Conservatism and the Environment

Conservative Home - March 2013

 There is no political cause more amenable to the conservative vision than that of the environment. For it touches on the three foundational ideas of our movement: trans-generational loyalty, the priority of the local and the search for home. Conservatives resonate to Burke's view of society, as a partnership between the living, the unborn and the dead; they believe in civil association between neighbours rather than intervention by the state; and they accept that the most important thing the living can do is to settle down, to make a home for themselves, and to pass that home to their children.

Postmodern Tories

Prospect Magazine - February 2013

The mid-term of a government is a time of reflection, in which the parties can revive their attachments and reformulate their message. Two recent volumes, Britannia Unchained,co-authored by a group of young Conservative MPs, and Tory Modernisation 2.0,issued by Bright Blue, an organisation that campaigns for reform within the Conservative party, give us some indication of the forces now at work in shaping Tory thinking.

The Meaning of Margaret Thatcher

The Times - 18.4.2013

For many people of conservative temperament, it looked in the late 1970s as though Britain were ready to surrender all that it stood for: its pride, its enterprise, its ideals of freedom and citizenship, even its borders and its national defence. The country seemed to be wallowing in collective guilt feelings, reinforced by a growing culture of dependency.

Baroness Thatcher

Baroness Thatcher:  piece from 1990, LA Times:

LONDON — When the Athenians sent Themistocles into exile in 470 BC, they conveniently forgot everything he had done for them. It was he who had created the Athenian navy, held the Persians at Artemisium and finally defeated them at Salamis. It was he who had fortified Athens and made it the most prosperous city of the Aegean.

Pleasure vs Happiness

A version of this paper appeared in The Spectator magazine - 28.3.2013

 You don't have to be a philosopher, given to abstruse reflection on concepts, to recognise that pleasure and happiness are not the same. There are wicked pleasures, destructive pleasures, addictive pleasures, despicable pleasures: but there is no such thing as wicked, destructive, addictive or despicable happiness.

My Intellectual Identity

I have worked in many fields, and I think it might help my readers to explain how this came about. At school I studied the natural sciences and went on a Science scholarship to Cambridge. But before arriving in Cambridge I had discovered music, art and literature, and had formed the intention to be a writer – not knowing whether I had either the talent or the opportunities to pursue such a career.

Confessions of a Sceptical Francophile

When I first became interested in philosophy, in the early 1960s, it was because I had discovered books, and books had taught me that there are mysteries concealed in human society, in consciousness, in being itself, which are the legitimate concern and inspiration of every thinking person. Reading Kafka, Rilke and T.S. Eliot, I came, as a teenager, to think that literature had no other task than to explore and decipher these mysteries, and that beautiful writing is another name for the kind of revelation that those authors promise.

Marriage: Union for the Future or Contract for the Present

ResPublica Green Paper by Roger Scruton & Phillip Blond - 3.2.2013

To coincide with the Parliamentary debate on the Government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, the latest publication from ResPublica, Marriage: Union for the future or contract for the present, criticises the Bill for compromising the meaning of both traditional heterosexual marriage and homosexual partnership.

Border control must be at the heart of an EU renegotiations

Conservative Home - 24.1.2013

The greatest difference between being governed by a national Parliament and being governed by a treaty is that, in the former case, law can be made immediately, in response to every change in the situation of those affected by it, and mistakes can be rectified before their full toll of destruction has been reaped.

The Conservative Neglect of Culture

Thinkers' Corner at Conservative Home - 22.12.2012

Nobody knows what a cultural policy should aim at, what means it should use, or how it could lead to legislation or other political initiatives. Hence, in Conservative Party thinking, considerations of culture remain on the margins. Worse, as in so many areas of political life, the Conservatives seem to have abandoned this fertile territory to the Left.

Latest Articles

An Apology for thinking - 11 April 19 - The Spectator

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website. I recently gave an interview to the New Statesman, on the assumption that, as the magazine’s former wine critic I would...

Roger Scruton on why conservatism is better for the environment, FT - March 19

 An interview with Jane Owen in advance of the FT Oxford Literary Festival, the full article can be read online here.  https://www.ft.com/content/43e6ef1e-464b-11e9-a965-23d669740bfb  

Le Figaro - March 19

Earlier this month, Roger spoke with Eugenie Bastie for Le Figaro - Click here to read the article.

BBC Radio 4 Any Questions? 22 Feb 19

Jonathan Dimbleby chairs political debate from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, with a panel consisting of Robert Buckland MP, Baroness Smith, Chuka Umunna MP and Sir Roger Scruton. Listen back to the...

Recent Books

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...

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now

Bloomsbury (November 2017) Addressing one of the most politically turbulent periods in modern British history, philosopher Roger Scruton asks how, in these circumstances, we can come to define our identity,...

2019 Events

Wed 31st Jul - Fri 9th Aug - 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

Thur 29th Aug - Sun 1st Sept - Scrutopia Alumni Meeting 

Fri 26 - Sat 27th April - CRASSH conference, Cambridge

Sat 15th June - Philosophy Day

Thurs 19th Sept - ISI Gala for Western Civilization, Philadelphia

May - Academic Freedom under Threat: What's to be Done? Oxford Conference