Posted at June 23, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Keynote speaker Rory Stewart embarks on Hadrian’s Wall hike
Writing in the Financial Times,Rory Stewart, a British politician, historian and expert keynote speaker, describes how he found history in almost every step as he followed the path of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman-era fort in Northern England.
“I went out at first light. The farmhouse lay on a ridge, and I stood outside. The farm’s two collies seemed willing for a moment to leave their bald tennis ball and consider the view. Mist was rising from the river below, revealing the wall. Its rough stone face ran straight through the grass field – a border, drawn with a colonial ruler, cutting a landscape in two. A footbridge led up to Birdoswald fort, whose garrison had once been tall red-headed Dacians, from a homeland almost 2,000 miles away. But I could see nothing except the wallstone, and the fellside, scattered with Swaledale sheep, in a landscape where perhaps a hundred thousand people, from places stretching from Gaul to the Black Sea, had eaten olives, and gazed at the wet ground, and the scrub, and the distant line of hills, for 300 years.”
The Defence Select Committee was set up to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies. Rory will be replacing fellow Conservative MP James Arbuthnot, who announced in January that he was to step down in May. We wish Rory all the best with this new position!
For information on Rory’s speaking availability, please contact our Managing Partner, Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at email@example.com or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8000
Posted at March 31, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Watch Rory Stewart’s new BBC2 documentary – “Border Country”
Rory Stewart, best-selling author, former Harvard Professor and MP for Penrith and Border, has released a new documentary entitled “Border Country – the Story of Britain’s Lost Middleland,” which explores the identity and history of Cumbria, Northumbria, and the Borders.
Rory explains that the “documentary is an attempt to make sense of more than two thousand years of history. It describes a wall, far more brutal and long-lasting than the Berlin Wall; and a frontier which spawned a mafia society, more terrifying than anything ever seen in Sicily. It shows the ambition and aggression of English and Scottish Nationalism, and the horror which comes from borders. But most of all it is about the shared landscape, and culture, that still lies hidden beneath these divisions. It is a culture with Cumbria at its heart – a culture that encompasses all of what is now Southern Scotland and Northern England. And the only name I can find to describe it is ‘the Middleland.’”
Episode 2 will be shown on BBC2 this coming Sunday at 20.00 GMT. For more information, or to catch up with Episode 1, click here.
Posted at June 18, 2013, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Rory Stewart: “Iraq was Britain’s biggest ever blunder; we must learn the lesson of our failure”
In an interesting article in the Yorkshire Post, the politician, historian and adventurer, Rory Stewart reflects on the Iraq war; mistakes made and what can be learned looking forward to Syria.
Opening his discussion saying “The starting point for any discussion of Iraq has to be an acknowledgment that it was a failure and a scandal,” Rory aims to consider what Parliament, the Foreign Office and the Military are, how Britain “could get something so wrong”, and significantly, what lessons can be taken.
Rory suggests that problems with Iraq were a result of the wrong relationship with the local politicians, diplomats and civilians, and a lack of in-depth understanding of the country. In the light of current debates surrounding Syria, and acknowledging that ministers and politicians cannot be deep experts on these issues, he argues: “We therefore need to create a system that we can rely on in the Foreign Office, the military and the intelligence services.”