Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

George Robertson’s Tim Garden Memorial Lecture

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 11th June, 2008

Relatively early votes in both Houses of Parliament tonight meant that a good cross-section of LibDem MPs and peers were able to join members of Liberal International British Group and other interested parties at the inaugural Tim Garden Memorial Lecture, given by Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, former NATO Secretary General. He urged people not to sink into pessimism in the face of global threats, but to work together multilaterally for a more peaceful and equitable world, not least through a reformed United Nations (with a more representative Security Council) and enhanced regional cooperation.

In a passage that would have pleased Tim, he argued, ‘For as long into the future as we can see, the transatlantic alliance and NATO will be the key foundation stone of our security and a key contributor to wider international security and stability. But in order to strengthen the alliance, to give both Europeans and Americans more strategic options, and to address deep concerns over burden-sharing against a backdrop of events in Iraq and Afghanistan, Europe must do, and must be seen to do more. The kind of European effort I have talked about here will strengthen NATO, not undermine it, and that has to be to the benefit of all of us.’

George Robertson also paid eloquent tribute to Tim’s memory, ‘Whether in the RAF or in Chatham House, or in the House of Lords where he took to the lawmaking job like few ex-military men, he spoke simply, understandably and with authority… Tim commanded by his style and decency, respect and admiration and considerable affection and in that he left us an enormous and valuable legacy from which we will all benefit. We miss him but his spirit lives on.’



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