In the UK, a generation of MPs shaped by Afghanistan

Tom Tugendhat spent much of the night from Tuesday to Wednesday August 25 waiting for news of an Afghan interpreter who hopes to evacuate on one of the last British flights from Kabul. The British Conservative deputy has spent days moving heaven and earth to obtain the exfiltration of this friend, whom he knew well in Afghanistan. The former military man spent four years there between 2005 and 2009, partly as a British soldier, partly as an assistant to the governor of Helmand province in the south of the country. ” Of course [le retour des talibans au pouvoir] it is something personal to me. He couldn’t have spent four years in Afghanistan without forging close ties with these people he met every day. “

His colleague Johnny Mercer, another Afghanistan veteran turned Conservative MP, also saw the current Western debacle in his flesh. “I was surprised to see how affected the veterans and I were. Soldiers are not used to this feeling of waste, regret, and sacrifice. “ Between 2006 and 2010, he was sent with British special forces three times to the country. Like Mr. Tugendhat, he is currently fighting to help Afghans obtain visas. “The British authorities need to verify their identity and I can help put them in contact with soldiers who knew them. “

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The Western defeat in Afghanistan served as a reminder that this conflict shaped a generation of British MPs. Eight deputies served there under the banners, marked by the heavy tribute of Her Majesty’s army: 457 killed and more than 2,200 wounded. Some are Conservatives, others Labor, two are currently secretaries of state, but all remain united by ties that go beyond political disputes.

Boris Johnson’s lightness

Mr Tugendhat, a conservative, is very close to Dan Jarvis, a Labor and former Afghan man. “We met in 2007 in Helmand. When I became a Member of Parliament [en 2015], AND [élu depuis 2011] it really helped guide me. I totally disagree with their policies, but the truth is that we are both trying to do the same thing: serve the British people to the best of our ability. “

For this parliamentary class, Boris Johnson’s unbearable lightness goes wrong. The British prime minister is the very embodiment of the “Westminster bubble”, having spent most of his life close to Parliament, from his role as an editorial journalist to his career plans with short-term calculations.

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Vince Fernandez

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