I had the pleasure of listening to Paddy Ashdown give a talk last Tuesday. Whatever your politics, I was very impressed by his obvious intellect, knowledge of world affairs and his ability to recite poetry! He was there to promote a friend’s charity http://www.hopeandhomes.org/; a seemingly very worthwhile charity set up by an old Army pal of his. Please take a look at the website and read their story.
One of the most interesting points he made was about our homeland defence. He said, had he been asked when he was a young Commander serving in the Pacific in the 1970’s how we could protect our Nation from threat at home and overseas, he would have said, a larger Army, Navy and Airforce. How things have changed; he would now say a better Home Office!
These days the main threats to our society and country come from our food production, our water, fuel and electricity supplies, and the internet. , as the biggest threats are much closer to home and much more difficult to spot than a bomber flying low over London. He impressed on us that government needed to strip back the layers of top-down organisational structure and become a lot flatter and more collaborative in nature.
All in all it was a very interesting and informative talk, and not what I expected at all!