Politics On the Edge: The instant #1 Sunday Times bestseller from the host of hit podcast The Rest Is Politics
About this deal
Stewart’s account of his own crusade against a no-deal Brexit – leading him to eventually be ejected from the Conservatives – comes bearing a similar instinct to wallow in one’s doomed righteousness. Stewart now hosts the wildly popular podcast The Rest is Politics with former Labour spindoctor Alastair Campbell. He inspires fervent devotion from a particular brand of moderate – attracted to his eloquence and sanity. It is perhaps the most popular the man has ever been. It seems that Stewart's underlying discontent stems from his deep-seated faith in the system, a conviction that it possesses a grandeur and poetry perhaps beyond its reality.
Politics on the Edge: A Memoir From Within Politics on the Edge: A Memoir From Within
In a way, it is a great demonstration of the reality of the sad nature of modern (British) politics that it is structurally limited to be more inhibited by careerists and sycophants than by actually interesting and skilled leaders. That the politics is so separated from real life - through the parliamentary groupings and necessity to show loyalty to the whips, or by the generalist and extremely myopic nature of the modern civil service. Long passages in this chapter advocate for all the merits of the agreement – its sensitivity to Ireland, its best-of-both-worlds problem-solving. I find it convincing now as I found it convincing then. But her abject failure to interrogate, deeply, why Remainers and Leavers alike didn’t see promise in her arrangement is telling. She thinks they crashed her deal just “because they could” without considering that anyone might have good reason to.A searing insider's account of ten extraordinary years in Parliament from Rory Stewart, former Cabinet minister and co-presenter of breakout hit podcast The Rest Is Politics Stewart… is a writer and his first loyalty is to his readers. Most of them will share his despair at the small-time mediocrities who dominate modern politics. Almost all will appreciate the book’s viciousness, eccentricity, wit and intelligence The Times, *Book of the Week*
Politics On the Edge: A Memoir From Within - Goodreads
And a party that seeks to take down May rather than endorse her apparently ingenious Brexit deal completely confounds those who self-style as cool-headed rationalists. In short, the problem – as diagnosed by May and Stewart – is not in fact anything to do with the institutional “abuse of power” or the systematic eschewal of expertise. No, their problem is that the Conservative party does not specifically reward people like them. I don’t mean to make Politics on the Edge seem like the embittered rant of an also-ran, blaming everyone else for his own shortcomings: Stewart is unsparingly critical of himself, too, and well aware of his own eccentricities. The one disappointment is the ending. The book meekly tails off with Stewart leaving the Commons, and making a brief, half-hearted stab at becoming Mayor of London. What I wanted, at this point, was a thunderous climactic essay, in which the author tells us how the Tory party, and British politics in general, can be saved. But then, perhaps he simply doesn’t know. On the plus side, the book is often entertaining. Stewart vividly records his encounters with the key figures of his time, and while it’s not necessarily breaking news that David Cameron is a glib hypocrite, Boris Johnson a charming liar and Liz Truss a gibbering nitwit, it’s enjoyable to read fresh evidence of it. Particularly amusing are Stewart’s memories of Steve Hilton, the shoeless svengali of Cameron’s No10. During one visit of Downing Street, the author finds Hilton on the floor gazing at a map, murmuring: “F— me, look how big Scotland is. This is just f—ing mad, man.”
Over the past 13 years of Tory rule, the party has chaotically and destructively managed Britain’s exit from the European Union; sifted through five prime ministers; endured the paroxysm of madness under Liz Truss; been gripped by internecine warfare in the House of Commons; and shaken up its political identity countless times. Stewart presents himself as a bulwark against these trends; he focuses - perhaps to the detriment of his career in professional politics - on detail, understanding and compromise, while his contemporaries focus on sound bites, meaningless slogans and career enhancing immoral manoeuvres.