Britain was now, perhaps had always been, a place in hectic motion. A country that we were told had closed its industries and gone big into banking. A place that was now gambling on a new existence outside the European Union, and a closer relationship with China, at a time when the old political orders seemed ever more fragile, and energy security and food security ever less secure. An economy 80 per cent based on elusive intangible services; buoyed by an improbable housing bubble, and entirely dependent for its health and care on immigrants, whom citizens seemed to wish to exclude
I am not going to lie to you, I did not know much about Rory Stewart before reading this book and I am not sure I know everything there is to know afterwards. I really only knew him as the 'prison's guy' in politics because all I ever saw him talk about were the prisons - and in my humble opinion, he didn't do a bad job. He is not someone I hold a virtiolic hatred for like say, some politicians who's first names are Boris and last names are Johnson. But he is a guy who somewhat remained in the shadows for me and so, here it comes: an eye-opener of a book. And who knew he was a comedian, hey?
In the prologue, Stewart outlines what is horribly wrong about the current state of affairs with parliament, basically laying the tories bare to criticism and saying that they are being criticised for good reason. I feel like he seems to know more about this because of the fact he was on the inside. He makes a brilliant judgement of how the conservative party basically screwed everything up and, are actually continuing to screw things up. However, he also in one line pits himself as a reasonable replacement where I would actually say: well, nobody from that party really need to be in power, even if they aren't a lying, thieving p.o.s like the others. It was a moment for me but it was also an incredible prologue.
As we get into the book, we more than often get discussions about how he once walked 25 miles back and forth from somewhere and climbed some small mountains and did all the things that made you think: this is a politician? Normally, the image we associate with a politician is a bright blonde and stupid mop of hair sitting on his lazy a** trying to discuss how to make the lives of the working people better despite having never actually met any working people due to the folks around him. I'll stop throwing low punches at Boris when everyone else does.
Rory Stewart describes his rise to parliament in a series of confusions and confoundments where he seems to be surprised that he won things despite being the son of an esteemed politician and attending one of the most expensive boarding schools in the country. Having conveniently missed that part out to harp on about his walking and climbing, his travelling and living in his aunt's basement - he makes it seem like his life was difficult. The problem for us regular folks is that when you read this book, you realise it actually was. He had a hard time fitting in amongst the posh toffs at the top jobs who had been working there for some time - the level of intimidation he faced honestly would have sent me packing a long time before I would hide out in a bathroom with my head in my hands as he described he once did. I believe that this might be the rarest form of human being in England: an honest conservative.
The energetic black comedical farce of parliament is saved for familiar names like John Bercow and David Cameron. Whilst poking fun at some of the last decade's goverment's most infamous liars, Rory Stewart also injects his own position, describing how he was more than disrespected, ridiculed and kind of pushed around by the bullies of the benches. As he keeps pushing through the system, we see his tone about the political atmosphere become bleaker but not lose any of its comedic shine. He describes the circus of England's government of a load of mistakes, useless promises and ineffective human beings and the face of each one of them being a Prime Minister who was more monstrous than the last.