40 min

Rory Stewart Private Passions

    • Music

Diplomat, Soldier, Explorer, Politician, Academic – Rory Stewart defies easy labels. By his own admission, his identity is complicated: he describes himself as “a Scot, born in Hong Kong and brought up in Malaysia”. After Eton, he went on to Oxford and to the Diplomatic Service, but then abandoned this conventional career path and spent two years walking across Afghanistan and Iran. He became a deputy governor in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, and then ten years later entered British politics as a Tory MP, serving under both Cameron and May, and finally making a bold bid to become Party Leader and Prime Minister. When Boris Johnson won the election in 2019 he resigned, and threw his hat into the ring to become the new London mayor. After that contest was delayed by Covid, he left politics, and indeed left the country; he now teaches international relations and politics at Yale University.

In conversation with Michael Berkeley, Rory Stewart reveals that he feels nothing but relief at leaving politics behind. He looks back at the years he spent in Afghanistan and wonders how much of that work will survive, and he explains why he’s now moving with his young family to Jordan. Music choices take him back to his father, who often sang to him, and to his travels in the Borders and in Iran. He talks too about his search for religious belief, a yearning expressed by a Bach cantata; and why above all we must continue to hope – not despair – about the future.

A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 3
Produced by Elizabeth Burke

Diplomat, Soldier, Explorer, Politician, Academic – Rory Stewart defies easy labels. By his own admission, his identity is complicated: he describes himself as “a Scot, born in Hong Kong and brought up in Malaysia”. After Eton, he went on to Oxford and to the Diplomatic Service, but then abandoned this conventional career path and spent two years walking across Afghanistan and Iran. He became a deputy governor in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, and then ten years later entered British politics as a Tory MP, serving under both Cameron and May, and finally making a bold bid to become Party Leader and Prime Minister. When Boris Johnson won the election in 2019 he resigned, and threw his hat into the ring to become the new London mayor. After that contest was delayed by Covid, he left politics, and indeed left the country; he now teaches international relations and politics at Yale University.

In conversation with Michael Berkeley, Rory Stewart reveals that he feels nothing but relief at leaving politics behind. He looks back at the years he spent in Afghanistan and wonders how much of that work will survive, and he explains why he’s now moving with his young family to Jordan. Music choices take him back to his father, who often sang to him, and to his travels in the Borders and in Iran. He talks too about his search for religious belief, a yearning expressed by a Bach cantata; and why above all we must continue to hope – not despair – about the future.

A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 3
Produced by Elizabeth Burke

40 min

Top Podcasts In Music

More by BBC