Scruton railway station in Yorkshire. Rosser1954 / CCA-SA 4.0 International

As has been widely reported (in some places with great alarm, which has amused us), in 2018 Sir Roger Scruton was appointed to head the British Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commision. The Commission was established to “promote better design and style of homes, villages, towns and high streets”.

Sir Roger has written widely, of course, on architecture, beauty, and the sins of modern urban and rural development. But it’s not just a reaction to the ugly; his views, the product of deep, rigorous thinking over many years, are based on a fundamental recognition of the human need to belong, to find ‘home’.

An excerpt from Sir Roger Scruton‘s latest contribution (bp) to the Spectator points briefly to this:

Our need for belonging is part of what we are and it is the true foundation of aesthetic judgment. Lose sight of it and we risk building an environment in which function triumphs over all other values, the aesthetic included. [Italics added]

Legal obligations prevent us from reproducing the entire essay, but we recommend it.

In the meantime, let us all remember this ‘need for belonging’and let us not neglect such a subtle, fragile thing when we engage in the political.