This is from the March issue of Total Politics
Kwasi Kwarteng, Conservative MP for Spelthorne and member of the transport select committee is an unabashed academic, who, in 2011 alone, published three books.
The restaurant Chabrot Bistrot D’Amis
A high-class but intimate classic French bistro, hidden up a discreet alleyway around the corner from Knightsbridge station.
Starter Finely sliced raw beef, truffle dressing, marinated salmon, black radish salad.
Main course Sirloin steak with maître d'hôtel butter, monkfish with carrots.
We drank Two glasses of Château des Antonins.
Achievements by 2015 That's only three years away. I’m probably going to write other books about policy; I’m interested in certain aspects of foreign affairs. I’m very interested in the economic crisis. And I want to be known as someone who has a thorough understanding and appreciation of my constituency.
Trips to the British Library No, it’s not true I go most days. In the mornings I might go if the House isn’t sitting. If I’m writing a book I’ll go in recess a lot. I might do a morning a week there.
Selective education The abolition of grammar schools was a travesty. They genuinely allowed people from more disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity of a first-class education. It’s striking that none of the councils that kept them want to get rid of them; people are quite happy with the idea of having selective schools for sports. The idea of a footballing school of excellence people don’t have a problem with, but, bizarrely, academic ability seems to be a taboo. That's crazy. Other countries don’t work like this.
US power decline We can say, looking back over the last 12 years, that America has declined relatively in its economic and foreign affairs role. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. In the next 12 years, I can see America bouncing back. It’s a very resilient, resourceful country. They can decide – as I think Obama is deciding – that their role isn’t to police the world. They can be ‘small c’ conservative about their overseas commitments and the economy could start growing again. If they sustain that for ten years, you could easily see America in a much stronger position in relation to the rest of the world than it is today. Conversely, you can see a world where they’ve fallen even further behind.
The Union Like a lot of younger Tories, I want to hear the debate. On balance, I think we should stay as a united country, but if the Scots really want to leave, I could see the rest of Britain doing fine without them. Around 30 years ago the average Conservative MP was much more viscerally attached to 'Great Britain' than today. And also the Scots have driven a lot of the agenda. The SNP has talked about Independence, and people down south probably think, "If they don’t want to be part of us, then bugger off. Let them go".
Future plans Over the next 12 months I want to spend more time in the House of Commons. I spent a lot of time there when I first got elected, and then kind of went off it. I had other things: I wrote the books – I was doing lots of different things with different groups – but I'd like to spend more time in the Chamber. What goes on there is very important. It's where the laws are passed, where the public discussion happens.
Perfect for Fans of great French cooking who are looking for an intimate, classy lunch or dinner.
Not suitable for Anyone hoping to be seen. The restaurant is tucked away from the main street.
Starters begin at £5.50, main courses at £16.50.
To book a table at Chabrot in Knightsbridge, visit www.chabrot.co.uk or call 020 7225 2238