Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would crush civil society - UnHerd, 13 Nov 19

The 1989 uprising against communism in Eastern Europe was a bid for freedom, and for many commentators it was little more than that. The oppressors happened to be the Communist Party, backed up by their Soviet masters, but they might have been the henchmen of a tin-pot dictatorship or a gang of Mafiosi. The important point, for many observers, is that the oppressors had set out to control things, and the people had at last said no.

 Read the full article online HERE

Scrutopia Summer School 2020

Following on from the Government’s latest COVID-19 public statement we are sorry to announce it is not possible to hold the Scrutopia Summer School between the 29th July and 7th August this summer. We feel the Summer School is all about friendship, socialising and intimate seminars which would be difficult to conduct in our present situation. In addition, air travel is likely to be extremely difficult.

This is an unprecedented and challenging time for everyone and the health, safety and enjoyment of all those that attend and are involved with the summer school remains our number one priority.

We apologise for the delay in making this announcement but are grateful to you all for your support and co-operation at this busy time. Sophie and I would like to take this opportunity to thank and wish you well through this challenging time.

Streets With Nooks and Crannies Are Beloved and Endangered - TAC, 4 Oct 19

A building may appeal for its formal perfection, its harmony of proportion and the grammatical discipline with which it matches part to part. But it may appeal despite lacking those things, by offering enticing glimpses of the life within, intriguing apertures, invitations to enter, to explore, to imagine. 

The Madness of Crowds - Review for Unherd, 17 Sept 19

How identity politics drove the world mad

Douglas Murray's brave new book explores the madness of modern discourse. 

We thrive on disagreement, but only if we do not also feel threatened by it. In every period of history, therefore, there have been opinions and customs that are dangerous to question, since they provide the firm foundations on which our disagreements rest. Whether religious or political, these established ways of thinking and acting have been protected by law, and embedded in the educational curriculum and the daily customs of the people.

The Architecture of Social Isolation- Berggruen Institute, 11 Sept 19

The Architecture of Social Isolation

The evidence is overwhelming that ugly and impersonal environments lead to a sense of depression and anxiety.

If you ask why concepts like community, place and belonging have suddenly come to occupy a central place in political discourse, then you will quickly light upon the obvious fact that those aspects of the human condition are, in modern conditions, all under threat. The threat comes from a single source: globalization.

The 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

As August draws to a close, we are able to share with you a wonderful film with our 2019 Scrutopians. We would love to see you next year so please register your interest with Izzy in the office. 

 

Roger Scruton gets his job back - The Spectator, 23rd July 19


Roger Scruton has been reappointed as head of a government housing body after he was sacked in April following a magazine interview in which his views were misrepresented. The letter from housing secretary James Brokenshire, who fired Scruton, is published below:

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

 

And here is 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

 

 

The Telegraph - 20th July 19

The failure to stand up for conservative thinking is leading us into a new cultural dark age.

The intellectual scene always used to have room for great minds from the Right. Today they would be denounced for thought crime by a Left that cannot tolerate dissent.

This article was published on 20th July in The Telegraph - The full article can be read below

Letter from the Secretary of State 9/7/19

This is to report the good news that, in addition to the published apology from the New Statesman, Roger has now received an apology from the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, for the hasty decision made on the basis of a false and malicious report of The New Statesman’ interview.

The letter has been published by The Spectator (13/7/19) and it can be read here. 

Here is the full text of the apology.

 

Dear Sir Roger,


As you will be aware, the interim report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission is due to be published today. I wanted to take this moment to thank you for the significant contribution you have made in helping to bring this about and for your leadership in promoting beauty in the built environment. I believe the Interim Report maintains the intellectual underpinning which you set out through your work with the Commission and provides a strong platform from which further work can now continue as we look towards the final recommendations.


I also welcome that the New Statesman has now published a correction to their original article of your interview with them which did not represent your views fairly and fully in the way that it should have. As you know, I regret that the decision to remove you from your leadership role within the Commission was taken in the way that it was. I am sorry – especially as it was based on a clearly partial report of your thoughts.


Following the publication of the Interim Report I am now considering the next phase of the Commission’s work. If you would be willing, I would like to invite you to meet to discuss this work and what part you might be prepared to play in advancing this important agenda which we both care about so much.


Yours sincerely,
RT HON JAMES BROKENSHIRE MP

Latest Articles

When freedom came, God disappeared- Standpoint, 22 June 2020

Shortly before his death in January this year, the philosopher Sir Roger Scruton had completed an opera libretto, called An Angel Passes. It is now being set to music by the...

A Path for us all - The Critic, June 2020

When Roger Scruton was decorated by Victor Orbán at the Hungarian Embassy last December, most of those present knew that this might be the last time we would see him in...

Roger Scruton: A brief personal history of a great man - The North American Anglican, 6 May 20

Roger Scruton: A brief personal history of a great man by James Bryson http://northamanglican.com/roger-scruton-my-encounter-with-a-great-man/ James Bryson is a Humboldt Fellow in the Catholic Theology Faculty at the Ludwig Maximilian's University in...

Sir Roger Scruton, in memoriam: A Platonic Tribute - Die Bärliner, 12 May 20

Sir Roger Scruton, in memoriam: A Platonic Tribute by Ewa Atanassow https://blog.berlin.bard.edu/sir-roger-scruton-in-memoriam-a-platonic-tribute/ Ewa Atanassow joined The Bard College, Berlin as a full time faculty in 2008. She teaches in the Core and...

Recent Books

Wagner's Parsifal: The Music of Redemption

‘Wagner’s Parsifal – The Music of Redemption’  This short but penetrating book, by a writer who was uniquely both a leading philosopher and musicologist, shows us how Wagner achieves this...

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

Music as an Art

Bloomsbury  (August 2018) Music as an Art begins by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music and the moral life, music and cognitive science and German...

2020 Events

Scrutopia Summer School Wed 29 July - Fri 7 August 2020

Scrutopia Alumni Thurs 27 August – Sun 30 August 2020