that in doing so we are neces¬ 
sarily bringing about a profound change in the 
political culture of our country. 

I will make two final remarks. Some 12 years ago 
I was writing on a similar theme. Using (of 
course) different data, I concluded (and I quote 
verbatim (1998: 4)), “That the general political 
attitudes of the British public are highly antipa¬ 
thetic towards libertarianism, but strongly suppor¬ 
tive of active collectivism instead.” It is clear that 
in the intervening decade and more nothing has 
improved. It seems that “the libertarian move¬ 
ment” has made no headway. No doubt I shall be 
told that behind the scenes we have been influ¬ 
encing “opinion formers”. Really? We may have 
had some individual successes, but again I reiter¬ 
ate that this does not mean a general change in 

Finally, I shall quote again from my 1998 essay: 
“That, starting from this position of unpopularity, 
straightforward libertarian political parties which 
appeal directly to the electorate appear to be very 
ineffectual instruments for substantially increasing 
support for libertarianism.” For those who have 
followed the “progress” of the Libertarian Party 
UK founded in 2008 I would suggest that my 
earlier remarks continue to have some force. 
Unlike, for example, Euro-scepticism (UKIP) or 
environmentalism (the Greens), there is no liber¬ 


British Social Attitudes Survey 2008, SN 6390, UK 
Data Archive Website, 8 th March 2010, retrieved 
15 th July 2010, 

J.A. Fleishman, 1988, in Anthony Heath, Geof¬ 
frey Evans, Mansur Lalljee, Jean Martin & Sharon 
Witherspoon, The Measurement of Core Beliefs and 
Values, Working Paper No. 2, Oxford, Social & 
Community Planning Research, 1991. 

Anthony Heath & Richard Topf, ‘Political Cul¬ 
ture’, 1987, Roger Jowell, Sharon Witherspoon & 
Lindsay Brook (eds.), British Social Attitudes: The 
1987 Report, Aldershot, Gower, 1987, pp. 51-67. 

Nigel Gervas Meek, The Tibertarian Party of Great 
Britain: An Idea W'hose Time Has Not Come, Lon¬ 
don, Libertarian Alliance, 1998. 

About the author 

Dr Nigel Gervas Meek graduated as a mature 
student in 1996 with a BSc in Psychology, fol¬ 
lowed in 1998 with an MA in Applied Social and 
Market Research and then in 2010 with a PhD in 
Political Science. In the last two decades he has 
worked in various private-sector and public-sector 
academic and research fields but these days he is 
primarily a full-time carer. He is the membership 
secretary and editor of the SIF, the Libertarian 
Alliance and the Campaign Against Censorship. 
He can be contacted at 

On behalf of members, I wish to congratulate our Editor who is now DOCTOR Nigel Gervas Meek. 
We hope we may be able to help publish his thesis later this year or early next. 

Michael Plumbe, Chairman of the SIF Executive Committee 


Women and gays against ... women and gays. 

For obvious reasons I usually attack left-wing feminist organizations that tend to side with Islamist 
groups and states in their insane hatred for America, the West in general and Israel. In order to 
express that hatred they manage to ignore the way women are treated in Islamic societies and 
even Islamic groups in the West. In other words, they just do not care about Muslim women and 
their very basic rights to life and liberty. 

There are other organizations of that kind around. The Guardian reports that organizers of the 
Gay Pride parade in Madrid have banned Israeli participants because of the events that 
surrounded the Gaza flotilla. Needless to say, that means there were no organized groups from 
the Middle East participating in the march because Israel is the only country in the region where 
you can have Gay Pride marches, where you do not run the risk of being tortured and murdered 
if you are openly gay. Yet the Madrid organizers side with the murderers of people like 
themselves. One can only surmise that they do not care about the fate of gays as long as they 
are Muslims. Can we call that racist? 

Dr Helen Szamuely, ‘Do I hear the word insane?’. Your Freedom and Ours blog, 
10 th June 2010, 

(Continued from page 1) 

ian positions that Powell took on many issues that 
had little or nothing to do with “immigration”. 

Which brings me to the proposal by my long-ago 
associate Philip Hollobone, a Conservative MP, to 
make it illegal for people to cover their faces in 
public. This, of course, is mainly aimed at forms 
of clothing worn by some Muslim women such as 
the burka. It follows the similar ban enacted by 
the French government on the grounds of de¬ 
fending the secular nature of the state. 

There is at least some logic to the French posi¬ 
tion, in contrast to the mealy-mouthed cowardice 
of the debate here in Britain. Advocates of the 
ban have supported it because covering the face 
for whatever reason is apparently “un-British” or 
“intimidating” or “strange”. No! Cowed by years 
of mass immigration from non-Western coun¬ 
tries, multiculturalism and political correctness, 
we are too afraid to say what the real problem is. 

It has nothing to do with covering one’s face in 
public. It has everything to do with radical Islam. 
It is this that makes the burka or similar “Islamic” 
clothing (since it seems clear that the burka is not 
inherently Islamic whatever its contemporary 
symbolism) fundamentally different from (say) the 
Sikh dastar or turban. Islamism, which of course 
is not the entirety of Islam although it seems dear 

that it is a growing part, unlike Sikhism or Hindu¬ 
ism, is an utterly intransigent ideology that seeks 
nothing less than the total subjugation of the en¬ 
tire world to its illiberal precepts. 

However pleasant or plausible individual wearers 
of the burka or similar clothing might seem, they 
are living symbols of two things. First, that the 
wearer consciously and actively hates the West 
and its pluralist and secular values and seeks their 
overthrow and replacement. Second, that the 
wearer, often correctly, regards the West as an 
almost-defeated enemy, lacking any resolve to 
defend itself. 

Or, of course, that the wearer is a wretched, 
abused victim of a viciously misogynist creed. 

It is fitting to conclude this editorial with a men¬ 
tion of Professor Antony Flew who died in April 
this year and who was a regular contributor in 
many ways to organisations such as the SIF and 
the Libertarian Alliance. The obituaries (or at 
least the ones that I have read) that appeared in 
the mainstream media generally utterly failed to 
honour his life and work as one of the great lib¬ 
eral (in its proper sense) philosophers who held 
the line in a post-War era when statism and ob¬ 
scurantism of various types seemed to be sweep¬ 
ing all before them. Instead, they obsessed about 
the events of the last years of his life. 

(Continued on page 19) 

NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 9 


Peter Richards 

“Powell joined the 
army and rose from 
the rank of private 
to that of brigadier, 
equalling the 
highest through- 
promotion in the 
British Army during 
World War II.” 

In times like these... 

We live in a time when the daughter of a former 
Prime Minister can be sacked from the BBC for 
using an inappropriate word in a private conversa¬ 
tion. We live in a time when an elected European 
politician can be banned from entering England 
for fear that he may upset people. We live in a 
time when we cannot say, “Enoch Powell was 
right” in public, without risking official censure. 

It is the Rt. Hon. J. Enoch Powell MBE, 1912- 
1998, one of the most famous British politicians 
of the 20 th century, whom I wish to focus on. 

This essay attempts to answer some questions 
about Enoch Powell. Who was he? Was he a 
racist? Which speech made him so controversial? 
What were the reactions to that speech? What 
were his political views and to what extent were 
his views libertarian? 

Who was Enoch Powell? 

John Enoch Powell was an extraordinary man. 
He has been variously described as a scholar, poli¬ 
tician, orator, linguist, writer, academic, philoso¬ 
pher, historian, soldier, poet, and devoted family 
man. He excelled in all of these roles, although 
he his best remembered as a politician and in par¬ 
ticular for his controversial stance on mass immi¬ 
gration, and, above all, for delivering what is 
probably the most famous peacetime speech of 
the 20 th century. 

John Enoch (named after his two grandfathers) 
was the only child of Ellen and Albert Powell. He 
was born on 16 th June, 1912, in Stechford, Bir¬ 
mingham, England. His parents always called him 

Jack was an extremely intelligent child. He could 
read and write at the age of 3, was studying the 
Harmsworth Encyclopaedia at the age of 4, and 
amazingly whilst still at school had started trans¬ 
lating the great work of Herodotus, the celebrated 
historian of the fifth century BC, from Greek into 

At the age of three, he acquired the nickname of 
‘Professor’ and actually achieved this status at the 
unusually young age of 25. During his lifetime, he 
learned to speak 12 languages including Hebrew. 

He attended King Edward’s School Birmingham 

where he once attained 100% in an end of year 
English exam. He was awarded a double starred 
first in Latin and Greek at Trinity College Cam¬ 
bridge where he became a Fellow, before going 
on to become a Professor of Greek at Sydney 

Whilst at Cambridge, Powell attended lectures by 
A. E. Housman, the distinguished classical scholar 
and celebrated poet; best known as the author of 
A Shropshire Lad. Housman was a great influ¬ 
ence on Powell, inspiring him to write poetry in 
Housman’s own particular romantic style. It was 
also whilst at Cambridge that Powell became 
much influenced by the writings of Friedrich 
Nietzsche, the eminent German philosopher. 

Powell is the author of numerous books and pub¬ 
lications including: The Rendel Harris Papyri', First 
Poems, A Lexicon to Herodotus; The History of Herodo¬ 
tus; Casting-ojf and Other Poems; Herodotus Book VIII; 
Llyfr Blegwryd (with Stephen Williams); Thmydidis 
historia; Herodotus (translation); One Nation; Dancer’s 
End; The Wedding Gift; The Social Services: Needs and 
Means (with Iain Macleod); Change is our Ally; Biog¬ 
raphy of a Nation (with Angus Maude); Great Parlia¬ 
mentary Occasions; Saving in a Free Society; The Welfare 
State; A Nation Not Afraid; A New Look at Medicine 
and Politics; Exchange Bates and Liquidity; The House 
of Lo rds in the Middle Ages; Freedom and Reality, Immi¬ 
gration and Enoch Powell; Income tax at 4s/3d in the 
Pound; Common Market: The Case Against; Still to 
Decide; The Common Market: Renegotiate or Come Out, 
Medicine and Politics: 1975 and After, No Easy An¬ 
swers; Wrestling With the Angel; Joseph Chamberlain 
(with Keith Wallis); How Big Should Government Be? 
(with Paul H. Douglas); A Nation or No Nation; 
Enoch Powell on 1992; Reflections of a Statesman; Col¬ 
lected Poems; and The Evolution of the Gospel. 

At the outbreak of war, Powell joined the army 
and rose from the rank of private to that of briga¬ 
dier, equalling the highest through-the-ranks pro¬ 
motion in the British Army during World War II. 
He was also, at 32 years old, the youngest briga¬ 
dier in the army at that time and indeed one of 
the youngest to hold that rank in the history of 
the British Army. In 1943, he was awarded an 

Enoch Powell was the Conservative MP for Wol¬ 
verhampton South West from 1950-1974, the 
Minister of Health from 1960-1963, and the Ul¬ 
ster Unionist MP for South Down from 1974- 

Page 10 


“On 27th July 
1959, Powell made 
a speech criticising 
the treatment of 
African prisoners 
by the British in 

Margaret Thatcher described him as “the best 
parliamentarian I ever knew.” 1 

A book review in The Spectator declared that: 
“Enoch Powell has the finest mind in the House 
of Commons. The best trained and the most 
exciting.” 2 

Was he a Racist? 

Powell received notoriety for being sacked from 
the Conservative front bench after he had made a 
controversial speech on immigration in Birming¬ 
ham on 20 th April 1968. Hereafter it became 
known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech. The 
effect of this speech was so powerful that no 
Conservative has dared mention it in a positive 
light since without negative consequences. Nigel 
Hastilow, a Conservative candidate for Hale¬ 
sowen and Rowley Regis found this out to his 
cost, when almost 40 years later, in November 
2007, he mentioned in an article on immigration 
that, “Many insist: Enoch Powell was right”. 3 
This was enough for him to lose his candidacy: he 
was forced to resign. 

Paul Foot, a socialist writer and journalist, de¬ 
scribed Powell as a ‘racist pig’. 4 

Labour MP Denis Healey (a political opponent of 
Powell’s) said of him, “He was not a racist in any 
sense at all. But he was an extreme nationalist.” 5 

So what is the truth? 

One event that occurred in Powell’s political life 
demonstrates beyond doubt in my view that he 
was not a racist. On 27 th July 1959, Powell made 
a speech criticising the treatment of African pris¬ 
oners by the British in Kenya (which at the time 
was still a British colony). The speech made ref¬ 
erence to Hola Camp, Kenya, where 11 Mau Mau 
prisoners were beaten to death after refusing to 
work in the camp. Denis Healey, who was a La¬ 
bour MP from 1952-1992, described Powell’s 
speech as “the greatest parliamentary speech I 
ever heard ... it had all the moral passion and 
rhetorical force of Demosthenes.” 6 Powell was 
outraged that Africans were being treated as if 
they were ‘sub-human’ and his speech was a pas¬ 
sionate expression of his disapproval. 

It is also a fact that Powell spoke Urdu, an 
unlikely possibility for a white racist. 

Powell was a conviction politician and he had 
specifically stated that: 

I have set and I always will set my face 
like flint against making any difference 
between one citizen and another on 
grounds of his origin. 7 

Powell’s own defence against accusations of ra¬ 
cism was perhaps best made in a sermon at St 
Lawrence Jewry in the City of London in January 

Though legend relates otherwise, I would 
not have chosen, if l could have avoided it, 
to become the eponymous exponent of the 
conviction that by no contrivance can the 
prospective si%e and distribution of our 
population of “New Commonwealth ethic 
origin’ ... prove otherwise than destruc¬ 
tive of this nation. The basis of my con¬ 
viction is neither genetic nor eugenic; it is 
not racial, because I can never understand 
what ‘race’ means and I have never ar¬ 
ranged my fellow men on a scale of merit 
according to their origins. The basis is 
political. It is the belief that self- 
identification of each part with the whole 
is the one essentialprecondition of being a 
parliamentary nation, and that the mas¬ 
sive shift in the composition of the popula¬ 
tion of the inner metropolis and of the 
major towns and cities of England will 
produce, not fortuitously or avoidably, but 
by the sheer inevitabilities of human na¬ 
ture in society, ever increasing and more 
dangerous alienation: 8 

Many years later the question was debated on 

In The Trial of Enoch Powell, a Channel 4 television 
broadcast in April 1998, on the thirtieth anniver¬ 
sary of his Birmingham speech (and two months 
after his death), 64% of the studio audience voted 
that Powell was not a racist. 9 

I believe their conclusion was correct. 

The Birmingham Speech 

Powell made his famous speech on immigration 
in Birmingham on Saturday 20 th April 1968 in a 
small upstairs room in the Midland Hotel. 10 The 
speech was addressed to the annual general meet¬ 
ing of the West Midlands Area Conservative Po¬ 
litical Centre. 

Some extracts from the speech will help to ex¬ 
plain its content. Early on in the speech, Powell 
quotes a conversation with a constituent: 

If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay 
in this country ... I have three children, 
all of them have been through grammar 
school and two of them married now, with 
family. I shan 7 be satisfied till I have 
seen them settled overseas. In this country 
in 15 or 20 years time the black man 
will have the whip hand over the white 


NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 11 

"... the day 
following the 
speech, [Heath] 
spoke to Powell on 
the telephone and 
dismissed him from 
the front bench.” 

At this point Powell anticipates the reaction to his 


I can already hear the chorus of execra¬ 
tion. How dare 1 say such a horrible 
thing .? How dare I stir up trouble and 
inflame feelings by repeating such a con¬ 
versation? The answer is that I do not 
have a right not to do so. Here is a de¬ 
cent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in 
broad daylight in my own town says to 
me, his Member of Parliament, that the 
country will not be worth living in for his 
children. I sinrply do not have the right to 
shrug my shoulders and think about 
something else. What he is saying thou¬ 
sands and hundreds of thousands are 
saying and thinking—not throughout 
Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas 
that are already undergoing the total 
transformation to which there is no paral¬ 
lel in a thousand years of English history. 

Powell continues by expressing his concerns for 

the future of the nation: 

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they 
first make mad. We must be mad, liter¬ 
ally mad, as a nation to be permitting the 
annual inflow of some 50,000 depend¬ 
ents, who are for the most part the mate¬ 
rial of the future growth of the immigrant 
descended population. It is like watching 
a nation busily engaged in heaping up its 
oivn funeral py re. So insane are we that 
we actually permit unmarried persons to 
immigrate for the purpose of founding a 
family with spouses and fiancees whom 
they have never seen. 

He speaks up for the white population: 

Tor reasons which they could not conpre- 
hend, and in pursuance of a decision by 
default, on which they were never con¬ 
sulted, they found themselves made strang¬ 
ers in their own country. They found 
their wives unable to obtain hospital beds 
in childbirth, their children unable to 
obtain school places, their homes and 
neighbourhoods changed beyond recogni¬ 
tion, their plans and p rospects fo r future 
defeated; at work they found that enploy- 
ers hesitated to apply to the immigrant 
worker the standards of discipline and 
conpetence required of a native-born 
worker; they began to hear, as time went 
by, more and more voices which told them 
they were now the unwanted. On top of 
this, they now learn that a one-way privi¬ 
lege is to be established by Act of Parlia¬ 
ment; a law which cannot, and is not 
intended to, operate to protect them or 
redress their grievances, is to be enacted to 

give the stranger, the disgruntled and the 
agent provocateur the power to pillory 
them for their private actions. 

He then refers to a letter from a constituent: 

She is becoming afraid to go out. Win¬ 
dows are broken. She finds excreta 
pushed through her letterbox. When she 
goes to the shops, she is followed by chil¬ 
dren, charming wide-grinning piccanin¬ 
nies. They cannot speak English, but 
one word they know. “Racialist”, they 
chant. When the new Race Relations 
Bill is passed, this woman is convinced 
she will go to prison. And is she so 
wrong? I begin to wonder. 

He concludes with an apocalyptic vision: 

As I look ahead, 1 am filled with fore¬ 
boding. Tike the Roman, I seem to see 
“the River Tiber foaming with much 
blood. ” 

That tragic and intractable phenomenon 
which we watch with horror on the other 
side of the Atlantic but which there is 
interwoven with the history and existence 
of the States itself, is coming upon us here 
by our own volition and our own neglect. 

Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical 
terms, it will be of American proportions 
long before the end of the century. Only 
resolute and urgent action will avert it 
even now. 

Whether there will be the public will to 
demand and obtain that action, I do not 

All I know is that to see, and not to 
speak, would be the great betrayal. 

Politicians’ Reactions to the Speech 

The Conservative Party leader, Ted Heath, re¬ 
acted quickly. On the Sunday evening of 21 st 
April, the day following the speech, he spoke to 
Powell on the telephone and dismissed him from 
the front bench. Heath then commented on the 
speech to the press describing it as “racialist in 
tone and liable to exacerbate racial tensions.” 11 
Heath added that he had sacked Powell “with the 
greatest regret”. 

Shadow cabinet colleagues were mostly in support 
of Heath’s action, but this was largely to do with a 
feeling of betrayal, as Powell had not given them 
any advance notice of his speech. 

Some of his closest colleagues agreed with his 
basic message but thought his use of intemperate 

Page 12 


“Of those 

questioned, 74 per 
cent agreed with 
what he had said 
and only 15 per 
cent disagreed...” 

language was unwise. John Biffin, for example, 
thought that quoting the constituent’s letter “was 
a grave mistake and could not but be inflamma¬ 
tory.” 12 Sir Keith Joseph commenting much later 
expressed his view, “In my opinion he did a ser¬ 
vice by speaking out as he did on 
immigration, though I would never 
adopt his phrases or his anec- 
dotes”. 13 

Predictably Powell’s political oppo¬ 
nents, in the Liberal Party and the 
Labour Party, deplored the speech. 

The Media’s Reaction 

As soon as the media got hold of 
the story the distortions began. 

Firstly the Birmingham speech (as 
Powell always called it) was dubbed 
the ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, despite the fact that 
these title words were not part of the text; nor 
were they were ever uttered by Powell. 

Also, one of the most repeated extracts of the 
speech, as seen on television broadcasts after the 
event, was one in which Powell could be heard 
saying, “In this country in 15 or 20 years time the 
black man will have the whip hand over the white 
man.” The impression given is that these are 
Powell’s own words. The tmth is that he is quot¬ 
ing a member of his constituency—but the im¬ 
pression once made is not easily undone. 

Newspapers in general were critical of the speech. 
For example The Times headed its article as ‘An 
Evil Speech’, describing it as ‘racialist’, 
‘disgraceful’ and ‘shameful’. 14 

The Public’s Reaction 

dockers at St Katherine’s Docks joined the pro¬ 
test by voting for a one-day strike. 

Letters to Powell were arriving literally by the sack 
full, usually 4 or 5 sacks at a time, and several 
times a day. The Post Office pro¬ 
vided special deliveries to cope with 
the volume. By 24 th April 20,000 
letters had been received and all but 
12 were in support of Powell. This 
number rose to 43,000 by early May 
and only 800 of these disagreed with 
him. There were also 700 telegrams, 
and only 4 of these were in disagree¬ 

At the end of April, Gallup had un¬ 
dertaken a survey that showed be¬ 
yond question that Powell had spo¬ 
ken for Britain. Of those ques¬ 
tioned, 74 per cent agreed with what he had said 
and only 15 per cent disagreed; 69 per cent felt 
Heath was wrong to sack him and only 20 per 
cent felt he was right. 16 

Powell’s popularity continued for some years to 
come and in 1972 he was voted most popular 
politician in the country in a Daily Express poll. 

Celebrities’ Reaction 

Most celebrities supported the political Establish¬ 
ment in their condemnation of the speech. 

One of the few celebrities outside of the political 
world to acknowledge Powell’s extraordinary 
courage in making this speech was the guitarist 
and singer Eric Clapton. 

Students’ Reaction 

However Powell’s own constituency party issued 
a powerful statement of support on Monday 22 nd 

We deeply deplore his unjustified dis¬ 
missalfrom the shadow cabinet because he 
had the courage to express the true facts 
which exist in his constituemy and in 
other parts of the country. We pledge our 
support to Mr Powell and place on record 
our appreciation of his magnificent service 
to the constituemy over the past 18 years, 
during which time he has rendered notable 
assistance and service to constituents of 
every race, colour and creed with equal 
dedication and energy. 15 

Within days of the speech, 1000 East End dock¬ 
ers went on strike and marched to Westminster 
carrying banners of protest in support of Powell. 
The following day hundreds of meat porters from 
Smithfield market added their support by handing 
a 92-page-long petition directly to Powell and 600 

Whenever Powell was invited to speak at Univer¬ 
sities there would be student protests and security 
measures had to be tightened. When students 
shouted ‘Nazi’ at him, he had to remind them that 
he was fighting the Nazis before they were born. 

Immigrants’ Reaction 

Immigrants did feel more vulnerable to abuse 
after the speech than before it. 

Simon Heffer also points out that: 

The anecdotal evidence of anti-immigrant 
feeling after the Birmingham speech is 
plentiful, and would be held against Pow¬ 
ell not just until his dying day, but beyond 
it. 17 

Although interestingly: 

A survey of immigrants found that 38 % 
wo/dd like to return to their country of 

NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 13 

“Powell himself 
must carry some of 
the blame ... 
because he chose 
not to denounce 
racist sentiments or 
to distance himself 
from racist 

origin if given financial help, 47 % fa¬ 
voured more immigration controls (only 
30% did not) and only 8% said they had 
been treated worse by white people since 
Powell's Birmingham peech. 18 

The Tragedy 

With respect to the Birmingham speech, Powell’s 
intentions were in my view honourable, as he was 
motivated by a concern for the future of the 
country, but the outcome, it has to be said, was a 
tragedy. Simon Heffer puts it well: 

Sadly for him, it would be interpreted, by 
supporters and opponents alike, as being 
racial in motived 9 

Prominent fascists were quick to show their sup¬ 
port for Powell whilst left wing liberals scurried 
off in the opposite direction, hurrying up the hill 
to claim the moral high ground from where they 
could cry ‘racist’. 20 Thus a polarisation occurred 
between one group that included racists (as well 
as the vast majority of the British public) and an 
opposing group that saw itself as anti-racist (and 
included students as well as the liberal Establish¬ 
ment). Thus it was that Powell undeservedly be¬ 
came tainted with racism and his demonization 
continues to this very day. 

Powell himself must carry some of the blame; not 
only because he used emotive language but also 
because he chose not to denounce racist senti¬ 
ments or to distance himself from racist support. 

Powell’s view was that the issue was entirely po¬ 
litical and it is worth reiterating this point: 

It is the belief that self-identification of 
each part with the whole is the one essen¬ 
tial pre-condition of being a parliamen¬ 
tary nation, and that the massive shift in 
the conposition of the population of the 
inner metropolis and of major towns and 
cities of England will produce, not fortui¬ 
tously or avoidably, but by the sheer inevi¬ 
tabilities of human nature in society, ever 
increasing and more dangerous alien¬ 
ation. 21 


In later years there have been many examples of 
civil unrest which suggest that Powell’s Birming¬ 
ham speech was prophetic. The spring and sum¬ 
mer of 1981 saw rioting on the streets of London 
and Liverpool, in predominantly black areas, that 
seemed to fulfil some of Powell’s darkest prophe¬ 
sies. 22 

As well as riots in Brixton, London and Toxteth, 
Liverpool there was also one in Handsworth, 
Birmingham in the same year. Four years later, in 

1985, there were more riots, both in Brixton and 
Handsworth. The notorious Broadwater Farm 
riot in London also occurred in 1985. 

In 2001 there were race riots in Bradford, Old¬ 
ham and Burnley. 

The London bombings of 7 th July 2005, perpe¬ 
trated by homegrown terrorists, are also a demon¬ 
stration of how alienated some people from im¬ 
migrant descended communities have become. 

These are all examples of the long term effects of 
mass immigration without integration of which 
Powell gave us fair warning. 

Powell’s prediction that by the year 2000 there 
would be 5-7 million immigrants in this country 
also turned out to be surprisingly accurate. 

Political Views 

In order to understand Enoch Powell properly, I 
think it is useful to examine his political views in 
more detail. 

There were three strands to Powell’s political 
thought: Toryism, nationalism and libertarianism; 
and these, when put together, came to be known 
as Powellism. 


First and foremost Enoch Powell was a Tory. As 
he said himself: 

I was born a Toy. Define: a Tory is a 
person who regards authority as imma¬ 
nent in institutions. I had always been, 
as fa r back as I could remember in my 
existence, a respecter of institutions, a 
respecter of monarchy, a respecter of the 
deposit of history, a respecter of everything 
in which authority was capable of being 
embodied, and that must surely be what 
the Conservative Party was about, the 
Conservative Party as the party of the 
maintenance of acknowledged prescriptive 
authority. 23 

Powell supported the monarchy, hereditary peers 
and the Anglican Church, and he became a keen 
fox hunter, all of which fit in with his description 
of himself as a Tory. 


Powell was a fervent nationalist believing as he 
did in the nation state: 

Independence, the freedom of a self- 
governing nation, is in my estimation the 
highest political good, for which any dis¬ 
advantage, if need be, and any sacrifice 

Page 14 


are a cheap price. 24 

His concerns about immigration were tied up 
with his love for his native land and its indigenous 
inhabitants. Referring to Wolverhampton in 1967 
he said: 

entire areas were transformed by the sub¬ 
stitution of a wholly or predominately 
coloured population for the previous native 
inhabitants, as completely as other areas 
were transformed by the bulldozer. 25 

tionism or peaceful coexistence is the 
foreign policy counterpart of severely limit¬ 
ing government at home. 29 

An example Powell’s foreign policy isolationism is 
when he opposed the Gulf War, with its objective 
of expelling the Iraqis from Kuwait; he did so on 
the basis that it was none of Britain’s business. In 
contrast to this, he did support the Falklands War 
because he thought it was very much Britain’s 
business, in that it was Britain’s duty to maintain 
British sovereignty on British territory. 

“He was one of 
only four 

Conservative front¬ 
benchers to vote in 
favour of legalising 
between consenting 
adults in private.” 

Powell opposed Britain’s entry into the European 
Economic Community (EEC) because he thought 
that Britain’s sovereignty and indeed its very sur¬ 
vival as a nation was in question. One of the 
main reasons Powell left the Conservative Party in 
1974 was in protest at the Prime Minister Edward 
Heath’s decision to take the UK into the EEC. 
Milton Friedman wrote to Powell praising him for 
his principled stance. 26 

Powell’s nationalism was British. He believed in 
the Union and fiercely opposed the devolution of 
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. He was 
against devolved rule for the six counties of 
Northern Ireland because he believed that Ulster 
should become fully integrated with the United 


Both socially and economically Powell’s views 
can, in many respects, be described as libertarian. 

Powell was a member of the Mont Pelerin Soci¬ 
ety, a Classical Liberal organisation whose key 
founding member and first president was Frie¬ 
drich Hayek. 

In political speeches Powell repeatedly extolled 
the benefits of the free market: 

we uphold the capitalist free economy as a 
way of life, as the counterpart of the free 
society. It guarantees, as no other can, 
that men shall be free to make their own 
choices, right or wrong, wise or foolish, to 
obey their own consciences, to follow their 
own initiatives. 27 

His foreign policy has been likened to that of 
Salisbury’s “Splendid Isolationism”. 28 Many liber¬ 
tarians would agree with this isolationist foreign 
policy view, as Murray Rothbard points out: 

Political “isolationism” and peaceful 
coexistence—refraining from acting upon 
other countries — is, then, the libertarian 
counterpart to agitating for laisseyjaire 
policies at home. The idea is to shackle 
government from acting abroadjust as we 
try to shackle government at home. Iso/a- 

Powell always valued individual freedom above 
state intervention: 

Powell’s overriding theme, as always, was 
the contempt being shown by the state for 
the freedoms of individuals, judged by the 
casual way in which the state regarded the 
infringements of those liberties by third 
parties such as unions. He said that to 
maintain restrictive p ractices ‘the individ¬ 
ual citizen has to be coerced into with¬ 
holding or restricting his labour against 
his own judgement and wishes, and into 
joining associations to which he does not 
desire to belong’. He stated baldly that 
the immunities the unions enjoyed made 
them 'a state within a state’ and were 'not 
compatible with the rule of law’. 30 

Powell took every opportunity to oppose anti¬ 
liberal legislation: 

In his war against regulations and the 
erosion of liberties, Powell used a speech 
in Aberdeen on 13‘ b October (1967) to 
argue for an end to the tight restrictions 
on overseas travel for Tritons and on the 
amounts of money that could be taken 
abroad. 31 

Powell consistently and repeatedly opposed both 
the death penalty and corporal punishment, prov¬ 
ing convincingly that he was not a signed up 
member of the ‘hang-em and flog-em brigade’. 
Simon Heffer, referring to a vote in the House of 
Commons in 1965, also noted: 

Another political action by Powell at this 
time gives the lie to the stereotypical im¬ 
pression of him as a hard-line right¬ 
winger. He was one of only four Conser¬ 
vative front-benchers to vote in favour of 
legalising homosexuality between consent¬ 
ing adults in private. 32 

Powell’s attitude towards homosexuality is an 
example of his social libertarianism. 

Ralph Harris of the Institute of Economic Affairs 
(LEA) wrote to Powell claiming that his views on 
immigration were inconsistent with the rest of his 

NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 15 

“Powell reinforced 
his libertarian 
credentials when in 
1973 he opposed 
legislation to make 
it compulsory for 
motorcyclists to 
wear crash 
helmets. “ 

generally libertarian views. Powell responded by 

It does seem to me right and necessary 
that any county should have the legal 
discretion whether or not to admit within 
its boundaries those who wish to settle 
there, and, for this purpose, to distinguish 
between “its own people” and the rest of 
the inhabitants of the world. 33 

Although Powell’s opposition to the Race Relations 
Act 1968 was based on the belief in the right to 
free speech and in that respect could be regarded 
as a principled libertarian view, his opposition to 
mass immigration is usually seen as anti¬ 

Libertarians generally argue in favour of the free 
movement of people, although in countries like 
Britain, where there is a welfare state, immigration 
restrictions are sometimes justified by libertarians 
on the grounds that without them tax-funded 
handouts would be available to any non¬ 
contributors who wished to enter the country in 
order to receive them. 

Dr Sean Gabb, the director of the Libertarian 
Alliance has said: 

I do not necessarily object if people want 
to come to this country to look for a new 
life. I do object if they want this at my 
expense—at my expense as a taxpayer, 
and at the expense of the constitutional 
rights which are my birthright. 34 

In a speech in Morecambe on 11 th October 1968, 
which came to be known as the Morecambe 
Budget, Powell proposed some radical economic 
measures. Heffer explains: 

Before, he had tried to argue that easing 
the problems of immigration was not 
impossible; now he applied the same 
doctrine to massive cuts in public spend¬ 
ing, the abolition of numerous state agen¬ 
cies and the denationalisation of industry, 
all of which would enable a massive tax 
cut. 33 

The slashing of public spending, the abolition of 
the Prices and Incomes Board, the National Eco¬ 
nomic Development Council and other state 
agencies, the privatisation of industry and a great 
reduction in taxation, all sit comfortably with his 
libertarian outlook. 

Powell reinforced his libertarian credentials when 
in 1973 he opposed legislation to make it compul¬ 
sory for motorcyclists to wear crash helmets. The 
SIF’s associated organisation, Choice in Personal 
Safety, takes the same view as Powell. 

In 1974, The Libertarian Forum, a New York publi¬ 
cation, expressed the view that Powell was Brit¬ 
ain’s best candidate for freedom in the election of 
that year: 

Even the most cautious and gradualist of 
English libertarians now admit that only 
a radical change can save England. 

Enoch Powell is the only man on the 
horizon who could be the sparkplug for 
such a change. It is true, of course, that 
for libertarians Enoch Powell has many 
deficiencies. For one thing he is an ad¬ 
mitted High Toy who believes in the 
divine right of kings; for another, his 
immigration poliy is the reverse of liber¬ 
tarian. But on the critical issues in these 
parlous times, on checking the inflation- 
ay rise in the money supply, and on 
scuttling the disastrous price and wage 
controls, Powell is ly far the soundest 
politician in B ritain. A sweep of Enoch 
Powell into power would hardly be ideal, 
but it offers the best existing hope for 
British freedom and survival. 36 

Purist libertarians often have difficulty with Pow¬ 
ell’s Toryism and his nationalism, but nevertheless 
respect his principled defence of individual liberty 
and the free market. 

The SIF’s close ally, the Libertarian Alliance, pub¬ 
lished two papers by Powell: The Drug Trafficking 
Act versus Natural Justice 37 and Political Hysteria and 
the Destruction of Liberties 38 both of which are in 
defence of civil liberties. The late Dr Chris Tame, 
the LA’s founder, says in the introduction to the 
first of these pamphlets: 

While there are, to say the least, consider¬ 
able differences between the respective 
ideological perspectives of Mr Powell and 
the Libertarian Alliance, we are pleased 
to publish his principled statement on this 


This is how the Daily Telegraph chose to remember 
Powell on the announcement of his death: 

For those who saw and heard Enoch 
Powell, the memoy is indelible—the 
black moustache, the burning eyes, the 
hypnotic, metallic voice, the precision of 
language, the agility in debate. These will 
be largely lost to future generations. But, 
in a more important respect, Powell will 
survive more surely than any other British 
politician of the 20th centuy except 
Winston Churchill. His speeches and 
writings will be read so long as there 
exists a political and parliamentay cul¬ 
ture in which speaking and writing mat- 

Page 16 


ter. And if there comes a time when such 
a culture is all but destroyed, those brave 
few who wish to restore it will find in the 
thoughts of Enoch Powell something 
approaching their Bible. 39 

And Finally 

David Conway, writing for the Civitas blog, in a 
posting he made on 20 th October 2006 entitled 
‘The Times They Are A’ Chaining’ (sic), has this to 
say in conclusion to his response to a man being 
arrested for displaying a banner, which included 
the words ‘Enoch was right’: 

Had Powell been listened to rather than 
dismissed in tones of outrage, and had 
appropriate action been taken at the time, 
who can possibly doubt that the county 
would be a far less divided and dangerous 
place to live ? 

(8) Ibid, p. 957. 

(9) ‘Enoch Powell’, Wikipedia, 10 th July 2010, re¬ 
trieved 17 th July 2010, 

(10) J. Enoch Powell, “Rivers of Blood’ speech’, 
The Telegraph, 1968/6* November 2007, retrieved 
17* July 2010, 

(11) Heffer, op. cit., p. 458. 

(12) Ibid, p. 453. 

(13) Ibid, p. 505. 

(14) Ibid, p. 460. 

(15) Ibid, p. 461. 

(16) Ibid, p. 467. 

The political establishment effectively 
silenced and marginalised Powell in fear 
he might otherwise ipset those about 
whom he was expressing his concerns. 

“Had Powell been 
listened to ... who 
can possibly doubt 
that the country 
would be a far less 
divided and 
dangerous place to 

Are we now to think that today no one 
may claim that Powell was right lest they 
cause upset to anyone? 

What a strange, un free, dangerous, and 
divided country we have allowed ourselves 
to become. 40 


(1) Steve Cunningham, ‘Was Enoch Powell a rac¬ 
ist?’, The Answer Bank, 23 rd July 2001, retrieved 
17* July 2010, 

(2) Andrew Roth, Enoch Powell: Toy Tribune, Mac¬ 
donald & Co., London, 1970, p. 328. 

(17) Ibid, p. 462. 

(18) Ibid, p. 500. 

(19) Ibid, p. 450. 

(20) Roth, op.cit., p. 359. A. K. Chesterton, Policy 
Director of the National Front, and Colin Jordon, 
leader of the National Socialist Movement, both 
offered words of support for Powell. 

(21) Heffer, op.cit., p. 450. 

(22) Ibid, p. 845. 

(23) J. Enoch Powell, ‘Enoch Powell: Life and 
Views’, 1990, retrieved 17* July 2010, 

(24) ‘Enoch Powell’, Wikiquote, 8* June 
1973/14* April 2010, retrieved 17* July 2010, 

(3) Francis Elliott, “Rivers of blood’ candidate 
forced to resign’, The Times, 5* November 2007, 
retrieved 17 th July 2010, http:// 

(4) Paul Foot, ‘Beyond the Powell’, Socialist Review, 
March 1998, republished in Marxists’Internet Ar¬ 
chive, 27* November 2004, retrieved 17* July 
2010, foot- 
paul /1998/03/powell.htm. 

(5) Cunningham, op.cit. 

(6) Simon Heffer, Hike the Roman: The life of Enoch 
Powell, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1998, p. 

(7) Ibid, p .361. 

(25) Heffer, op.cit., p. 425. 

(26) Ibid, p. 703. 

(27) Ibid, p. 314. 

(28) The Salisbury referred to here is Robert Gas- 
coyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, three 
times British Prime minister in 1885-86, 1886-92 
and 1895-1902 and the “Splendid Isolationism” 
refers to his foreign policy. What is normally un¬ 
derstood by this phrase is non-entanglement and 
anti-interventionism in foreign affairs and it is in 
this context that it is being used to liken it to 
Enoch Powell’s outlook. 

However Salisbury’s biographer, Andrew Roberts, 
suggests that the label is an unfair one. 

NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 17 

A sub-editor at The Times chose the 
phrase ‘Splendid Isolation ’ for a sub¬ 
heading in the report of the speech and 
thus was a label bom, one that has un¬ 
fairly affixed itself to Salisbury's foreign 
poliy. fust as George Cunpn was 
tagged for life by the ‘accursed doggerel’ 
about considering himself a 'superior 
person’ so Salisbury, who had long de¬ 
spised and denounced what he called 
‘sterile’ and ‘dangerous’ polity of isola¬ 
tion, was stuck with a label for his non- 
aligned but heavily engaged foreign polity, 
which was far more complex, subtle and 
intelligent than crude isolationism. The 
avoidance of joining entangling alliances 
or European power blocs, which Salis- 
bury considered an inherent threat to 
peace, while insisting on conplete freedom 
of manoeuvre in all circumstances, was by 
no means the same as the Tittle England 
isolationism of which he often still stands 

Andrew Roberts, Salisbury: Victorian Titan, Phoe¬ 
nix, London, 2000, p. 629. 

(29) Murray N. Rothbard, Tor a New Liberty: The 

Libertarian Manifesto, Macmillan Publishing Co. 

Inc, New York, 1978, p. 265. 

(30) Heffer, op.cit., p. 358. 

(31) Ibid, p. 436. 

(32) Ibid, p. 380. 

(33) Ibid, p. 445. 

34) Libertarian Alliance, ‘BBC Censors Discus¬ 

sion of Multiculturalism: Shuts off Microphones 
on Libertarian Alliance Spokesman’, LA website, 
16 th February 2004, retrieved 17 th July 2010, 

(35) Heffer, op. at., p. 485. 

(36) Joseph R. Peden, The Libertarian Forum, New 
York, March 1974, Volume VI, No. 3. 

(37) J.Enoch Powell, The Drug Trafficking Act versus 
Natural Justice, Libertarian Affiance, London, 1987, 
Legal Notes No. 2. 

(38) J.Enoch Powell, Political Hysteria and the De¬ 
struction of Liberties, Libertarian Affiance, London, 
1990, Political Notes No. 48. 

(39) Heffer, op. cit., p. 952. 

(40) David Conway, ‘The Times They Are A’ 
Chaining’, Civitas blog, 20 th October 2006, re¬ 
trieved 17 th July 2010, http:// 

The photograph of Enoch Powell was taken in 
1987 by Allan Warren and is republished here 
under the Open-source Ticket Request System. 

About the author 

Peter Richards is a Hampshire businessman and 
writer. Besides being a contributor to the SIF, he 
is a life member of the Rationalist Association 
and a supporter of the Libertarian Affiance and 
the Freedom Association. He has also contrib¬ 
uted to The Freethinker and Right Now! 


Take your brain for a walk... 

One of the world’s largest libertarian web sites with over §CC 
publications available on-line. 


•///////////////////////////////A /////////////////////////////////////, 


Western Modernity... 

Modernity was born in the West in a radical transformation of its past. The world of the Middle 
Ages, built around Christian Scholasticism world-view, was a society of religious philosophy, 
feudal law, and an agricultural economy. Out of this soil, the Renaissance and Enlightenment 
produced a substantially new society of science, individualism, and industrial capitalism... 

The cultural foundation of this society, if we state it as a set of explicit theses, was the view that 
reason, not revelation, is the instrument of knowledge and arbiter of truth; that science, not 
religion, gives us the truth about nature; that the pursuit of happiness in this life, not suffering in 
preparation for the next, is the cardinal value; that reason can and should be used to increase 
human well-being through economic and technological progress; that the individual person is an 
end in himself with the capacity to direct his own life, not a slave or a child to be ruled by others; 
that individuals have equal rights to freedom of thought, speech, and action; that religious belief 
should be a private affair, tolerance a social virtue, and church and state kept separate; and 
that we should replace command economies with markets, warfare with trade, and rule by king 
or commissar with democracy. 

David Kelley, ‘9/11 and The War Against Modernity’, The Atlas Society website, May 2002, 

Professor Antony Flew (1923-2010) looking rather hip! 

Against the Luddites and in praise of redundancies... 

[Casting people out of work] is the source of all economic and social advance. 

Anybody, everybody, who automates a routine task, whether it be weeding turnips, catching mice 
or etching circuit boards is deliberately casting people out of work. And it is that exact casting 
out of work which allows civilisation to advance: no longer do we have to spend scarce resources 
of labour on what is now automated, that labour can now be deployed to do something else. 

Anything else, meaning that we now have both the now automated production and the new. Even 
if that now automated production is the circuit boards and the new is simply a freshly changed 
nappy. Society is now richer by one smiling baby. 

Casting people out of work is a fine and noble goal. 

Tim Worstall, ‘Polly on David Laws’, 1 st June 2010, 


NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010 

Page 19 

The Trap of Multiculturalism... 

Unless there is a federating national or supranational narrative that brings all the diverse 
components of a country together and gives them a common impulse, the country becomes an 
agglomeration of ... tribes unified by their mutual dissensions and relying on the state only as 
a simple mediating authority. Then identity ceases to coincide with citizenship; it is in fact 
what makes citizenship impossible... 

It is not enough to regularize the status of thousands of immigrants, to provide them with a life 
and suitable work. In addition, if they want to stay in Europe, we must make them 
Europeans—Spaniards, French, Italians—and this presupposes a political society sure of itself 
and of its values... We blame great nations, often rightly, for their failures to absorb 
immigrants. But we forget that there is also a despotism on the part of the minorities, who 
resist assimilation if it is not accompanied by extraterritorial status... 

Still more serious is the fact that under cover of respecting cultural or religious differences (the 
basic credo of multiculturalism), individuals are locked into an ethnic or racial definition, cast 
back into the trap from which we were trying to free them... As during the colonial era, they 
are put under house arrest in their skins, in their origins. By a perverse dialectic ... we can no 
longer see others as equals ... but we must see them as inferiors, victims of perpetual 
oppression whose past ordeals interest us more than their present merits... 

All the ambiguity of multiculturalism proceeds from the fact that with the best intentions, it 
imprisons men, women, and children in a way of life and in traditions from which they often 
aspire to free themselves. The politics of identity in fact reaffirm difference at the very 
moment when we are trying to establish equality... 

Multiculturalism may ultimately be nothing more than ... a legal apartheid in which we find 
the wealthy once again explaining tenderly to the poor that money won’t make them happy: 
let us shoulder the burden of freedom, of inventing ourselves, of the equality of men and 
women; you have the joys of custom, forced marriages, the veil, polygamy, and 

Extracted by the Editor from Chapter 6, ‘Listen to My Suffering’, The Tyranny of Guilt, Pascal 
Bruckner, Princeton University Press, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, 2006/2010, pp. 139-166. 









(Continued from page 8) 

Antony was also my friend and, on the strength 
of a rather cryptic note scribbled at the foot of a 
Christmas card some years ago, I became one of 
the first to learn of his apparent “conversion” 
away from atheism towards some sort of theism. 

I will only note two things. First, he said repeat¬ 
edly that his god was very much the distant Deist 
god of 17 th and 18 th century rationalism and not at 
all the “Oriental despot” found in many of the 
revealed religions. Second, in 2005 he published a 
new edition of his book God <& Philosophy. Other 
than his new and rather equivocal Introduction, 

the book remains sternly opposed to revealed 
religion, particularly and quite strikingly Roman 

It has been claimed that, right at the end of An¬ 
tony’s life, and at a time when mutual and long¬ 
standing friends were noticing a severe mental 
decline in him, he was manipulated into endorsing 
certain religious views. I don’t know. What I do 
know was that he was a good man who served the 
cause of freedom more than I ever shall 

Dr Nigel Gervas Meek 

Society for Individual Freedom 

PO Box 744 
BR1 4WG 
United Kingdom 

Phone:01424 713737 

Email (general): 
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The SIF’s Aim: 

“To promote responsible individual 

The SIF is a classical liberal organisation that believes 
in the economic and personal freedom of the 
individual, subject only to the equal freedom of others. 

The SIF promotes... 

V The freedom, importance and personal responsibility 
of the individual. 

S The sovereignty of Parliament and its effective 

control over the Executive. 

The rule of law and the independence of the 

•f Free enterprise. 

SIF Activities 

The SIF organises public meetings featuring speakers of 
note, holds occasional luncheons at the Houses of 
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welcome, and has its own website. The SIF also has two 
associated campaigns: Tell-IT, that seeks to make 
information on outcomes of drugs and medical treatments 
more widely known and available to doctors and patients 
alike, and Choice in Personal Safety (CIPS), that opposes 
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Joining the SIF 

If you broadly share our objectives and wish to support 
our work, then please write to us at the address on this 
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The Law of Equal Freedom 

“Every man has freedom to do all that he wills , 
provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.” 

Herbert Spencer, Social Statics, 1 851