Friday, 22 January 2010

Walking the Walk

Come the next UK election, the Conservative Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the wild and rugged rural constituency of Penrith and the Border is Rory Stewart. So why is he appearing here? I'm not sure if Rory Stewart lives without a car, but in his diary in the Weekend FT last week, Stewart revealed that, “for the past month I have been walking through the constituency in order to better know its people and places.” Despite the weather (see previous posts) he kept on walking. Of course, his diary was a plug, timed to coincide with an upcoming tv programme, ‘The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia’ broadcast on BBC2. It made me watch, and I was glad that I did – it turned out to be the first part (second part this weekend) of a fascinating look at Lawrence, with more information on Stewart’s walking - which has included a 6,000 mile trek from Turkey to Baghdad, and a walk across Afghanistan. Stewart was clearly the right man for the Lawrence documentary, given that, in order to understand the locals, Lawrence had also been a walker, one epic being Constantinople to Krak des Chevaliers, the Crusader fortress in Syria. Politicians are prone to slipping into corporate-speak: some claim to talk the talk; others say that they walk the talk. But sadly, I don’t see that many who are willing to physically walk the walk.

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