14 January 2010

Rory Stewart - 'Good' Tory MP?


A short burst of semi- automatic gunfire rings out from the bushes. ­Moments later, we pass a burned-out tank and a huddle of men in uniform; a gun sounds closer by and its shots echo from the fells. My walking companion, Rory Stewart, doesn't even flinch.

But then Stewart, who will almost certainly be the next MP for Penrith, is no ordinary fledgling politician. He relishes war-torn environments – he once, famously, walked across Afghanistan – and he is now spending six weeks walking through his future constituency. The gunfire here in ­Cumbria brings his old and new lives into unexpected collision: these ­soldiers are preparing for a war, in Helmand, that Stewart – from his ­experience of both Afghanistan and Iraq – does not think they can win.

When an army Land Rover pulls up and a suspicious pair of squaddies start asking why we are walking – on a public road – through the middle of Operation Green Enforcer, Stewart does not mention his time in Kabul. Nor does he explain that he has just become the local Conservative parliamentary candidate. The soldiers wouldn't believe him if he did. With an old North Face down jacket, MacPac rucksack and mud-splattered Berghaus boots – the kit that saw him through the mountains of central Afghanistan in midwinter – he looks more uppercrust eco-warrior than county Tory. In a constituency that once sent Willie Whitelaw and William Pitt the Younger to parliament, his arrival personifies the Cameron revolution. (cont with link...)

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive individual. Didn't think 'good' Tories* existed until I read about this guy.

    *I was brought up to believe ALL Tories were bad, very, very bad. 'Bad' like the Mail portrays immigrants, blacks and lefties. So that kind of indoctrination takes some un-doctrinating.