This week’s Last Orders includes discussion on the late great Professor Sir Roger Scruton, knife crime, preventative policing, our Seventh Print Issue, and the Royal family.

 

Social Conservatism in the News

We were all deeply saddened to hear that Britain’s – and perhaps the world’s – leading conservative philosopher, Professor Sir Roger Scruton, passed away last Sunday. Sir Roger’s immense knowledge covered numerous fields, writing over fifty books. He contributed greatly to the world of academia, and indeed to life in general. With his knowledge, Sir Roger had helped to educate and inform many under the Soviet regime, ensuring the torch of Western civilisation continued to burn.

This came, of course, at great danger to himself. In more recent times, Sir Roger was faced with a witch hunt for apparent comments he had made in an interview for The New Statesman; though it was good to see Sir Roger’s name cleared and his job in government reinstated before his death. From the great number of academics, journalists and politicians who have expressed sorrow at his passing, it is easy to see the profound and good effect that he had on the world. May God rest his soul. A tribute from Douglas Murray in The Spectator is available HERE.

Knife possession offences in England have reached their highest point since records began back in 2007. This clearly demonstrates the urgent need for reform in our police and criminal justice system, namely the return of preventative foot patrols and punishing sentences (to name just a couple.) No major party – including the Tories – is promising to implement this, at great cost to this country. More information from the BBC available HERE. See our Tweet on this issue HERE.

On the topic of policing, Cambridge University has recently conducted an experiment on preventative foot patrols in the police force. In this, only four fifteen-minute patrols per day in underground stations in London managed to cut crime and disorder by twenty-one per cent. As well, a ‘phantom effect’ was reported whereby even when there were no patrols, crime had reduced exponentially as a result of previous police presence. Just think of the good it would do if each town, equipped with its own local police force branch, had policemen regularly patrolling on foot every day. 

The usual argument of a lack of funding and of resources may well be thrown against this argument – even though the police force was much smaller and inexpensive when foot patrols were prevalent. As well, the reduction in crime, as a result of foot patrols, would prove to be fiscally – and generally – beneficial to all, especially policemen who would not have to chase up an endless stream of crime. How long will it be until politicians and those in charge realise this? More information from the Daily Mail available HERE.

 

From the Mag

This week, we published Samuel Robert’s article on the defence of Brutalist architecture from the Culture Section of our Seventh Print Issue (which is now available for purchase.) In his article, Samuel sets out the role that Brutalism has played in Britian’s past, and highlights some notable critiques of the movement. Nevertheless, he concludes that we must be wary of tearing down the architecture of our predecessors too keenly – a phenomenon that has cost us plenty of traditional buildings in the past. Full article available HERE.

We also published Hermione Rose Peace’s article from the Views on the Left section of our Seventh Print Issue on the difficulties that modern female political leaders face on their quest for power. Hermione makes an interesting case for the particular challenges faced by Jo Swinson in the 2019 leadership election, and analyses how Theresa May was treated whilst she was in office. Full article available HERE.

More information about our Seventh Print Issue is available HERE.

 

Social Conservative Commentary

The Spectator have published a number of letter from various figures, such as Douglas Murray and Danial Hannan, remembering Sir Roger. There are some truly touching pieces in there, showing the kind nature of Sir Roger both as an academic and a human being.

Also in The Spectator, Rod Liddle has written an article criticising Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent decision to depart from their expected duties. Liddle illustrates the dislike these royal will get from patriotic Northerners, whose tax money will be sent to a couple of royals not keeping their side of the bargain. For these people still believe in the monarchy, as Liddle writes, they just wish it to be effective. Available HERE.

Commenting on the Duke and Duchess also, Peter Hitchens, writing for First Things, again puts forward his idea to keep the monarchy – as it is useful politically – but have no actual royal family. An odd suggestion perhaps, but Hitchens wants this as he sees it as the only way to save this historic and important institution. Available HERE.

 

Quote of the Week

The monarch, stripped of all ancient direct power, is now remarkably like the king on a chessboard – almost incapable of offensive action, but preventing others from occupying a crucial square and those around it.’

– Peter Hitchens, ‘The Strain on the British Monarchy’ First Things, 14/01/20. Available HERE.