The Corner

Culture

Roger Scruton Gets His Job Back

Sir Roger Scruton, the philosopher who writes elegantly about aesthetics, was fired from a U.K. government-advisory post in which he offered guidance on architecture after The New Statesman journalist George Eaton whipped up a social-media frenzy by selectively quoting Scruton out of context. I wrote about all this last week. Back on April 25, Douglas Murray published his report on a full transcript of the interview, which made it clear Scruton was the victim of a vicious smear.

Now Scruton has his job back. As Murray reports in the blog for The Spectator, the minister who fired Scruton, housing secretary James Brokenshire, has written a cordial letter to Scruton inviting him to serve as co-chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission (Nicholas Boys-Smith, appointed by Brokenshire to replace Scruton, will continue in his position, this time also as co-chair). Scruton accepted with grace and without rancor.

I continue to be amazed by the lack of shame or remorse with which Brokenshire speaks of this matter after having been exposed for pandering to the worst instincts of a mob that had been deliberately misled. Surely the words, I am profoundly sorry for assisting the mob in smearing your good name, or words very like them, ought to have been the first to escape Brokenshire’s lips when Murray first proved he had fallen for fake news. Instead, more than three months after the unceremonious firing, Brokenshire has yet to express more than a vague sense of regret. Meanwhile, Eaton, the hack who guzzled a bottle of champagne and posted a picture of the celebration to social media after he succeeded in getting Scruton sacked by misrepresenting his remarks, continues to serve as assistant editor of The New Statesman, which dragged its heels for nearly three months before finally apologizing for distorting Scruton’s remarks.

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