Yesterday, the philosopher Roger Scruton lost his largely advisory position as the head of a UK housing commission on the grounds of allegedly anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and anti-Chinese statements cited in an interview by one George Eaton, published in the New Statesman. Douglas Murray comments:
It appeared that Scruton had said that Islamophobia is “a propaganda word invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to stop discussion of a major issue.” Which is true. He also said that “Anybody who doesn’t think that there’s a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts.” A fact which is also true.
Obviously since the British Labor party became a party of anti-Semites it has become exceptionally important to pretend that anti-Semitism is equally prevalent on the political right in Britain and that to criticize any of the actions of George Soros is in fact simply to indulge in anti-Semitism equivalent to that rolling through the Labor party. A very useful play for the political left, but wholly untrue. Anyway, I say “it appears” that Scruton said this because there seem to be a few journalistic problems here.
Though Eaton says that Scruton said the above I am not confident that this is so. Eaton . . . claims, for instance, that what Scruton said about Soros was in actual fact a quote “on Hungarian Jews,” as though Scruton had attacked all Hungarian Jews, rather than one very influential and political man who happens to be a Hungarian Jew.
Scruton’s remarks about Hungarian Jewry, it turns out, were quoted by Eaton—with liberal use of an ellipsis—from a speech Scruton had given in Hungary. A closer examination of the paragraph of the speech cited by Eaton shows that Scruton was expressing sympathy for Hungarian Jewish supporters of Soros and expressing his concerns over Hungarian anti-Semitism.