Coming up: revealing interviews in The Richmond Magazine
Watch out for two fascinating Richmond Literature Festival interviews in our November edition, with broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby and the former Home and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Both men will be speaking at this year’s festival, as part of a star-studded programme. Read our highlights guide here >
As Home and Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw scaled the political heights. But his values remain rooted in the lessons of youth. Richard Nye meets him ahead of the Richmond Literature Festival. Here’s a sneak peek of what the great political survivor has to say:
On his political values: “These days I’m one of the ‘haves’ and I don’t pretend otherwise … My own childhood experience told me what it’s like to be a ‘have not’ – not just materially, but in the sense of lacking power over decisions that affect one’s life. It is a part of my purpose and politics to redress that balance.”
On the Liberal Democrats: “John Gummer joked that if Moses had been a Lib Dem, he would have come down from Sinai with the Ten Commandments and then asked the voters what they thought of them.”
On Tony Blair: “Tony and I had landed in different places. But he was gracious enough to say later that he’d been stupid to move me. I still admire him very much. He was a great leader – history will be far more benign to him than the present.”
Jack Straw’s new book, Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor, is on sale now
Book your tickets now to see Jack Straw speak at Clarendon Hall, York House on Tuesday November 20 at 7.30pm (£12/£10.50)
If the past is another country, Jonathan Dimbleby has a passport in constant use. His latest foray is a book on the battle of El Alamein. Samantha Laurie meets the author, broadcaster and commentator ahead of the Richmond Literature Festival. Here’s a sneak peek of what he has to say:
On domestic politics: “Political reporting is a drama. You tell yourself it’s about establishing the facts, but there’s an element of cruelty about it.”
On Russia: “It’s a kleptocracy: powerful, corrupt, cynical, vicious and exploitative. The rulers are autocrats of the worst kind who have somehow emerged from the poisonous froth of conflict.”
On his famous father, Richard Dimbleby: “I remember only that he was rather impatient with people who had been diminished by war. I really only learnt about his experiences when researching his biography.”
Jonathan Dimbleby’s new book, Destiny in the Desert: The road to El Alamein – the Battle that Turned the Tide, is on sale now
Book your tickets now to see Jonathan Dimbleby at Duke Street Church on Thursday November 22 at 3pm (£10/£8.50).
You can read both full interviews in the November edition of The Richmond Magazine.