An intellectual giant hounded by nasty fools
SIR Roger Scruton is one of the wisest and cleverest men in Britain. It is a disgrace that his powerful, lucid mind has not been placed at the service of the country, and that he has instead been pushed to the edge of the academic and political world.
I don’t always agree with him. He’s hopelessly wrong about Russia, which he has mixed up with the USSR. I think the Government are exploiting him by appointing him as an adviser on housing. They will politely hear out his arguments in favour of building beautiful things, and then concrete over the countryside with ugly box homes anyway.
But the attempt, by Left-wing fanatics, to get the Prime Minister to sack him, is actually shameful.
Sir Roger’s views, similar to mine, are unfashionable. But they are not wicked. And I am especially disgusted by an attempt to suggest that he is anti-Jewish.
I have read the speech against which this charge is made, and I can only conclude that his accusers have not read it. It is not remotely anti-Semitic, and nor is he – unlike the unpleasant author Roald Dahl, whose seething, repulsive Judophobia has long been overlooked because his works bring in lots of money to publishers and film-makers.
The worst part of this attack on Sir Roger is this. Not long ago, at some peril to himself, he was one of a small, brave band of men and women who went into the dark lands of Eastern Europe in the days of Communist repression. They set up secret schools of free thought, where Sir Roger taught. They smuggled aid in various forms to courageous dissidents who were silenced by Left-wing censorship and secret police.
Now, by a twist he can never have expected, he is himself a dissident in a country that was once free. And foolish, nasty people snap at his heels, smear him and would like to see him silenced.
We don’t have secret police here quite yet. But I can see them taking shape in a shadowy form among us, and when they finally open for business they will not be short of volunteers.