Special points of interest: No. 54 - August 2010
• Thoughts on multiculturalism
• Goodbye to on old friend and comrade
• Libertarian beliefs in Britain
• A more!
WRITING WHILST WEARING
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
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.
AT THE MARGINS OF POLITICS:
THE PREVALENCE (AND IRRELEVANCE?) OF
LIBERTARIAN ATTITUDES IN THE UK
Dr Nigel Gervas Meek
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
• 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¬
(Continued on 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
• 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
• Management will always try to get the bet¬
ter of employees if it gets the chance.
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
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
(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
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
can be described as
even the most
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
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
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
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, http://tinyurl.com/37kg8pj.
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, http://tinyurl.com/3xqj2c6.
(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
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
LIBERTARIAN, TORY AND NATIONALIST
“Powell joined the
army and rose from
the rank of private
to that of brigadier,
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-
“On 27th July
1959, Powell made
a speech criticising
the treatment of
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
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¬
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
"... the day
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
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
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
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
questioned, 74 per
cent agreed with
what he had said
and only 15 per
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-
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.
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.
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 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
A survey of immigrants found that 38 %
wo/dd like to return to their country of
NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010
must carry some of
the blame ...
because he chose
not to denounce
racist sentiments or
to distance himself
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
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¬
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¬
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.
In order to understand Enoch Powell properly, I
think it is useful to examine his political views in
There were three strands to Powell’s political
thought: Toryism, nationalism and libertarianism;
and these, when put together, came to be known
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
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
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
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
benchers to vote in
favour of legalising
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¬
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
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¬
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
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
credentials when in
1973 he opposed
legislation to make
it compulsory for
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
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
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
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-
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
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, http://en.wikipedia.org/
(10) J. Enoch Powell, “Rivers of Blood’ speech’,
The Telegraph, 1968/6* November 2007, retrieved
17* July 2010, http://tinyurl.com/q2sf2q.
(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
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, www.theanswerbank.co.uk/
(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, www.marxists.org/archive/ foot-
(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
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.
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, http://tinyurl.com/37afo9x.
NO. 54 - AUGUST 2010
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
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