Sir Roger Scruton was a writer and philosopher who has published more than forty books in philosophy, aesthetics and politics. He was widely translated. He was a fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He taught in both England and America and is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington D.C. He was teaching an MA in Philosophy for the University of Buckingham.
Sir Roger was proposed to join, and possibly lead, the Commission for Better Housing. This Commission is a new QUANGO, set up so that the May Govt. could point to the Commission whenever the quality of new housing is discussed / dissected / exposed; and then to be able to say, ”Well, we advised the builders and developers how things should be done; its not our fault if nobody took a blind bit of notice!”. In other words, its yet more ‘smoke and mirrors’. But the whole idea was really to give Sir Roger a last chance at a real spot in the public’s gaze.
This is where this true gentleman made the mistake of a lifetime. He had completely forgotten that, lurking in the shadows of T’Internet, lay the worst collection of Leftist Trolls, miscreants and diehard scumbags; ever ready to pounce on the slightest verbal misstep of anyone considered to be to the right of Genghis Khan.
The beady-eyed commissars of political correctness immediately sensed an opportunity and, within hours, they were hard at work, digging through everything Scruton had ever said or written in the hope of finding material they could be “offended” by — ideally, anything that would make him look like a racist, homophobe or misogynist, even if that meant wrenching it out of context. Given that Scruton has written more than 50 books and enjoyed a long career as a prolific journalist and public speaker, they had plenty of material to sift through and, sure enough, they soon found a treasure trove of “hateful” comments. For instance, he’d once described “Islamophobia” as a “propaganda word” and — in a column for the Telegraph in 2007 — said homosexuality was “not normal”. He’d also given a lecture in the United States in 2005 in which he questioned whether “date rape” — defined by him as when a woman has initially consented to sex but withdrawn it afterwards — should be a criminal offence.
His publisher also made an appointment for an interview with the New Statesman, but because Sir Roger had worked with them before, he was unaware of the devious nature of the interviewer, and so the the interview is duly published — a mendacious concoction of out-of-context remarks and downright fabrications. The hue and cry which was raised by this collection of lies, untruths and selected mis-quotations was everything the fabricators could have hoped for; as Sir Roger was promptly evicted from his seat on this Commission: his dismissal being based purely on his ‘reported divisive remarks’ about Homosexuality and ‘Islamophobia’.
A spokeswoman said: “Professor Sir Roger Scruton has been dismissed as chairman of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission with immediate effect, following his unacceptable comments.
“A new chair will be appointed by the Secretary of State, to take this important work forward, in due course.”
Downing Street said Sir Roger’s comments were “deeply offensive and completely unacceptable” and that it was right that he had been dismissed.
“He was appointed because of his expertise in the built environment but his comments are clearly distracting from the work of the commission and it is no longer right for him to act as a Government adviser,” a No 10 spokeswoman said.
The Spectator magazine went into action to seek proof of how Sir Roger had been misquoted and blackguarded, and, based upon the original taped interview, received a belated apology from the Government, and a further apology from James Brokenshire, who at least had the plain guts to stick to his principles. The ‘journalist’ was suspended, and Sir Roger was eventually restored to his Commission post, but now, because of the immense pressure, was in poor health.
Scruton went on to receive further plaudits and decorations, but, mainly because of that terrible pressure upon his credibility and hence his health and well-being, died a few days ago.