Rory Threatens Political Come Back in Paterson By-Election

Rory Stewart told Reaction last night that he’s considering a none-awaited political come back, potentially in the forthcoming by-election to replace Owen Paterson up in Shropshire. The former MP was touted as a unifying anti-corruption candidate a la Martin Bell if the other parties put their partisan differences aside to defeat the Tories, however both Labour and the LibDems have confirmed they will be standing. Would be a prime opportunity for some personal PR boosting though…

mdi-timer 10 November 2021 @ 12:35 10 Nov 2021 @ 12:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
MPs Retract Their Effusive Praise for Biden Over Afghanistan

Guido’s old enough to remember when everyone (see: Twitter) thought Joe Biden’s election would usher in a new era of global leadership. Gone were the days of bluster and chaos. The adults were in the room again – America was back. Even a few notable Tory MPs heralded the return of ‘business as usual’ in Washington: Tobias Ellwood told everyone to “buckle up” because “US leadership is returning to the global stage“; Tom Tugendhat insisted the so-called special relationship is “founded in a shared vision of the world“; Neil O’Brien welcomed Biden’s election as a “renormalisation” of politics. Apparently even Downing Street was relieved – life was about to get so much easier…

Seven months later, and the story is quite different. Ellwood is now lamenting the “demise” of the special relationship, and scratching his head over the premature collapse of America’s great “new chapter”. Tom Tugendhat, of course, appeared in the chamber last week to deride Biden’s withdrawal as “shameful”. Former Tory MP Rory Stewart is also furious, despite calling Biden’s inaugural address “deeply reassuring and profoundly needed“. No one’s managed to outplay Labour’s Chris Bryant yet, who’s gone from nominating Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize to calling Afghanistan “the worst UK foreign policy disaster since Suez“. As though Biden had nothing to do with it…

Obviously the usual suspects also have some explaining to do. Sir Keir’s claim that Biden has “always shared Labour’s values” doesn’t quite wash with the ‘deep concern‘ he expressed last week. Likewise, Ed Davey and the LibDems might want to ask whether America’s “turning of a page” meant millions of Afghans would soon be “fearing for their lives“…

mdi-timer 23 August 2021 @ 13:36 23 Aug 2021 @ 13:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rory Stewart Argued for Britain & America to Withdraw from Afghanistan in a Ted Talk

Rory Stewart spent last week on BBC, LBC, and Twitter slamming Britain and America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, yet a quick browse through the archives shows that the former infantry officer himself had questions over the West’s role in Afghanistan.

In a Ted Talk delivered in 2011, Stewart said:

“Why are we still in Afghanistan one decade later? Why are we spending $135 billion? Why have we got 130,000 troops on the ground? Why were more people killed last month than in any preceding month of this conflict? How has this happened?” 

Throughout the talk Stewart implied that the war had been going on for too long and that Britain and America needed to change their approach. He makes a cogent case for US/UK pulling out. It’s a very different case to the one he makes now, mind you. Rory’s Ted Talk was an intelligent critique of staying in Afghanistan, so why the flip-flop? He hasn’t explained his reversal of position… 

mdi-timer 23 August 2021 @ 11:29 23 Aug 2021 @ 11:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rory Stewart and Mehdi Hasan’s Afghanistan Bust Up

While the long-awaited return of a physical audience to Question Time was underwhelming, we did at least get a decent bust-up between Rory Stewart and Mehdi Hasan. With Hasan backing Biden’s move, Rory laid into the MSNBC presenter with so much anger he later apologised on Twitter for the outburst.

After Rory resorted to asking Hasan when he last visited Kabul, he spat back “When you were in Afghanistan Rory, did you go talk to the families of the people we killed?” Shame there wasn’t a proper audience to witness the bust up…

mdi-timer 19 August 2021 @ 10:38 19 Aug 2021 @ 10:38 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
The Establishment Has Had Enough of Experts

Former Tory Leadership and London Mayoral candidate Rory Stewart has re-appeared in the national conversation today, reminding everyone of his lone calls for the Government to do more to suppress the virus weeks before the lockdown came about. In the wake of Professor Ferguson saying that locking down a week earlier could have halved Britain’s death toll, Stewart’s armchair epidemiology is not looking bad after all…

Unlike many partisan snipers, Stewart told the Today Programme this morning that “the Government was absolutely doing I think what the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer were telling them to do”. SAGE scientists unanimously opposed Covid suppression measures as late as mid-march, concluding:

“SAGE was unanimous that measures seeking to completely suppress spread of Covid19 will cause a second peak. SAGE advises that it is a near certainty that countries such as China, where heavy suppression is underway, will experience a second peak once measures are relaxed.”

Last night Stewart tweeted a BBC interview with Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries from 10 March, fervently disagreeing with Stewart’s calls for a shutdown , saying the Government’s response is “founded entirely on scientific advice”. We’ve reached the bizarre point where a consensus is building that the Government relied too much on experts from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best…

mdi-timer 11 June 2020 @ 09:01 11 Jun 2020 @ 09:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rory Walks… out of London Mayoral Race

After sleeping with as many Londoners as possible, Rory Stewart has just announced – in a yet to be released Evening Standard interview – that he is pulling out of the London Mayoral Election (which, of course, is not currently happening due to the Coronavirus). More to follow…

UPDATE: An email just sent to supporters explains:

“I am afraid it does not seem sensible in the context of Coronavirus to try to sustain our independent campaign for another year towards a delayed election.

I want to thank you particularly for your belief and professionalism. We really achieved something remarkable – probably the most successful and engaged independent movement in recent British political history – and I am only sorry that Covid prevented us bringing all that energy and passion into the 2020 election.”

mdi-timer 6 May 2020 @ 10:24 6 May 2020 @ 10:24 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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