I’m sure there are left wing ones too, but there are some right wing beliefs that just won’t die, no matter how the empirical evidence stacks up.
For example, was Enoch right?
Well he made empirically verifiable predictions about the future which we can test against events as they happened. 42 years since his “Rivers of Blood” speech is more than enough time to see whether he was on to something or not.
A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalised industries.
After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country.” I made some deprecatory reply to the effect that even this government wouldn’t last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: “I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”
I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?
The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so. Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that his country will not be worth living in for his children.
As Douglas Clark says, “I have checked my back for scars, but they are sorely lacking.”
The allegedly insurmountable problems of migration have been surmounted and will remain surmounted for some time, Enoch was wrong, plain and simple, yet he is still intermittently trotted out when a rightist wants to be a little risqué.
Secondly, we of course have Hayek.
Apparently the postwar settlement across Europe was putting us all on the Road to Serfdom. This is a serf.
That is not me.
Yet people still claim that Hayek had an incredible prescience about the future of Western Civilisation. He didn’t, he had useful insights on the diffusion of knowledge in a market, and very little to offer on avoiding fascism.
So, any other shibboleths spring to anyone’s mind?