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Politics on the Edge by Rory Stewart


The Prime Minister that Britain so desparately needed but did not deserve.


The Britain Rory describes is completely broken. Every government department is wasteful and absurd, the ministers in charge helpless, hopeless and mostly uncaring of this fact. Discourse and dialectic is non-existent at the top of government. The soundbite rules and cognitive dissonance is the order of the day.


Rory is as intelligent, likeable and earnest a man as you will ever find. This is a remarkable tale of how he tried to bring about change but was, with a few minor exceptions, defeated by an unwritten constitution that deplores change.


His pen portraits of ministers and others he worked with add humour and colour to a story full of desparate frustration. Rory's defeat is our defeat. This exceptional man rowed as hard as he could against the tide of Tory populism and gave the majoirty of us a glimmer of hope during the dark days that began in Britain with the Brexit vote and continue to this day.


A man who love(d) British tradition (so much he joined the Tory party despite having little in common with most of them) will be remembered in our politics as having a career that can be described as that most British of things: a glorious defeat.


That is of course, assuming that his story is finished. Let's pray it is not.


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Someone needs to write a book like this about teaching. And when they do, they need to re-read this book first.

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