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  Lewes Speakers Festival 2017
21st, 22nd and 23rd July 2017
At The All Saints Centre Lewes
 Friday 21st July 2017


Jonty Driver s

Jonty Driver
Some Schools
Friday 21st July 16.45 - 18.00
A former Master of Wellington College, C J ('Jonty') Driver was for many years a teacher in Africa, Hong Kong and England. He led comprehensive, international and independent schools. He was President of the National Union of South African Students in 1963 and 1964, and was held in solitary confinement under Ninety Day Detention by the South African police in 1964.
Refused the renewal of his passport whilst a postgraduate student at Oxford, he became stateless before getting British citizenship, though he remained a prohibited immigrant in South Africa until 1991. He taught at a number of British schools and became Master of Wellington College (1989-2000). In this talk he draws on his life experience both in and out of the classroom and as leader of some of the UK’s most interesting and distinguished academic institutions and he suggests a way forward.
Sir Anthony Seldon describes this as an ‘important book which should be read by all who care about schools. No one else has had such a combined impact on politics, schools and literature. It is a remarkable story.’
Q & A session will follow.
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Polly Toynbee David Walker s
Polly Toynbee and David Walker
Dismembered: How the attack on the state harms us all
Friday 21st July 18.30 - 19.45
The state houses us, educates us, employs us and protects us on the street and in the wider world. It is the country we created together, and a part of our national identity. However, in recent years there has been a systematic and covert attack on the state that has turned us all against it – the government have depleted funding and resources, and mounted an ideological assault on the public sector through the media. Toynbee and Walker report on this having travelled around Great Britain gathering the voices of the people who make up the state: nurses and patients, teachers and parents, policemen and civilians.
The story they tell is one of dismemberment across our nation state: a fragmented NHS, a reduced police force, divided schools and a vulnerable military. This talk lays bare the deliberate dismantling of the public sector and its consequences. Our post-Brexit well-being and prosperity are now at stake.
Polly Toynbee is a columnist for the Guardian. She was formerly BBC social affairs editor, columnist and associate editor of the Independent, co-editor of the Washington Monthly and a reporter and feature writer for the Observer.
David Walker is contributing editor to the Public Leaders Network and former director of public reporting at the Audit Commission.
A Q & A session will follow.
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Lynn Knight s

Lynn Knight
The Button Box: The Story of Women in the 20th Century Told Through the Clothes They Wore
Friday 21st July 20.15 – 21.30
A wooden box holds the buttons of three generations of women in Lynn Knight’s family – each one with its own tale to tell...
Tracing the story of women at home and in work, from the jet buttons of Victorian mourning, to the short skirts of the 1960s, taking in suffragettes, bachelor girls, little dressmakers, Biba and the hankering for vintage, The Button Box lifts the lid on women’s lives and their clothes with elegance and wit.
Lynn Knight is interested in the larger narratives behind ordinary lives, most particularly the lives of women and in everyday objects as repositories of memory and history and in women’s relationship with their domestic space. She teaches fiction, autobiography and memoir at City Litᅠin London, and has also taught at the Womenメs Library, Charleston and the Geffrye Museum, as well as running independent literature courses.
A Q & A session will follow.
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Saturday 22nd July 2017


Peter Clark

Peter Clark
Damascus Diaries: Life Under the Assads
Saturday 22nd July 10.00 - 11.15
When Peter Clark arrived in Damascus 1992 to open the new British Council office, he was not to know that the next five years were to give him a unique window into the upper echelons of Syrian society in the last few years of Hafez Al-Assad's rule. He witnessed the dramas and routines of everyday life played out against the backdrop of the world's oldest continually inhabited city on the eve of collapse into civil war. Enchanting and alarming by turns, everyday events combined to paint a vivid and almost nostalgic picture of life in this remarkable city.
Dr. Peter Clark OBE is a writer and consultant. For thirty years he worked for the British Council in Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Syria. He has translated eight works by contemporary Arab writers including fiction by Muhammad al-Murr and Liana Badr. He is a Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
A Q & A session will follow.
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Paul Beaver

Paul Beaver
Saturday 22nd July 11.45 – 13.00
Beaver’s journey to understand the significance of the Supermarine Spitfire as a national icon started in 2012. In this presentation, he will explain why the perceived history of the design and development of the Spitfire is flawed and why we should look again at this ground-breaking machine. He will identify the real heroes who have remained unsung for eight decades and explain how some heavyweight political capital was spent by some unlikely people to make the Spitfire happen at all.
Paul Beaver is a historian, broadcaster and commentator as well as an historic aeroplane pilot who has been flying the Spitfire since 2012. He lives near Salisbury and coordinates the air display at the Chalke Valley History Festival.
A Q & A Session will follow.
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Tom Mangold s

Tom Mangold
Splashed!: A Life from Print to Panorama
Saturday 22nd July 13.30 – 14.45
Tom Mangold is known to millions as the face of BBC TV's flagship current affairs programme Panorama and as its longest-serving reporter. Splashed! is the 'antidote to the conventional journalist's autobiography' - a compelling, hilarious and raucous revelation of the events that marked an extraordinary life in journalism.
Mangold describes his National Service in Germany, where he worked part-time as a smuggler, through his years in the 1950s on Fleet Street's most ruthless newspapers, a time when cheque book journalism ruled and shamelessness was a major skill. Recruited by the BBC, he spent 40 years as a broadcaster, developing a reputation for war reporting and major investigations.
From world exclusives with fallen women in the red-top days to chaotic interviews with Presidents, Splashed! offers a rare glimpse of the personal triumphs and disasters of a life in reporting, together with fascinating revelations about the stories that made the headlines on Mangold's remarkable journey from print to Panorama.
A Q & A Session will follow.
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Alan Munro

Sir Alan Munro
The Lighter Side of Diplomacy
Saturday 22nd July 15.15 - 16.30
This is an insightful and entertaining account of a lively British diplomatic career in the post-colonial period.  Munro gives a flavour of the escapades and encounters which Sir Alan and his wife experienced in the course of thirty-five years in diplomacy in the Middle East, Africa and South America, and at home too. The narrative ranges from the 1991 Gulf War, the Iranian Revolution and the running sore of Palestine through a gallery of African despots to the furore over the arrival of Ronald Biggs in Brazil. All this is set against a half-century of post-imperial adjustment in Britain’s foreign policy, in which withdrawal from a global role is offset by an overriding concern, shared with western partners, to counter the extension – political and economic as well as military – of Soviet/ Marxist influence across a fractious world.
Sir Alan Munro’s career has involved posts ranging from: Head of the Diplomatic Services’ East African and Middle Eastern Departments during the Iranian Revolution;  being in charge of UK defence cooperation with Middle Eastern states;  Ambassador to Algeria and later Ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. He is a Director of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce.
A Q & A Session will follow.
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Roy Hattersley s

Roy Hattersley
The Catholics: The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day
Saturday 22nd July 17.00 - 18.15
Throughout the 300 years that followed the Act of Supremacy – which, by making Henry VIII Head of the Church, confirmed in law the breach with Rome – English Catholics were prosecuted, persecuted and penalised for the public expression of their faith. Even after the passing of the emancipation acts, Catholics were still the victims of institutionalised discrimination. 
In this talk, Hattersley tells their story. He focuses on the lives, and sometimes deaths, of martyrs and apostates, priests and laymen, converts and recusants and the changes in dogma and liturgy by which Rome increasingly alienated their Protestant neighbours – and sometimes even tested the loyalty of faithful Catholics.
The survival of Catholicism in Britain is the victory of moral and spiritual unbending certainty. Catholicism survives because it does not compromise.
Roy Hattersley served in Jim Callaghan's cabinet and later became Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1983 until 1992
A Q & A session will follow.
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Coline Covington s

Coline Covington
Everyday Evils
Saturday 22nd July 18.45 - 20.00
In this talk Covington takes a psychoanalytic look at the evils committed by "ordinary" people in different contexts – from the Nazi concentration camps to Stockholm Syndrome to the atrocities publicized by Islamic State – and presents new perspectives on how such evil deeds come about as well as the extreme ways in which we deny the existence of evil.
Group behaviour, morality and forgiveness are considered. She explains how we demonize the "other" and how violent actions become normalized within communities, such as during the Rwandan genocide and Polish pogroms. The recent attraction of the Islamic State also highlights our fascination with violence and death.
This presentation blends psychoanalysis with sociology, history, and other studies of violence in order to develop a richer understanding of evil. Intending to make the unthinkable thinkable, this will appeal anyone who has ever asked the question: "How could anyone do something like that?
Dr Coline Covington is a senior Jungian analyst and psychotherapist with over 25 years of clinical experiences. She is former Chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council and Supervisor of the Society of Analytical Psychology, the British Association of Psychotherapists, and the London Centre of Psychotherapy.
A Q & A session will follow.
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Jenni Murray s

Jenni Murray
A History of Britain in 21 Women: A Personal Selection
Saturday 22nd July 20.30 - 21.45
‘I was ten years old when I came across Boadicea, and she became the first woman to make me realise that the designated future of a girl born in 1950 – to be sweet, domesticated, undemanding and super feminine – was not necessarily the case’.
Boadicea battled the Romans. Nancy Astor fought in Parliament. Emmeline Pankhurst campaigned for female suffrage. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became a pioneering physician in a man’s profession. Mary Quant revolutionised the fashion industry.
Britain has traditionally been defined by its conflicts, its conquests, its men and its monarchs. It’s high time that it was defined by its women. In this unique history, Jenni Murray tells the stories of twenty-one women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society. Famous queens, forgotten visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians – all pushed back boundaries and revolutionised our world. In Murray’s hands their stories are enthralling and beguiling; they have the power to inspire us once again.
Dame Jennifer Susan "Jenni" Murray  is an English journalist and broadcaster, best known for presenting BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour since 1987.
A Q & A session will follow
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Sunday 23rd July 2017


Caroline Paige s
Caroline Paige
True Colours: My Life as the First Openly Transgender Officer in the British Armed Forces
Sunday 23rd July 10.00 - 11.15
In the global theatre of contemporary warfare, courage and endurance are crucial for overcoming adversity. However, for Caroline Paige, a jet and helicopter navigator in the Royal Air Force, adversity was a common companion both on and off the field of battle.
In 1999, Paige became the first ever openly serving transgender officer in the British military. Already an highly respected aviator, she rose against the extraordinary challenges placed before her to remain on the front line in the war on terror, serving a further sixteen years and flying battlefield helicopters in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Detailing the emotional complexities of her transition, Paige reveals the external threats she faced in warzones around the world and the internal conflict she suffered while fighting prejudice at home.
Criss-crossing battle lines both foreign and domestic, this is the unflinchingly honest and inspirational account of one woman's venerable military career and the monumental struggle she overcame while grappling with gender identity on the quest for acceptance.
A Q & A session will follow.
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Harry Mount
Harry Mount
Summer Madness How Brexit Split the Tories, Destroyed Labour and Divided the Country
Sunday 23rd July 11.45 - 13.00
Shortly after Boris Johnson was knifed in the back by Michael Gove, a close friend of Boris's said, white-faced, to Harry Mount, 'Brexit is like some horrible curse. It kills everything it touches.' In less than 3 weeks, from the referendum vote on 23 June to Theresa May's elevation to Prime Minister, Brexit had morphed into a mass murderer. The Bullingdon boys, Cameron and Osborne had been 'whacked', Mafia style, the Cabinet was drained of blue blood and the Notting Hill set - who had holidayed, worked and lived together for 30 years since Oxford - were torn asunder. Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, who had fought the Brexit campaign together and plotted with their wives, were ripped apart by Gove's sudden desertion. For Corbyn, who remained in his post after the referendum,  23 out of 31 of his shadow Cabinet resigned and Farage, arguably the only real victor of the referendum, resigned his UKIP leadership within days of the result being announced.
Harry Mount gives an insider's tale of those 3 chilling weeks. He talked with many of the principal combatants as he wrote for the Evening Standard, Spectator, Mail, Telegraph and Sunday Times.
A Q & A session will follow.
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Iby Knill WSF
Iby Knill
The Woman With Nine Lives
Sunday 23rd July 13.30 - 14.45
Iby Knill is a remarkable woman. An Auschwitz holocaust survivor originally from Bratislava who, at the beginning of the war, escaped Slovakia and took part in the Hungarian Resistance before being imprisoned and spending time in Auschwitz. It was on a forced march to another camp: Bergen Belsen in early 1945, that the appearance of US tanks meant that her German guards fled and she found freedom.  On liberation, she married a British army officer and set out to make a new life in England, arriving in Cornwall in 1947. Determined to share her life experiences with future generations, Iby, now in her nineties, has overcome many challenges to publish her story. This was something she waited 50 years before discussing.
Iby Knill has addressed a total of more than 50,000 young people. She has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Huddersfield, in recognition of her contribution to memorialisation of the Holocaust.
A Q & A session will follow.
Click HERE to purchase tickets



Peter Conradi WSF
Peter Conradi
Who lost Russia?
Sunday 23rd July 15.15 - 16.30
The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 appeared to usher in a remarkable new era of peace and co-operation with the West. This, we were told, was the end of history: now the entire world would embrace enlightenment values and liberal democracy.
Reality has proved very different. Russia emerged from the 1990s battered and humiliated, a latter-day Weimar Germany - its protests ignored as NATO expanded eastwards to take in Moscow's former satellites. Vladimir Putin offered a new start when he took the place of the erratic Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin, but, determined to restore his country's bruised pride, he has wrong-footed the West with his incursions into Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. A cold war threatens to turn hot once again.
In this talk which is based on exclusive interviews with key players either side of the new divide,  Conradi addresses how we can get relations back on track before it's too late.
Peter Conradi is the Foreign Editor of The Sunday Times. During his time as Foreign Correspondent in Moscow, he witnessed the USSR's collapse first-hand. His previous books include The King's Speech, which inspired the Oscar-winning film.
A Q & A session will follow.
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Terry Waite
Terry Waite
Out of the Silence: Memories, Poems, Reflections
Sunday 23rd July 17.00 - 18.15
At the height of the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s, over 100 foreign civilians were taken hostage by Islamic Jihad. As the Archbishop of Canterbury's special envoy, Terry Waite conducted several successful missions to negotiate the release of numerous hostages. But in January 1987, while on one of his many visits to Beirut, he was captured himself. Imprisoned for nearly five years, four of them in solitary confinement, he was chained, beaten, frequently blindfolded, and subjected to a mock execution. In this moving sequence of poems and reflections Terry Waite recalls the highs and lows of his life, both during that ordeal and throughout the happier years of humanitarian work that have followed. They give us a glimpse into the depths of faith, hope and love that sustained him through that intense time of suffering. They also take us into memories of his later life, reminding us of the joy to be found in meaningful work, and in the humanity we share with those around us. He bears witness to the enduring power of forgiveness, truth and reconciliation in the face of adverse forces still at work in the world today.
A Q & A session will follow.
Click HERE to purchase tickets



Kate Adie WSF
Kate Adie
Kate Adie’s Desert Island Disks
Sunday 23rd July 18.45 - 20.00
In this event Kate Adie will choose and discuss in interview her 8 Desert Island Books
In her BBC career, Adie has covered stories about industrial trouble, race riots, demonstrations, disasters, politics, murder and social unrest, sport and royals - not to mention Miss World and drama productions which angered Mary Whitehouse.
She has also travelled extensively reporting on a series of kidnaps in Sardinia; she was arrested in Belgrade trying to gather material about General Tito and was with the Coalition forces as they chased Saddam Hussein's troops out of Kuwait in 1991. However, she is most often associated with are the American bombing of Tripoli in 1986 and the Chinese authorities' killing of protestors in Tiananmen Square, in 1989.
She was also on duty in London in 1980 when the siege of the Iranian Embassy was brought to an end by the SAS. Her commentary, which interrupted the World Snooker Championships, was heard in millions of homes.
She served from 1989 until 2003 as the BBC's Chief News Correspondent and has served as a judge for literary prizes including the Booker, Whitbread, Costa and Orange and as a trustee of the Imperial War Museum.
A Q & A session will follow.
Click HERE to purchase tickets



Jim Hoare

Jim Hoare
Opening the British Embassy in Pyongyang and understanding North Korea
Sunday 23rd July 20.30 – 21.45
North Korea is often dismissed as unknown and unknowable - an unpredictable “Hermit Kingdom” with nuclear weapons. It is seen as dangerous to its neighbours, indifferent to the majority of its people, and ultimately as a threat to world peace. The only bright spot is that, according to many commentators, it is on the verge of collapse and absorption by South Korea. The reality is more complex.
Since retiring from HM Diplomatic Service in 2003, where his last post was establishing the British Embassy in North Korea, Dr Jim Hoare has pursued a second career as a broadcaster, writer and teacher on East Asia.
A Q & A session will follow.
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