A welcome piece by Kate Devlin, Chief Political Correspondent, in today’s Times:
The philosopher Sir Roger Scruton has been reappointed as a government housing adviser months after being sacked.
He was removed as head of the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission in April after the New Statesman published an interview in which he was judged to have made inflammatory remarks.
The magazine later apologised and acknowledged that “the views of Professor Scruton were not accurately represented . . . We apologise for this, and regret any distress that this has caused.”
Sir Roger, 75, was quoted as saying of China: “They’re creating robots of their own people . . . each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that is a very frightening thing.”
The magazine then tweeted “a truncated version of the quotation regarding China”, which it later acknowledged did not accurately represent his views. It went on to clarify that his criticism “was not of the Chinese people but of the restrictive regime of the Chinese Communist Party”.
Sir Roger was also quoted in the interview as saying: “Anybody who doesn’t think there’s a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts.” However, the magazine did not include the rest of the professor’s comment, in which he said: “It’s not necessarily an empire of Jews; that’s such nonsense.”
George Soros, 88, the Hungarian-born Jewish business magnate, has been the subject of antisemitic abuse in Hungary.
Boris Johnson was among Tory MPs who urged that the writer be reinstated.
James Brokenshire, the housing and communities secretary, has previously expressed regret at sacking Sir Roger as a government adviser on architecture. In a letter to him, which was published yesterday, Mr Brokenshire wrote: “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.”
He had previously said to Sir Roger: “As you know, I regret that the decision to remove you from your leadership role . . . was taken in the way that it was. I am sorry, especially as it was based on a clearly partial report of your thoughts.”
Sir Roger has agreed to rejoin the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission as co-chairman, sharing the job with Nicholas Boys Smith, who was appointed as interim chairman after Sir Roger’s sacking.
Sir Roger has accepted the job, writing to Mr Brokenshire: “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.”
The government commission’s role is to promote “quality and beauty” in architecture.
At the time of Sir Roger’s dismissal, No 10 said that the comments reported by in the New Statesman interview were “deeply offensive, completely unacceptable and it’s right that he’s been dismissed”.
You can subscribe to The Times here.
UK Men’s Rights Action, our official supporters’ Facebook page, is here.
If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.