This morning on the Andy Marr Show’s sofa brought former diplomat and new recruit to the numbers of Tory PPCs, Rory Stewart. Here, apparently, is an ideal addition to Young Dave’s cause: Stewart is still young, despite his broad experience, he lives in a farmhouse in his prospective constituency (Penrith and The Borders), and has been thumpingly endorsed by another of those Open Primaries, winning with over half the votes cast.
More, he has a burgeoning career in broadcasting, where his recently aired short series on T E Lawrence and the Middle East was thought provoking and rewarding viewing. So it might be thought that, having done several more “real jobs” than many professional politicians, he would make an ideal MP.
That is, until you consider what makes up an MP’s life: the serving of the public purpose is balanced by the demands of the whips to be there for late night votes, with every public utterance subject to scrutiny and the inevitable call for collective discipline, particularly when things get tough. And tough they are likely to get if Young Dave is voted into 10 Downing Street.
Stewart comes over as a man of independent mind. So when this independence is put alongside the demands on today’s MPs, I do wonder if Rory is really ready.