Tag Archives: paddy ashdown

Paddy has Brexit campaigners floundering on Question Time

Paddy Ashdown has been in very combative form on the EU Referendum. Actually, the one debate I would love to see would be Paddy vs Boris. Our former leader would show up the Mayor’s vacuous, disingenuous rhetoric for what it is.

Paddy is truly getting out there and taking the fight right to Brexiteers in a way that nobody else has managed. He’s been pretty punchy on Twitter for the last few weeks:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 29 Comments

Paddy Ashdown gets stuck into EU Referendum debate

There are few people who understand how the world works better than our Paddy. He really gets how global power structures are changing and how vital it is that countries with liberal values work together, so it’s no surprise that he really wants us to vote to stay in the EU for our own and for international good.

I’m not quite sure why he’s chosen a Sunday afternoon in the Easter holidays to wade into the fray afresh with a cheeky tweet, but you can’t really argue with him on this.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

LibLink: Paddy Ashdown: Brexit would help those who seek to undermine UK security

Paddy Ashdown has made his voice heard in the row over whether being in the EU helps or hinders national security. It will come as no surprise to anyone that he thinks it helps.

First the broad principle:

My answer is clear. This, more than ever, is the time to stand with our friends in Belgium and across Europe. We must not allow the butchers of ISIS to divide us, and we must give short shrift, too, to those who want to use these attacks to divide our societies. This is no time for division. It is a time to understand why as Europeans we should stand together with our friends in Belgium in their suffering and resist both the racists and extremists of jihad, and the racists and extremists in our midst in their attempts to divide us. Our unity in Europe makes us safer, not weaker. Our solidarity is our best defense. Our pan-European institutions provide us with the means to diminish these threats; they do not, as some foolishly claim, make them worse.

And then the specifies:

Posted in LibLink | 5 Comments

What do you do when you see a disastrous exit poll? Eat your hat, of course

Paddy Ashdown has been talking to the Guardian about that moment when he first saw the exit poll on Election Night.

rally paddy 01

To be honest I saw the poll at the bottom of the screen about 10 seconds before Andrew Neil turned to me and I thought to myself ‘oh shit’,” he said.

“Then I had an option. I could either say ‘that’s very interesting and wouldn’t it be troublesome for us’, in which case the entire Liberal Democrat night would fall apart from thereon … or I could brave it out and say ‘I’ll eat my hat’.

“I have in fact eaten five hats altogether , including one that was a proper hat, although pretty miniature, the rest made of more edible substances, which people keep presenting me with.

He discussed the impact of the polls and suggested that they had a big impact on the result of the election.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 115 Comments

Paddy on “moral duty” to save starving Syrians

Paddy Ashdown has teamed up with Labour MP and former Oxfam staffer Jo Cox to make the case for urgent action to help not just those people suffering in Madaya but the 1 million Syrians suffering the effects of sieges. They wrote in the Telegraph:

The UN estimates that 400,000 people have been systematically denied food, medicine and water in medieval siege conditions in Syria: the real figure is probably nearer to one million. Meanwhile the Syrian Government plays grandmothers footsteps with the international community: besiege a city, wait for the political pressure to build, make limited or phoney concessions, and then, when everyone has lost interest, continue as before. Last year the UN made 91 requests of the Syrian government to secure humanitarian access across conflict lines. Less than a third of those have been approved. In total, only 13 cross-line convoys were completed.

Posted in Europe / International and LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Paddy: Tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia “a far greater danger” than ISIL

Paddy Ashdown has told the Independent that the growing tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the wake of the Saudi executions carried out over the weekend is “a far greater danger” than ISIL. He said that the UK Government should be robust about calling the Saudis out for their actions:

Lord Ashdown said Saudi Arabia’s sudden mass execution of prisoners – including the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and a number of young political protesters – may have been intended to derail the ongoing Syrian peace talks in Vienna.

These executions are deeply, deeply destabilising to the very delicate situation that exists in the Middle East and the danger of a wider Sunni and Shia conflict. The West, including the UK government, is only just realising the danger of this and its implications for long term peace in the region. It poses a far greater danger in the long term than, for example, Isil,” the former Lib Dem leader added.

The UK Government should be making it explicitly clear that it regards this act as extremely destabilising. These executions are shocking in human rights terms and reveal the real nature of the people with whom we are dealing. The UK’s stance underlines its deeply illogical position of ignoring the funding of jihadist groups, including Isil, which is coming from within Saudi Arabia.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

Vince Cable is working on a novel

According to the Daily Fail, Vince Cable is working on a novel, a political thriller:

Cable, 72, is already deep into the tome, having already bashed out 40,000 words.

It will apparently be a political thriller, set around a controversial arms contract affecting India and Britain. Details thus far are scant, but a friend informs me the prose will be quite ‘pared-back and spare’, in the style of Irish novelist William Trevor. Cable certainly has insight into Anglo-Indian relations, not just because he is a former government minister. His first wife Olympia, who passed away in 2001, was Goan. ‘I am indeed well advanced on a novel,’ Cable tells me sheepishly. ‘But there are a few hurdles before it gets to publication stage.’

Paddy Ashdown apparently had a 120,000 novel turned down for publication. We’d be happy to serialise it, of course…

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCaracatus 29th Apr - 11:15am
    If there is another coalition, it has to be on a different basis, that being that parties don't vote for things they don't support expect...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 29th Apr - 11:12am
    The truth is that there is little evidence that the Lib Dems did moderate the Conservatives. What emerges, (and is the point of this article)...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 29th Apr - 11:10am
    I am aware of this sad case. (I get messages from the Belfast Telegraph coming to my phone.) This lamentable situation is a product of...
  • User AvatarStuart Moran 29th Apr - 10:56am
    Jayne Of course what you say is right I think though that one of the advancements we have seen is that information is available to...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 29th Apr - 10:45am
    'Third – what a difference it might have made if all the LD Ministers from Clegg down had refused to use ministerial cars and walked/gone...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 29th Apr - 10:36am
    @Stevan Rose 'Bill Gates was a university drop-out, and Steve Jobs. ' Simon Callow was a drop-out from Queen's University, Belfast. Harold Macmillan went to...