Could Rory be leader if he learns humility?

Could Rory be leader if he learns humility?


Is the sky the limit for the Penrith PPC?

There’s a lot been written in recent days about Rory Stewart who has just been selected as Tory PPC for the safe seat of Penrith.

By any standard he’s got an extraordinary CV and even went to Eton followed by Oxford which seems to be the standard background for so many.

But just read this from Anna van Praagh’s Sunday Telegraph profile: “Britain doesn’t make men like Rory Stewart any more. The former diplomat has trekked 6,000 miles across Asia; at 28, wrote a best-selling book, The Places in Between, about the walk; was governor of a province in Iraq at 29; and last year, as well as becoming a Harvard professor, was hailed by Esquire magazine as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. Brad Pitt has already bought the rights to his biopic. And he’s only 36…..

…. his impressive CV might strike fear into Cameron, whose own contains a comparatively drab seven years in the communications office at Carlton TV. But Stewart, who regrets asking a journalist earlier this year whether she thought he should become prime minister (“I was making a joke”), refuses to be drawn. “It would be unbelievably cheeky of me to presume to rise too quickly.”

It’s that’s last bit that worries me. We don’t like politicians who appear arrogant or who make presumptions and that Stewart comment was not wise. He’s got to learn to do humble.

I’ve not really been tempted by the next Tory leader markets that a number of bookies offer and both PaddyPower, and Ladbrokes have listed Stewart this morning.

To bet on this you need odds that reflect theat the outcome probably won’t be resolved for maybe another decade. But Stewart is likely to get a lot of media attention in the next few months and he’s probably the right generation for next Tory leader.

Could the next leader be another old-Etonian? I’ve no idea but at the right price it might be worth a punt.

Mike Smithson

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