Statement on Enoch Powell

by Sean Gabb
Director, The Libertarian Alliance

Statement by Sean Gabb,
Director of the Libertarian Alliance,
on the Vilification of Enoch
26th August 2011

A couple of weeks ago, the historian David Starkey made a comment on the riots. He has been widely denounced for what he said, not least because he referred approvingly to Enoch Powell.

Professor Starkey is able to defend himself. What concerns the Libertarian Alliance is how our increasingly totalitarian ruling class regards Enoch Powell as some kind of Emanuel Goldstein. Even if nothing controversial in itself is said, to speak of him without visible and ritualistic loathing will bring you under suspicion of thought crime.

We therefore say this with regard to Enoch Powell. He was a classical scholar of great brilliance and distinction. His Lexicon to Herodotus (1938) is one of the most valuable works ever produced on the ancient historian. As well as in Latin and Greek, he was fluent in every main European language, and in Welsh. He was also at least competent in several ancient and modern oriental languages. In addition, he wrote a fine biography of Joseph Chamberlain, and was an expert on the mediaeval House of Lords.

During his long political career, he was notable for his defence of the British Constitution and of the traditional liberties that it embodied. He was an anti-socialist and an anti-corporatist. He resigned from one Conservative Government that was soft on spending and inflation. He helped bring down another that was a national disaster. He played an important part in stopping further “reforms” to the House of Lords until the year of his death.

He opposed British membership of what became the European Union, and he regarded the American alliance as barely less undesirable. He opposed the Cold War and the First Gulf War. He believed in a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He was easily the best political speaker of his age.

The public reason for why he is so hated by our modern ruling class is that he opposed mass-immigration and multiculturalism. Since the legitimising ideology of this ruling class is based on the claim that “diversity” is strength, and the threat of utter destruction for anyone who disagrees, his opposition might be sufficient reason for his being hated. Even so, much of the hatred rests on the envy of men and women who are themselves uneducated and illiterate and dishonourable and sordid and incompetent. Enoch Powell is hated in part because he dissented from the established view on immigration, but also because he was a shining example of what a statesman ought to be – and of what a statesman often approached to in this country before the present clique took over.

I am proud to say that the Libertarian Alliance frequently invited him to speak at its meetings in the 1980s and 1990s, and that we published several articles by him. Of particular importance among these articles is the attack that he made in 1984 on the Drug Trafficking Offences Bill and the principle that it brought into English law of asset forfeiture without conviction. (See Hon. J. Enoch Powell, The Drug Trafficking Act versus Natural Justice (Introduction by Dr. Chris R. Tame), The Libertarian Alliance, 1987, ISBN: 0948317 97 3).

When Enoch Powell died in 1998, our Director, Chris R. Tame, paid his respects by standing outside the crowded memorial service. I was not able to join him on this occasion. But I did recently make Enoch Powell the directing genius of my Churchill Memorandum, which is an alternative history novel set in a world of 1959 where the Second World War had not happened.

I feel honoured to have met him and heard him speak, and to possess signed copies of his books. And I rejoice in directing an organisation with which, however slightly, he was connected. A hundred years from now, no one will remember the corrupt nonentities who are now using Enoch Powell as a stick for beating David Starkey. Equally, a hundred years from now, men will still be reading Enoch Powell for pleasure and instruction.

End of Statement

14 responses to “Statement on Enoch Powell

  1. !968, I was 17, exceedingly wet behind the ears but remember well the furore caused by ‘that’ speech. I thought at the time Enoch was right for why did we need mass immigration-why the hell do we still allow it as jobs dry up and unemployment rises! Can we not breed a few more Enoch’s please? just what this country needs.

  2. Multiculturalism = Apartheid.

    That is all.

  3. I hang my head in abject shame for also being exceedingly wet behind the ears. In 1968 I was 9 and remember quite vividly the uproar created by Enoch Powell’s famous speech. However, being a new arrival of only 4 years into Britain from Cyprus, I began sensing change around me. Whether this was due to my age or to Enoch Powell ‘s speech, I recall “suddenly” becoming in some peoples eyes an “illegal immigrant”. This was expression I would hear regularly from other children in the school playground, yet never associated this with what these children may have been hearing from their parents.
    It is only with the passage of time one begins to think for oneself. This particular “illegal immigrant” now understands more clearly the importance of a strictly controlled immigration policy. Not only for the UK but for also Cyprus which today is undergoing an enormous social, economic and cultural change due to its ill conceived policy of European Union membership. The number of European as well as Asian economic migrants into this country is unsustainable. In a generation or two, riots will be a common occurrence on the streets of Aphrodite’s birthplace.

    Cyprus desperately needs an Enoch Powell and a Nigel Farage to save it from repeating the mistakes and excesses of recent British socialist immigration policies.

  4. Can there be any doubt that he was mostly wrong with his 1968 speech. The only right part is that multiculturalism and political correctness has become a tool to control people. But it is only one of many and not even a very significant one. All the rest ist just wrong. Economists of all kind of backgrouds agree that immigration has a net benefit for the economy of every country. The strange idea that immigrants are taken jobs away from the locals is simply protectionist nonsense. Today, there are no real racial tentions, most people have realised that their black neighbors are not worst than their white neighbors. If anything they are abit different. Athough I have to say most blacks I meet who have grown up here appear to be very very british in their attitutes and behavior. After all this country is still over 90% white and the political problems do not come from the small group of immigrants. The welfare state is the main problem and this state is overwhelmingly supported by the white population in this country.

  5. Enoch Powell remains one of the finest statesmen our country produced. We shall not see his like again.

  6. Had we heeded his words and implemented his policies,we would not be plagued by Islamic fundamentalists.I disagreed with his foreign policy views-anti-American,soft on Communism-but still say that he should have been Chancellor and that,when Heath sacked Powell,the Conservatives should have sacked Heath!

  7. response to nicco,

    Immigrants only bring benefits in the long term if they stay and settle and then only in times of economic expansion such as when a country is being founded, like the U.S.A., Australia e.t.c. However, the U.K population is growing beyond capacity to sustain itself. Also, most immigrants are transient workers moving around the E.U. Most of the money they earn goes back home to support the home economy, which was the whole point of the E.U policy ;keep countries newly freed from the slavery and corruption of the Soviet Union from falling apart, both politically and economically and thereby spreading problems across the rest of Europe. Also if these workers understand the tax system of the U.K well enough-and my information says they do- they make their way in and out of the country at the right time to avoid paying tax, and at the same time any benefits they are entitled to get sent to their home country. Consequently very little of the money made here supports our economy. Things get even more difficult in times of economic hardship such as now, when people who have contributed nothing are entitled to benefits by dint of working here.. It could be argued that it this policy which is protectionist. Having immigrants come in in fairly stable times forces wages down for the benefit of the few, and so skews the market. Governments could if they chose, counteract demands for higher wages by allowing people to keep more of what they earned and ensuring that more of our young are educated enough to be employable by someone,/anyone, and so increasing the pool of available workers. Instead of what we have now, with many school leavers floating around with no ideas and no-one to prepare them for adulthood.Yet more and more people are entering the country looking for work.
    As for Enoch Powell, I think he was concerned with the cultural impact on Britain as much as any economic one, and in that he was correct. As for the welfare system there is nothing wrong with a welfare system per Se, most societies have some kind of safety net. But it is part of the problem, but only in as much as it is a tool to keep people dependent, people like the under-employed , low waged, and ‘unemployable’. If these benefits were stopped tomorrow, there really would be rivers of blood, and it would be from all those coming in to the country and inadvertently assisting governments in its policy of economic and social control.( As it is people are thrown a few crumbs and told how lucky they are and how racist they are if they complain about competition which is entirely contrived) Then the government would be next. People would have to stand up and take their country back or starve.

  8. Yeah, well I know all these protectionist arguments, but I am not buying it. Immigration is always a net beneficial for the economy. The benefit may not always be huge, but it is always positive, unless of course the government interferes in the market and pays people to come here. But that is true for literally everything the government does. It is not an argument against immigration, just like public schools are not an argument against education. It is rather an argument against having a government. Immigrants are either doing work that locals do not want to do, or are entrepreneurs. Both are benefitting the economy. The idea that it is not beneficial, because they will send their earned money home or are will avoid paying taxes is rather strange. They are producing wealth with their labour, wealth that is more worth for the person that hired the worker then the money. So even if this immigrant were to send all his money home and starve here, the economy would still benefit. And of course avoiding paying taxes is always a net benefit for the economy. And there is plenty of space in Britain where people can settle. If not the market has a very simple tool to avoid more settlements and that is higher prices.

    Of course you will cause a civil war if you abolish the welfare state over night. But that does not mean you should support even more protectionism to reform a few bad things from the last protectionism. That way you will never get out of it. I have little sympathy for people, may they call themselves conservative of socialist, who want to use the government to prevent change from happening. A government that can prevent change is a tyrannical government. We live in a globalist world in which people are mobile. Get used to it. Don’t fight the immigrant, fight the government.

  9. People who live here permanently add even more to the economy because they spend their money here which supports home industries and services, and the majority pay taxes, transient migrant workers do not. I do not understand the idea that we cannot use government to either prevent change or bring it about- so whose changes are we to succumb to and for whose benefit because, change will happen.Your right, we live in a globalised world, but by whose contrivance and again, for whose benefit? You seem to be suggesting that we allow a situation to continue, which relies for its success on government control but then say we should fight the government. But fight it over what-not preventing change,Or not forcing change ? There has always been and always will be, protectionism of one kind or another. The only important question is who decides the what and the extent of it. At the moment the government prevents serious challenges to its economic and social policies because those,in a really free market i.e. very little welfare, would have to fight harder to get jobs because no-one would bail them out. What this would do would be to re-politicise people. it’s no coincidence that the periods in our country when the majority took an interest in their own future and posed serious challenges for governments was prior to the welfare state. But it was also a time when people were most productive in ideas, and innovation. This has all been squashed by governments who take the short sighted view of this country’s future, both economically,politically and culturally. A lot of people feel this way, if your only answer is to just “get used it”. it offers nothing but more of the same impotence.

  10. There have been a few comments from Black Academics agreeing with Starkey’s arguments. I was called a racist for referring approvingly to Obama’s remarks that black gangsta wannabes should ‘pull their pants up’. Plenty of black people loathe gang culture because it’s dragging their children down with it. Which is why the hypocrite Dianne Abbott didn’t want HER child to be sent to a school full of black children. Good to see Mr Gabb having the courage to ally himself with Enoch Powell. Whose prophecy has been proved correct.

  11. Of course you can be for protectionism, just like you can be a communist, a nazi, an islamist etc. The question is, is it a good idea. And immigration controls are not a good idea, at least not if you want to live in a free and prosperous society. Immigrants are benefiting the economy. Now, what is the economy? That is of course everyone who takes part in it via production or consumption. In other words, it is everyone. Why would you be against something that is benefiting you? The answer is that a lot of people just don’t understand this. They are occupied by irrational fears about strangers who want to force them to live like they do and who take away their jobs. It is just like workers often do not understand that when they are voting for socialist policies they are the first who get hurt.

    It is of course completely naive to believe that you can set up a government capable of controlling who lives on this huge island and not get hurt in the process. Governments are in the business of spreading fear. Fear is the basis of their power. As long as people are scared of something else then the government, they will fight phantom battles against immigrant, global warming, islamists etc. And they will look up to the government as their ally in this battle, because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. This is the oldest trick in the book and it is time to quick this nonsense of fighting phantom battles. It is the government who is the most dangerous monster in all of this and it is time to open the front against leviathan instead of fighting leviathan’s creatures. BTW, if you have a powerless government, you don’t need to fear that some strangers take it over. In a free society it would be an academic questions who is running the government, as it would not be able to do anything anyway.


    I must confess to taking the Peter Hitchens view on Powell ( His speech was opportunist, deliberately inflammatory and designed to whip up support for himself. As the left-wing journalist Paul Foot had reported, immigration wasn’t an issue that had bothered Powell until he saw it could benefit him. Powell’s speech made it much harder for the civilised opponents of mass immigration and multiculturalism to make their case and gave succour to the less pleasant opponents in the NF and elsewhere. A great man in many ways but his Rivers of Blood speech was cynical and ultimately injured his own cause (assuming it was a cause he genuinely believed in).

  13. C H Ingoldby

    Enoch Powell was right.

  14. C H Ingoldby

    There, I just wrote four words that are a serious thoughtcrime in Britain today,

    This stigmatising and attacking of people for expressing certain opinions is deeply totalitarian.