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Paddy Ashdown: “the conflict in Mali is Islam vs. Islam”

Paddy Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, has penned a fantastic piece for today’s edition of The Times on the current conflict in Mali.

In it, he argues that the War on Terror in its current form “won’t be won by Western armies, but by helping moderate Muslim governments defeat extremism”. Click here to read it – as a former Royal Marine and Army Intelligence officer, and UN High Representative for Bosnia & Herzegovina, Paddy’s opinion on how to contain and defeat Islamic terrorism and insurgency is well-worth taking in.

To find out more about Lord Ashdown, or to book him as a speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at leo@chartwellpartners.com or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Launch of the 2012 Chatham House-YouGov survey

The third annual Chatham House-YouGov Survey was launched this week with a lively panel discussion including Paddy Ashdown, Jonathan Powell and Pauline Neville-Jones, moderated by Chatham House Director, Robin Niblett.

The survey, designed to analyse British attitudes to the UK’s international priorities, revealed much about popular sentiment towards British membership of the EU. 57% of the general public want a vote on EU membership, with 49% saying they would vote to leave.

The survey also revealed a disconnect between popular and elite attitudes towards the issue. Only 42% of ‘opinion formers’ said the government should commit to holding a referendum, while only 27% of the same group would vote to leave the Union.

Much of the discussion focused on the need for a coherent government vision to reconcile this divide, with Paddy Ashdown in particular lamenting the lack of leadership shown by the Coalition. It’s a pity not enough of us voted for him, he said mischievously.

To find out more about these speakers, or to book them for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at leo@chartwellpartners.com or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

“The Lords mustn’t be a retirement home for ex-MPs past their sell by date” says Paddy Ashdown

Lord Paddy Ashdown calls for reform to prevent the House of Lords becoming a “retirement home” for ex-MPs.” Writing in The Times, he cites the cash for honours scandal, he notes that the second chamber is highly politicised already and that second chambers are elected in the rest of the world. Finally, he challenges the Labour Party to live up to its manifesto promise of reforming the House of Lords.

Lord Ashdown certainly offers food for thought in discussing the current process of creating peers who have a unique mix of current knowledge to help assess legislation and check excessive governmental power.

To find out more about Lord Ashdown, or to book him as a speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at leo@chartwellpartners.com or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

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