The witch-hunt culture.
Three years ago the distinguished biochemist Sir Tim Hunt, recipient of the Nobel Prize, Fellow of the Royal Society and one of the jewels in the crown of British science, made a casual remark, during a speech at a conference of science journalists, which seemed to imply that women and men might not be equally suited to a scientific career. The remark was tweeted, and the mob got to work on it. Very soon Sir Tim found himself forced out of his position as honorary Professor at University College London, reprimanded by the Royal Society, hounded in the press, and subjected to a hate campaign on social media. Eventually he and his wife (a scientist of the same rank as himself) left the country to work in Japan.
This deplorable episode is one of many, in which a person’s character, career and livelihood have been attacked in punishment for a thought-crime. Social media make matters worse, of course. But it would be wrong to put the blame wholly on the ease with which malice and ignorance can now extend their reach across the Internet. We must also take account of political correctness, which both promotes hatred and also excuses it.
1968: Radicals and Riots
Start the Week
Fifty years after radicals took to the streets of Paris and stormed campuses across the Western World, Andrew Marr unpicks the legacy of 1968.
Listen to the podcast HERE
Patrick Wright meets the philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, who argues that the EU has encroached on the fundamentals of Englishness: the landscape, and the common law.
And he hears from others who question the idea that the European Union has encroached in this way, including Martha Spurrier, the Director of Liberty, author Robert Winder, and Greg and Teresa Malciewicz, editor and publisher of UK-based Polish-language weekly New Time.
Producer: Phil Tinline.
Listen back HERE
Roger Scruton looks at the impact of Harry Potter on our world view.
"People are starting to live in a kind of cyber-Hogwarts", he says, "a fantasy world in which goods are simply obtained by needing them, and then asking some future Prime Minister to wave the magic wand".
Listen to the podcast HERE
Roger Scruton asks: "What does the Tory Party really stand for?"
He says the Conservative party at present is muddling along without a philosophy.
But he argues that, far from being the 'nasty party', the most fundamental belief underpinning Conservative policies historically is the idea of responsibility towards others.
Producer: Adele Armstrong. Listen to the Podcast HERE
Read the transcript HERE
On Tuesday afternoon, Roger spoke to Jay Nordingler. You can listen to the Q & A here.
James Delingpole interviewed Roger in June and here is the podcast.
In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, John J Miller, Roger explains how his short volume differs from Edward O. Wilson’s influential book of the same name, whether human nature ever changes, and how science has the potential to dehumanize.
Frauds of the left, Siblings. Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio 4 (Dec 25)
'Frauds' of the Left: Laurie Taylor examines the intellectual credibility of key thinkers of the New Left. Roger Scruton, argues that the modern academy is gripped by a form of 'group think' which fails to challenge the positions of theorists such as Michel Foucault and Antonio Gramsci. Has left wing fashion trumped credible argument? They're joined by Mark Fisher, Lecturer in Visual Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
In almost every public place today the ears are assailed by the sound of pop music. In shopping malls, public houses, restaurants, hotels and elevators the ambient sound is not human conversation but the music disgorged into the air by speakers - usually invisible and inaccessible speakers that cannot be punished for their impertinence.