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A Spot of Firm Government

Terry Eagleton: Claude Rawson, 23 August 2001

God, Gulliver and Genocide: Barbarism and the European Imagination 1492-1945 
by Claude Rawson.
Oxford, 401 pp., £25, June 2001, 0 19 818425 5
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... coincide with those of the post-colonial theoretical trendies one abhors. It’s rather as though Roger Scruton were to find himself seized by a passionate zest for the minor details of the Marxist-feminist critique of housework. God, Gulliver and Genocide is about ambiguity of motives – about those unstable mixtures of racism and ...

‘Just get us out’

Ferdinand Mount, 21 March 2019

... would prefer it if Northern Ireland was governed just like Sussex, or was it Gloucestershire? Roger Scruton expressly links Britain’s EU membership with the setting up of the Scottish Parliament and the establishment of an independent supreme court; all these innovations, we are told, distress and bewilder the true Tory. As indeed they would have ...

On Hating and Despising Philosophy

Bernard Williams, 18 April 1996

... technical and inaccessible. This is the sort of attitude which was expressed in a recent review by Roger Scruton,* who is, among other things, a philosopher, and certainly does not think that he despises philosophy as such. He claimed that philosophy should ‘say something useful to the ordinary person’, and should give him ‘help in confronting the ...

Dialect does it

Blake Morrison, 5 December 1985

No Mate for the Magpie 
by Frances Molloy.
Virago, 170 pp., £7.95, April 1985, 0 86068 594 2
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The Mysteries 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 229 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 9780571137893
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Ukulele Music 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, 103 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 40986 0
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Hard Lines 2 
edited by Ian Dury, Pete Townshend, Alan Bleasdale and Fanny Dubes.
Faber, 95 pp., £2.50, June 1985, 0 571 13542 0
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No Holds Barred: The Raving Beauties choose new poems by women 
edited by Anna Carteret, Fanny Viner and Sue Jones-Davies.
Women’s Press, 130 pp., £2.95, June 1985, 0 7043 3963 3
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Katerina Brac 
by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 47 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13614 1
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Skevington’s Daughter 
by Oliver Reynolds.
Faber, 88 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 571 13697 4
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Rhondda Tenpenn’orth 
by Oliver Reynolds.
10 pence
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Trio 4 
by Andrew Elliott, Leon McAuley and Ciaran O’Driscoll.
Blackstaff, 69 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 333 4
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Mama Dot 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Chatto, 48 pp., £3.95, August 1985, 0 7011 2957 3
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The Dread Affair: Collected Poems 
by Benjamin Zephaniah.
Arena, 112 pp., £2.95, August 1985, 9780099392507
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Long Road to Nowhere 
by Amryl Johnson.
Virago, 64 pp., £2.95, July 1985, 0 86068 687 6
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Mangoes and Bullets 
by John Agard.
Pluto, 64 pp., £3.50, August 1985, 0 7453 0028 6
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Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars 
by Ron Butlin.
Secker, 51 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 436 07810 4
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True Confessions and New Clichés 
by Liz Lochhead.
Polygon, 135 pp., £3.95, July 1985, 0 904919 90 0
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Works in the Inglis Tongue 
by Peter Davidson.
Three Tygers Press, 17 pp., £2.50, June 1985
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Wild Places: Poems in Three Leids 
by William Neill.
Luath, 200 pp., £5, September 1985, 0 946487 11 1
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... robbery and rape of a woman of 88; gang warfare, vandalism, uriniferous subways, bent policemen. Roger Scruton devoted a Times column to a crude misreading of a poem by Reading about Lebanon, a controversy to which Ukulele Music alludes. Reading’s charlady supplies a suitable retort to Scruton – ‘When we ...


R.W. Johnson, 4 June 1987

Traitors: The Labyrinths of Treason 
by Chapman Pincher.
Sidgwick, 346 pp., £13.95, May 1987, 0 283 99379 0
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The Secrets of the Service: British Intelligence and Communist Subversion 1939-51 
by Anthony Glees.
Cape, 447 pp., £18, May 1987, 0 224 02252 0
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Freedom of Information – Freedom of the Individual? 
by Clive Ponting, John Ranelagh, Michael Zander and Simon Lee, edited by Julia Neuberger.
Macmillan, 110 pp., £4.95, May 1987, 0 333 44771 9
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... for the Fourth and Fifth Man. It is this story which is at the root of the accusations against Sir Roger Hollis, for when Blunt was turned up – not through Golitsyn’s efforts – it was already gospel among MI5 mole-hunters that there must be a Fifth Man somewhere. More alarming still was Golitsyn’s allegation that the KGB had so penetrated the Labour ...

Brideshead and the Tower Blocks

Patrick Wright, 2 June 1988

Home: A Short History of an Idea 
by Witold Rybczynski.
Heinemann, 256 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 434 14292 1
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... been built up is really adequate to the issues at stake. Conservative writers like David Watkin, Roger Scruton and, to a lesser extent recently, Gavin Stamp have worked with impressive zeal to see that every wretched tower block in the land is listed as a national monument to the reforming ambitions of 1945. They have also presented themselves as ...

On the Salieri Express

John Sutherland, 24 September 1992

Doctor Criminale 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 343 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 436 20115 1
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The Promise of Light 
by Paul Watkins.
Faber, 217 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 571 16715 2
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The Absolution Game 
by Paul Sayer.
Constable, 204 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 0 09 471460 6
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The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman 
by Louis de Bernières.
Secker, 388 pp., £14.99, August 1992, 0 436 20114 3
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Written on the Body 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Cape, 190 pp., £13.99, September 1992, 0 224 03587 8
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... a Post-Modern novelist, critic, political theorist, and privy adviser to the world’s great men. Roger Scruton has done the eminent Doctor for Frank Kermode’s ‘Modern Masters’. Alas, Criminale reflects no credit on that worthy series. He is revealed as the most treasonable of clerks, a compound of Waldheim, de Man, Harry Lime and ...

Shall we tell the children?

Paul Seabright, 3 July 1986

Melanie Klein: Her World and her Work 
by Phyllis Grosskurth.
Hodder, 516 pp., £19.95, June 1986, 0 340 25751 2
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Bloomsbury/Freud: The Letters of James and Alix Strachey 1924-1925 
edited by Perry Meisel and Walter Kendrick.
Chatto, 360 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7011 3051 2
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... has been seriously and powerfully argued, by (for example) Richard Wollheim, and opponents like Roger Scruton have considered that it makes a worthy case to answer. Stokes himself used the depressive position to explain the importance of Humanist and Classical qualities in art, and indeed so closely identified the two that the achievement of the ...


Andrew Brighton: On Peter Fuller, 7 November 1991

... of mental sloth or moral vacuity,’ opined the anonymous author of the Telegraph obituary. Roger Scruton in his memorial service valedictory saw Fuller’s intellectual life as growth towards a maturity into which he had just entered, a movement towards the familiar shape of right thinking. This was not the Peter Fuller I knew and still miss ...

Make for the Boondocks

Tom Nairn: Hardt and Negri, 5 May 2005

by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
Hamish Hamilton, 426 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 241 14240 7
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... saboteur, a subverter of things lawfully established, and an apologist for the Devil’, as Roger Scruton has put it, who ‘after his death was regarded as the greatest heretic of the 17th century’. Reviled both by orthodox Hebraism and many Netherlands Calvinists, Spinoza insisted that intuitive prophecy was the basis of true faith, and that ...

What’s next?

James Wood: Afterlives, 14 April 2011

After Lives: A Guide to Heaven, Hell and Purgatory 
by John Casey.
Oxford, 468 pp., £22.50, January 2010, 978 0 19 509295 0
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... of internecine Christian theological dispute. All this, one might expect from the cofounder (with Roger Scruton) of the Conservative Philosophy Group. But Casey is not only conservative (and, besides, presents the interesting spectacle of a man who has been getting steadily less conservative with age). He was educated at a provincial English grammar ...

One, Two, Three, Eyes on Me!

George Duoblys, 5 October 2017

... Way, which has been praised by Christodoulou, Gove, Gibb and Lemov as well as Boris Johnson, Roger Scruton and the journalist Toby Young, who co-founded the West London Free School.* Recently Michaela joined City, Mossbourne and King Solomon in being rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.There is an invitation to visit Michaela on the school’s ...

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount, 20 February 2020

... always their most enthusiastic proponent). The indictment was drawn up most plangently by the late Roger Scruton and most pugnaciously by David Starkey. It accuses ‘the liberal elite’ of foisting five abominations on the long-suffering British people who asked for none of them and find them all alien intrusions: membership of the EU, mass ...

Wedded to the Absolute

Ferdinand Mount: Enoch Powell, 26 September 2019

Enoch Powell: Politics and Ideas in Modern Britain 
by Paul Corthorn.
Oxford, 233 pp., £20, August 2019, 978 0 19 874714 7
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... been his hundredth birthday in 2012 drew contributions from all the paladins of the Tory right: Roger Scruton, Andrew Roberts, Simon Heffer, Iain Duncan Smith. His stream of long, considered speeches continued to ripple through Tory minds, all the more perhaps because they were now running underground. During his wilderness years Powell became the ...

History as a Bunch of Flowers

James Davidson: Jacob Burckhardt, 20 August 1998

The Greeks and Greek Civilisation 
by Jacob Burckhardt, edited by Oswyn Murray, translated by Sheila Stern.
HarperCollins, 449 pp., £24.99, May 1998, 0 00 255855 6
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... simply refer to Plato and Aristotle for ‘Greek’ ways of thinking, which is rather like reading Roger Scruton for a modern British worldview. Burckhardt is not about to make that error and warns against taking the views of philosophers as representative. The size of the Greek Cultural History and the range of the sources on which it depends is ...

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