Jeremy Hunt: The Last Cameroon: The Foreign Secretary Is on a Mission to Unite His Fractured Party-And the Country

By Cowley, Jason | New Statesman (1996), April 18, 2019 | Go to article overview

Jeremy Hunt: The Last Cameroon: The Foreign Secretary Is on a Mission to Unite His Fractured Party-And the Country


Cowley, Jason, New Statesman (1996)


In public, Jeremy Hunt, who is tall and slim, with wide eyes and a boyish, grown-out buzz cut, tends to wrap his right arm across his body so as to hold his stiff left arm just above the cuff. It's as if he were worried about the arm making rapid, involuntary movements, like something out of Dr Strangelove. His father, Sir Nicholas Hunt, was a senior Royal Navy officer, and there's a remarkable calmness as well as something seigneurial in Hunt's bearing and public persona.

In person, Hunt speaks precisely and maintains eye contact. Unlike Theresa May, he does not appear awkward when speaking in public or taking questions from the media. Unlike some politicians, he's not a tyrannical monologist: he asks questions and listens. "He is considerate and remembers things about you that matter," says Tim Montgomerie, the founder of the ConservativeHome website.

Educated at Charterhouse, where he was head boy, Hunt went up to Oxford in the mid-1980s as the postwar Keynesian consensus was unravelling. There he was a contemporary of Boris Johnson and David Cameron and head of the Conservative Association. He took a first in PPE and was, in his self-description, a "libertarian firebrand". In his twenties, he went to live and work in Japan, where he learned the language which he speaks with accomplished, idiomatic fluency. A multimillionaire entrepreneur --he earned 15m [pounds sterling] in 2017 from the sale of Hotcourses, an educational listings company he co-founded with old friend Mike Elms--Hunt is the richest member of the cabinet

On 10 January, Hunt was the principal speaker at a lunch hosted by the Hong Kong Association at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London. He began his speech (I was present as a guest of his team) with a self-deprecating joke, recalling the bizarre moment on an official visit to China last summer when he told his hosts that his charming Chinese wife, Lucia Guo, with whom he has three young children, was in fact Japanese. Before making the gaffe, Hunt had been speaking in Japanese to the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, but his comment left his hosts bewildered.

The questions after his speech were less about Hunt's optimistic vision of a buccaneering open trading nation than about the destabilising effects of the shambolic Brexit process on business. He answered them--reiterating his vision of a tolerant and international Britain--and was then hurried on to the next appointment, a meeting with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at Downing Street.

The next time we met was on the morning of 31 January, at RAF Northolt, from where we flew to Bucharest for the biannual Gymnich informal gathering of EU foreign ministers. He was accompanied on the trip by Lucia and his advisers. I was the only journalist present.

Hunt has an emollient style. He is courteous, a confident speaker and follows agreed briefing positions. During our two days together in Bucharest, he beguiled his Romanian hosts by prefacing each encounter--whether it was with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, President Klaus Iohannis at Cotroceni Palace, London Stock Exchange group staff at an official reception, or journalists at a round table discussion on media freedom to which I contributed--with expressions of respect and understanding. He often began conversations thus: "If you were a Martian looking at Romania compared to 30 years ago, you'd say it's one of the countries that's most changed in the world. But ..."

There was always a "but" as Hunt nudged and mollified but also made his point. For instance, at the round table on press freedom, he listened to journalists' anxieties about creeping censorship and authoritarianism in Romania and promised to discuss them with Prime Minister Dancila, which he did but in his own circuitous manner: first he thought his way into her position (she has a fractious relationship with President Iohannis, an ethnic German who represented the rival National Liberal Party), remarked on how much Romania had changed since the Ceausescu dictatorship (a Martian coming to earth was mentioned) and only then raised the matter of media censorship in the EU's most easterly country, which is also a Nato member. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Jeremy Hunt: The Last Cameroon: The Foreign Secretary Is on a Mission to Unite His Fractured Party-And the Country
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.