Another week, another initiative which the Tories may look back on as something that seemed a good idea at the time - until it made contact with reality. The press release tells us “James Brokenshire: building better and beautiful will deliver more homes … New commission announced to champion beauty in the built environment”.
And what might that mean? More Faux Georgian Façades For Everyone? “A commission to champion beautiful buildings as an integral part of the drive to build the homes communities need has been announced by the Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP”. The commission “will develop a vision and practical measures to help ensure new developments meet the needs and expectations of communities”.
So who is going to chair this commission? “Sir Roger Scruton has been appointed to Chair the commission”. Who he? Well, he’s allegedly an “Eminent writer and philosopher”. Also, “He is an author of over 40 books”. And “He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist”. But there is something missing from the CV.
The missing item is that Scruton is a career racist. No qualification or equivocation is necessary here. Many will know of Scruton’s bigotry through his recent assertions, such as “Many of the Budapest intelligentsia are Jewish, and form part of the extensive networks around the Soros Empire”, “the Soros instigated conspiracy against Hungary”, and his claim that George Soros opposes Victor Orbán’s nationalism because he is Jewish.
A recent assessment of Scruton’s claims concluded “Sir Scruton somehow thinks that all Jews are united against the government and share the same world view”, and that he “had some influence on the anti-Soros campaign in Hungary”. But there is more to Scruton’s racism than those recent assertions. There is his time at the Salisbury Review.
This small-circulation publication has two claims to fame, neither of them good for Scruton’s appointment to that Government body. One is that the Salisbury Review gave a platform to head teacher Ray Honeyford, head of Drummond Middle School in Bradford. The article, “Race and education - an alternative view”, proved incendiary.
As Bradford’s then Mayor Mohammed Ajeeb put it, “It's not the substance of what he said that was so offensive. It's how he said it and the right-wing journal in which he chose to say it”. Scruton, however, praised Honeyford, as did the Daily Mail. Neither asked the Drummond parents, who were firmly opposed to their head teacher’s views.
And the second demerit for Scruton, as that former Bradford Mayor hinted, is his magazine: that Honeyford’s thoughts had been published in the Salisbury Review only made matters worse, because the publication had promoted what was then called “repatriation”. In other words, paying ethnic minority Britons to go elsewhere.
That was the policy so enthusiastically endorsed by Enoch Powell in his infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech in 1968, which got him sacked from the shadow cabinet. No, it’s not just a lapse into anti-Semitism. It’s an explicitly racist stance, and over many, many years.
Roger Scruton should not have those views rewarded with a taxpayer funded sinecure.
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Especially in the Somerset Levels.
Scruton is a natural extension of the mindset.
Your implication is that Ray Honeyford was a racist. Nothing could be further from the truth and it appears you have simply looked at Wikipedia for your information. Nothing racist in his observations on multiculturalism and how it effected ALL school children in Bradford. His belief was that then current policies and political dogma was affecting the educational achievement of ethnic minorities (although they were the majority in some schools) and in turn holding back other children. Basically he thought English should be first and foremost in schools. Indeed in my view he has been proved right, having a large section of the community conducting business in Urdu does not help integration in any way. But that is presuming the Pakistani community does want to integrate. The response to Honeyford's views at the time and subsequent events seems to indicate they prefer to live a parallel existence until such time their numbers eventually push others out. We see this in such places as Savile Town in Dewsbury and many parts of other northern towns I visit where one finds no facilities for other than the Asian community. Indeed in these areas the "Community Centres" are exclusively for one community and one religion, I came across one in Halifax in an old mill where the "Sisters Entrance" was at the back through the old loading Bay: very progressive! This is what Honeyford saw happening.
If only Honeyford had been listened to objectively instead of the professional race industry teaming up with Muslim supremacists to attack the man and not his erudite observations. A classic abuse of British traditional tolerant attitudes which eventually led to ill feeling and rioting, two sections of society knowing nothing of each other and their values, and of course to the sexual abuse of children.
Honeyford branded a racist yet never uttered one racist word!
Scruton meanwhile is just an old school Tory, the current Conservative government is Blairight of centre - Attlees government would in today's terms be alt-right!
There are far worse crimes than perceived racism Zelo Street.
Anonymous @ 17:58.
Tip: Don't visit any Welsh-speaking areas of Wales. Or Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland or Northern Ireland. Or, for that matter, dialect-speaking areas of "the Geordie nation", Yorkshire, West Country, Yamyam West Midlands or Cornwall.
If only you knew just how absurdly nineteenth century you sound. The world has moved on and you are stranded somewhere in the British Empire. Your opinions are as repulsive and indecent as anything ever muttered by unlamented Enoch Powell.
Anon at 17:58
Honeyford should not only have lost his employment as headteacher (a position for which he was unsuited), he should have been banned from teaching for life.
Out of interest, Anon, if the problem of child sexual abuse is language and tradition, why are 90% of child sex abusers white men?
The problem is that Roger Scruton, whatever his casual racism and especially anti-semitism, speaks plain truth when it comes to the poisonous state of contemporary architecture. It's curious at first sight that modernism has not just survived, but is still all-powerful, in architecture, when it has been dethroned in the other arts. Let's start with the Guardian. (Alas we must.) It does not carry long reviews of the latest atonal post-Boulezian musical masterpiece (if there are any). But it still celebrates and enforces modernism in its architectural criticism. Oliver Wainwright shows occasional signs of wanting to break out but never quite does, no doubt because he'd lose his job if he did. The paper's present cultural outlook is just as narrow and circumscribed as its political position. And that narrowness reflects an unthinking attitude on the left. Somehow, traditional architecture is reactionary and politically incorrect, whereas modernism is correct and liberal-left.
Which avoids the simple and horrible truth. Look at the skyline of the city of London to see contemporary architecture in its essence. The Walkie-Talkie. The Cheese-Grater. Just across the river the Shard. No socialist should like them for an instant. They're bully buildings, overwhelmingly large and out of scale with human beings. They;re aggressive and completely unrelated to their surroundings. The architecture not of the left, but of the fascist tradition which runs right through modernist architecture from the Futurists through Corbusier to Philip Johnson, and is found at its most complete in Ayn Rand. While the modernist left tradition is dead. Neave Brown was wonderful but he has gone.
What has gone wrong with the left? Why can't it see fascism in art and life when it stares them in the face? And so we have the irony that Scruton, however nasty some of his views, stands for human values and community in architecture. The left should listen to him rather than dismiss him.
Anon 17:58 - "Scruton meanwhile is just an old school Tory..."
Well, that only goes to confirm what we all knew; back in the 'good old days' he would have been a rabid slave owner or owned a sweatshop factory, strongly in favour of sending boys up chimneys or putting down gatherings by sending in the army in case the workers got ideas above their station.
There might be worse crimes than perceived racism - the problem is that they generally involve people being badly hurt or dying.
@Anonymous 6 November 2018 at 17:58
Honeyford was a racist, he saw everything in terms of race. Did he need to refer to the 'cacophony' of 'West Indians', complain that he couldn't refer to people as immigrants if they were actually born here (despite being an immigrant from Manchester). Did he have to right for a far right rag?
Even Pickles thought he was a racist until he saw electoral advantage (for himself, personally now) in supporting him.
Once again we get people attacking the messenger and thinking that invalidates the message, it doesn't. Especially when he is proved right.
In 2005 Trevor Phillips said we were "sleepwalking to segregation" 2016 he said were "sleepwalking to catastrophe". He said that race is no longer a “purely black and white affair” but a divide between the majority and people with different “values and behaviours”, citing Muslim groups that are actively "resistant to the traditional process of integration".
Result - Savile Town and other areas are getting there in their sleep!
Self-delusion is no way to solve these problems. Unless, of course, you are happy to have parts of the country with a monoculture that excludes you and demands we change to accommodate their wishes. Just don't call yourselves progressives!
Mr Foster, excellent critique.
The London skyline is a joke (Shard? I can't see the point!) hence the jokey names.
But if the left brand you racist, that's it, everything you say is worthless, end of.
And didn't Red Ken kick this all off?
Andy Foster, is that another way of saying current architects are full of shit and would sell their collective arse to the nearest property spiv?
Anonymous at 12:30.
It is the messenger's "message" under attack.
And that "message" is merely far right propaganda intended to divert attention from the guilty system and its individuals which caused these horrible deaths.
Not that the latter seems to matter one whit to you. Which is par for the course in your obvious area of politics.
Eh? Who died? Well Honeyford did, in Ramsbottom, it may not be exactly nice but horrible is going it a bit. Who else?
And surely the messenger has been proved prophetically right as shown above, unless you can argue different. No? Par for the course for those only interested in tribal politics.
Savile Town: 2011 Census Population 4033, number of residents identifying as white 48. QED
Anonymous 02:38 and 02:47.
What a load of far right racist bollocks.
"Who died?" Well, since you ask, and since one of the targets in the original attack was Judaism...you might check what happened in the Holocaust.
So there are 48 white people in Savile Town, so what? How many is enough, and why? How many white people should there be in, say, the USA or Australia, both of which were invaded by white people who promptly committed genocide in toto at least equal to the Holocaust?
People like you simply can't get it through their heads that human movement is a constant now and throughout recorded history. It will never stop. It is precisely your kind of tribalism which causes social disaster. And, this time, all because of the colour of skin. It used to be the Irish or Protestants or Catholics. Britain itself could not exist in its present form without movement of Celtic or European populations. Savile Town is the least of it.
It would help matters if you could grow up.
Anon 02:38 02:47
So, contrary to your posts in the article directly above this one, you don't like immigrants living in safer low-rise buildings far away from London.
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