Scruton Re-Appointed to Government

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.

Yours sincerely,

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.

Kind regards,

Roger Scruton

An injustice righted…

Scruton Blasts the Tories for Throwing Him Under the Bus

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.”

New Statesman Apologise for Roger Scruton Hatchet Job

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…

Brokenshire Regrets Scruton Sacking

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…

Sir Roger Responds to the Scruton Tapes

The BBC has got its hands on the Scruton Tapes, a recording of the interview that ended his brief Government career. It has become clear that Scruton’s words were massively misrepresented by The New Statesman‘s George Eaton in his search for a scalp. Sections of Scruton’s unedited comments morning were played this morning on the Today Programme with the caveat that “we don’t know whether that recording was stolen or not.” Cut straight to the juicy bits with Guido…

Sir Roger’s China comments and his response to them:

Sir Roger’s Orban comments and his response to them:

Scruton went on in the interview to say that

“I am a conservative thinker, well known as such. Outspoken, but reasonable in my view. There has been throughout this country. and throughout Europe really, an attempt to silence the conservative voice. We get identified, caricatured, demonised, and made to look as though we are some kind of sinister fascist racist kind of people.

And as soon as the Conservative Party sees one of us being demonised in this way they rush to disassociate themselves from us.”

Listen to the full interview as broadcast here

UPDATE: The Evening Standard is reporting that Eaton is taking a “temporary break” from the New Statesman. “To let stuff die down”…

Roger Scruton Calls for New Statesman to Release Tapes of Interview That Got Him Fired

A week after George Eaton celebrated with champagne the sacking of Sir Roger Scruton, the philosopher has called on the New Statesman to release the tapes of the interview that got him fired:

If there is evidence to incriminate me then obviously the New Statesman must make the tapes of the conversation public: how else will any of us know what we are allowed and not allowed to say, when working for this government?

Scruton and Eaton have both been engaged in claim and counter-claim over what was and wasn’t really said in the interview and whether it was deliberately taken out of context. There’s an easy way for the New Statesman to settle the matter once and for all, release the tapes…

Scruton on Self-Appointed Vigilantes

Scruton reflects on Twitter’s vigilantes…

“We in Britain are entering a dangerous social condition in which the direct expression of opinions that conflict – or merely seem to conflict – with a narrow set of orthodoxies is instantly punished by a band of self-appointed vigilantes. We are being cowed into abject conformity around a dubious set of official doctrines and told to adopt a world view that we cannot examine for fear of being publicly humiliated by the censors. This world view might lead to a new and liberated social order; or it might lead to the social and spiritual destruction of our country. How shall we know, if we are too afraid to discuss it?”

Sacks on Scruton

Rabbi Lord Sacks on Roger Scruton…

“I began from a secular academic background. I studied philosophy at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and then continued as a postgraduate at New College, Oxford. I had some wonderful tutors, among them in my undergraduate years, Roger Scruton in philosophy, who was certainly one of the great polymaths of our time.”

Scruton Defeats Socialism Again

An eagle-eyed co-conspiritor has noticed that Sir Roger Scruton’s book “Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left” has defeated the competition to become the number one best seller in Amazon’s category of ‘Socialism’. Not content with battling socialism on the other side of the iron curtain, he has taken them to task in their own category on Amazon…

Brokenshire’s Defence of Sir Roger Scruton

The Government have come out batting for Sir Roger Scruton. Guido welcomes their rare backbone sticking up for a good appointment, and standing up to a baying twitter mob.

UPDATE: Jacob Rees-Mogg makes the point that while Scruton was busy standing up for free speech and democracy in the Soviet Union, several Labour MPs – including some Gwynne now sits alongside on the Labour frontbench – were more interested in sympathising with the oppressive communist regime…

 

Roger Scruton’s Greatness


Lefties have been jumping on board the faux outrage bus in an attempt to inflict another Toby Young-style ousting of a right-wing government adviser. This time it’s the preeminent Conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, unpaid chairman of a government housing commission on “Building Better, Building Beautiful”, who has been put in the stocks, with a rag-bag of allegations of anti-Semtisim, homophobia and Islamophobia being levelled against him.

Labour rent-a-mouth Andrew Gwynne told BuzzFeed: “Nobody holding those views has a place in modern democracy. The prime minister needs to finally show some leadership and sack Scruton with an investigation into how he was appointed in the first place.” Has Andrew Gwynne done as much for modern democracy as Sir Roger Scruton? Unlikely.

Scruton spent years in the 1980s travelling to Communist Central Europe, building bridges with dissident academics and students, putting himself in harm’s way for their freedom. In 1985 he was arrested, expelled from Czechoslovakia and placed on the communist government’s “Index of Undesirable Persons”. After the fall of Communism President Vaclav Havel presented him with the Czech Republic’s Medal of Merit. Gwynne was still in short trousers at the time…

The Red Roar, which started the pile-on, uses an egregiously selective half-quotation to level an accusation of anti-Semitism at Scruton, quoting him as saying: “many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form party of the extensive networks around the Soros Empire.” The full quote shows that Scruton is saying quite the opposite and warning about the ongoing problem of anti-Semitism in Hungary:

“Many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form part of the extensive networks around the Soros Empire. People in these networks include many who are rightly suspicious of nationalism, regard nationalism as the major cause of the tragedy of Central Europe in the 20th century, and do not distinguish nationalism from the kind of national loyalty that I have defended in this talk. Moreover, as the world knows, indigenous anti-Semitism still plays a part in Hungarian society and politics, and presents an obstacle to the emergence of a shared national loyalty among ethnic Hungarians and Jews.”

Red Roar also “reveal” that Scruton is a friend of unsavoury Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has a long-running feud with his former ally George Soros. In fact Scruton only knows Orban because he helped him and a few other Hungarian students set up an independent law school in the late 1980s in Communist Czechoslovakia. Scruton lectured in that law school, as part of his drive to get young people to work for their country’s freedom. Attacking Scruton for this is pathetic…

Scruton actually took on Orban and lobbied hard against his move to close down the Central European University in Budapest last year. The university founded by George Soros…

Attempting to force Scruton out of a non-political government appointment on the basis of quotations taken out of context and a highly selective use of historical facts is dishonest. The only people guilty of illiberalism are the ones pursuing student union-style attempts to purge the ranks of civil society of any vestiges of conservative thought…

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