The unfolding crisis in Iraq and Syria and the conflict with Islamic State may seem a world away on our TV screens – but for one man bidding to be Skegness’ new MP it is a matter on which he’s an expert.
Matthew Glanville, 38, could choose to return to the troubled region – with an offer on the table from the US Government.
Instead,the father-of-two has set his sights on turning to politics – and will apply to become the Conservative candidate for Boston and Skegness.
Matthew, whose family dates back hundreds of years in Welton Le Marsh, was a security advisor in Iraq – a civilian role that put him as the equivalent of a colonel in the US army. He had been a professional soldier with the British army, serving in Iraq in 2006-7 with the Green Jackets.
His experiences have seen him called on to talk about Islamic State on Sky News – and he feels the current issues can be traced back to 2010, when he saw first hand the simmering tensions between the Shias and Sunnis at a time when he feels both the Americans and British had taken their ‘eye off the ball’.
He feels the expected action from British and Americans should quell the rising threat – but feels while all eyes are on Iraq the threat could simply move elsewhere.
He said: “We tend to be a bit too short term. We took our eye off it. There’s a danger that the same thing will happen in Afghanistan.”
While that life may be completely different to that of an MP for this constituency, Matthew argues that his experiences as a solider would be worthy in the Commons – and feels that his military motivation is equally applicable to politics.
He explained: “Part of what motivates me is that sense of sacrifice - doing something meaningful and worthwhile. I’m not a career politician in that point of view.”
He first campaigned for Sir Peter Tapsell in Louth and Horncastle aged 14 and recently tried to become candidate for that constituency.
His wife Annunziata – sister of MP Jacob Rees – Mogg– herself weighed up a political career but famously refused to ‘de-posh’ her name to become ‘Nancy Mogg’ at the behest of the party leadership. She is now happy to pass the baton to her husband.
Although he admits to knowing more about the Skegness side of the constituency, he feels the change in Boston in the past 20 years is evidence of the need for a serious Government attention.
It’s this need for a fairer deal for this area that drives him most. He explained: “It’s about Lincolnshire, our area and other areas like it that are not getting the recognition I think we deserve from London. A lot of people have a slightly chocolate box view of the countryside. It’s a real issue. People in power in politicis see the countryside as somewhere to go on holiday.”
How can that change?
“It’s about shouting loud. Shouting smart and partly about making a common cause with other market towns,” he added.
He also says he would relish the contest with UKIP – which is expected to target the seat heavily – saying ‘bring it on’.
He feels the party has a point about Europe but not an answer to the questions they pose. He wants big reform to our relationship with Brussels and for Britain to be bolder and trade with other foreign markets.