One of Britain’s most preeminent conservative writers and thinkers, Sir Roger Scruton, has passed away aged 75 following a short battle with cancer. Guido’s thoughts are with his friends and family who put out this statement this evening:
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Sir Roger Scruton, FBA, FRSL. Beloved husband of Sophie, adored father to Sam and Lucy and treasured brother of Elizabeth and Andrea, he died peacefully on Sunday 12th January. He was born on 27th February 1944 and had been fighting cancer for the last 6 months. His family are hugely proud of him and of all his achievements.
At this time, Guido is reminded of Sir Roger’s words from the Christmas Speccie
During this year much was taken from me — my reputation, my standing as a public intellectual, my position in the Conservative movement, my peace of mind, my health. But much more was given back: by Douglas Murray’s generous defence, by the friends who rallied behind him, by the rheumatologist who saved my life and by the doctor to whose care I am now entrusted. Falling to the bottom in my own country, I have been raised to the top elsewhere, and looking back over the sequence of events I can only be glad that I have lived long enough to see this happen. Coming close to death you begin to know what life means, and what it means is gratitude.
A giant amongst men…
Housing Today had the scoop and Douglas Murray, who campaigned to get Roger Scruton re-appointed as head of a government housing body, has the text of the letters exchanged:
Dear Sir Roger,
Thank you so much for our conversation about the next steps on the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. As we both recognise, the publication of the Commission’s Interim Report provides an opportunity to consider next steps in finalising recommendations to Government to promote quality and beauty in the built environment. You have already been so influential in advancing this vision and I hope you will be able to play a leading role as the Commission embarks on the next phase of its work.
As we discussed, I would be pleased to see you re-appointed back to the Commission. It was helpful to receive your thoughts on this and what form this might take – including the suggestion that I consider appointing you as the Commission’s co-chair alongside Nicholas Boys-Smith. There is no doubt that Nicholas has done an incredible job in chairing the Commission over recent weeks and in achieving consensus with his fellow commissioners on the interim recommendations. I know we both have the highest regard for him.
In the light of this, I would be delighted if you would be willing to be re-appointed to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission as co-chair. I know that you still have so much more to give and hope this may also help to put things right after the regrettable events of recent months.
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP
Roger Scruton’s response:
Dear Secretary of State,
Thank you for your letter offering to bring me back on to the Commission. I think the suggestion that Nicholas and I be joint chairs is a very good one, since we work together well, and we could bring the job to a successful conclusion. And I am so pleased that all has been resolved in a friendly way and we can return to the matter in hand, which is so important.
An injustice righted…
Sir Roger Scruton has now issued his own press statement after the New Statesman finally issued an apology to him yesterday over George Eaton’s hatchet job. However, while Scruton appears to have largely buried the hatchet with the New Statesman, he instead launches a searing broadside at the Conservative Party for the way they threw him under the bus. They didn’t even bother asking for his side of the story before hanging him out to dry…
Scruton say he was “astonished” by the comments issued by 10 Downing Street and “particularly distressed by the behaviour of the Minister who sacked me on the strength of the NS article, without asking me whether it accurately represented anything that I had said” – the minister being James Brokenshire. Scruton even says he is “grateful” to the New Statesman for awakening him to the “true moral crisis of the Party to which, despite everything, I still belong.” Ouch.
Read Scruton’s statement in full:
“I am pleased to have resolved my complaint against the New Statesman. They have apologised for how they misrepresented my interview on Twitter and accepted that their article in some fundamental ways did not accurately reflect what I had said. I am pleased that the words I actually spoke are now available. This experience was very unpleasant, not least on account of the rush to judgment by others in the media and in politics.
“I was particularly distressed by the behaviour of the Minister who sacked me on the strength of the NS article, without asking me whether it accurately represented anything that I had said. I was also astonished by the comments issued from Number Ten Downing Street, and by the fact that the Conservative Party made no collective effort to defend me. I am grateful to the New Statesman at least for this, that these distressing events have awoken me to the true moral crisis of the Party to which, despite everything, I still belong.”
The New Statesman has finally issued an apology to Roger Scruton after George Eaton’s hatchet-job interview which got Scruton fired after wilfully taking a number of his quotes out of context. They admit that his comments about China and Hungary were taken out of context and “acknowledge that the views of Professor Scruton were not accurately represented” in the series of tweets that Eaton subsequently fired out. They say “we apologise for this, and regret any distress that this has caused Sir Roger.”
Of course the “distress” caused to Scruton was losing his job, meanwhile Eaton is back at work, albeit after a demotion to ‘Assistant Editor’. Probably won’t be getting any high profile interviews for some time…
James Brokenshire admitted to Iain Dale he was not in full possession of the facts when he sacked Sir Roger Scuton. Brokenshire did not put the allegations to Scruton or even talk to him beforehand. Summary justice incited by a Twitter mob. Public life is being cleansed of the non-woke with the connivance of feeble politicians who should know better. Liberals will come to regret going along with the cancelling of conservative voices if this trend prevails…