Toby Young: Sir Roger Scruton is a victim of 'offence archaeologists'

Sir Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Scruton. Image: Getty

Friday, November 9, 2018

Toby Young has said Sir Roger Scruton is a victim of "offence archaeologists", amid calls for the philosopher to be sacked from his new role as chair of a government housing commission. 

Sir Roger has faced criticism for comments he has previously made regarding Islam and homosexuality, and Labour MPs called for him to be removed from the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission after it emerged that he had described Jews in Budapest as forming part of a "Soros empire".

However, the associate editor of the Spectator said "offence archaeologists" had searched online for comments made by Sir Roger and had taken "snippets out of context".

"People are trawling through everything they can find that he's written or said online, taking little snippets out of context and trying to blow them up," Mr Young told Julia Hartley-Brewer.



Mr Young was forced to resign from his role on the board of the Office for Students after a string of his old tweets were unearthed, including comments about women's breasts and sex acts.

"What he has been subjected to by these offence archaeologists is exactly what I was subjected to at the beginning of the year," he said.

He added that people shouldn't be excluded from roles in public life for holding views others may not disagree with.


'It's partly a function of age - he's 74'

Toby Young

"I don't think that someone should be excluded from participating in public life just beacuse they happen to not share my view.

"It's partly a function of age, he's 74. It's going to be quite difficult I think, to find any 74-year-old who in every respect tows the progressive line and wouldn't have said anything in their entire past or believe anything today that someone like Owen Jones wouldn't disapprove of.

"If we're going to hold people to that standard you're never going to be able to appoint anyone in their 60s, let alone their 70s, to any sort of position."