Rory Stewart: you were honest with the Tory Party about Brexit, now it’s time you were honest with yourself

Dear Rory, 

As the only person standing for the leadership of the Tory Party (“Conservative” must now surely be considered an oxymoron) who recognises how much damage Brexit will cause our country, I was saddened to see you knocked out of the contest yesterday. 

I will not go as far as saying I would vote for you; fundamentally I only vote for people who will stop Brexit and address the real problems in this country through root and branch reform of our own broken political system. However, I did very much respect your open and honest approach with Brexit supporters and the clear way in which you explained the fundamental problems that are yet to be addressed by this failing government.

Sadly your Party appears to have chosen to “believe in the bin” and are duly committing themselves to the trashcan of history. 

However, although I admire the honesty of your campaign, I also think you have been naïve. Although, you have recognised and communicated the problems of ‘no deal’ Brexit, the only solution you were able to offer was to ratify May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

Like many others, I don’t see the DUP, Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Lib Dems, Greens or ERG suddenly shifting position because of a People’s Assembly. However, even if you managed to get the deal through Parliament and avert ‘no deal’ in October, I believe this would only be a very short-lived stay of execution. Any such agreement would become the new rallying point of the Faragists and we would just face another battle to try to save a weaker agreement in which we are already relegated to being a rule-taker.

Fundamentally, I believe this is an attempt to appease the unappeasable. Such efforts actually only serve to undermine our work to crystallise support for a People’s Vote and rally opposition against the media-dominant isolationist agenda. 

We often speak of the 52% and the 48%. However, in 2016, nearly a third of people (28%) did not vote. I have a great deal of sympathy for this group; given the complexity of the issue and the lack of credible information, abstention was very understandable (even Richard Dawkins noted his own lack of qualifications to make a judgement).

However, three years of turmoil later, I am hopeful that many undecided voters can now recognise Brexit for the horrifying omnishambles that it is. At the same time, I am also confident that the young voters who have been enfranchised since 2016 would gladly take the opportunity to end this pointless self-destruction so that we can focus on addressing the global issues of entrenched inequality and the ensuing Climate Emergency.

We are running out of time to stop a ‘no deal’ catastrophe in October and your own brave efforts have been rejected by the Tory Party which instead steers our beloved country towards disaster. I hope that later today we hear of a spoiled ballot at 6pm, a toppled government before the end of July and we see you channelling your energy and talents into forging a new political consensus.

Kindest regards,

Jamie Dalzell

City Councillor, Cambridge 

* Jamie joined the Lib Dems in 2014 and was elected as City Councillor for West Chesterton in May 2018.

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