Daily Archives: November 8, 2009

Another Old Etonian Wanker Calls Me a Liar

Rory Stewart is getting the hang of being a Conservative politician; he has plainly learned that the first requirement is to lie through your teeth. Form today’s Independent on Sunday:

Once tutor to Princes William and Harry, Rory Stewart, in his latest incarnation as Conservative prospective candidate for Penrith, has found himself the unlikely subject of intrigue. Craig Murray, renegade former ambassador to Uzbekistan, claims in his blog that Stewart worked as an MI6 officer in Afghanistan. While it’s true Stewart was educated at Eton, received training from the British armed forces, and has yet to marry, the comparisons with James Bond appear to end there. “I’ve never met Craig Murray and I have no idea why he is saying this,” he tells me when I call, “It’s not just false but extremely dangerous. I’ve been doing charity work in countries where people are already at risk and his claims will only endanger them further.” Stewart’s father is even more succinct: “It’s bollocks.”


Let me be plain. Rory Stewart was an officer for Torturers’R’Us (formerly trading as MI6).

Now I know many MI6 officers personally and I know the identities of hundreds of them. But I have no intention of “Outing” them and, once retired, I am more than happy for them to tend their roses in Tonbridge Wells in all anonymity. But Stewart has entered politics and, in putting himself forward as a parliamentary candidate, he forfeits his right to conceal his history from the voters.

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Remembrance and Afghanistan

We have seen a real propaganda blitz for the last week, furiously attempting to shore up support for the war on Afghanistan. It is notable how many senior ex-military and even serving military senior officers have been before the television cameras to put forward the incredible rationale for killing Afghans in Afghanistan who are defending their farms – that it keeps Britain safer.

This is very dangerous. The military are not supposed to make political arguments, and certainly not to argue for wars. I wear my red poppy and attend remembrance events; I do so on the basis that those who died were serving their country and doing their duty as they saw it. I especially remember those who died to save this country from fascist invasion. If we start to see the army as a political force actively canvassing for aggressive war, in time that near universality of remembrance will fail.

Sky News has been particularly blatant today, with Sky reporters stating in terms that the number who turned out at the cenotaph shows that there is public support for the war in Afghanistan, whatever the polls may say. That is untrue. It shows there is public sorrow at the loss or maiming of young lives. If I were in London, I would be in the crowds in Whitehall as I usually am. It is nothing to do with supporting war.

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