Paddy Ashdown

Lord Ashdown is a British politician and diplomat, currently Chair of the Liberal Democrats 2015 General Election Team

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Collected Poems by John Donne, book of a lifetime: The "greatest poet" still takes Paddy Ashdown's breath away

Since the age of 16, I have had a copy of the complete poems of John Donne somewhere close at hand. For me, that was a watershed year. I had not been a good student – at best strugglingly average, to the despair of my father. In truth the classroom interested me far less at this age than the rugby pitch, the athletics field and the girls at the local Bedford high school.

Elections 2014: Lib Dems’ biggest challenge is not to lose our heads - Lord Ashdown

“I bring you nought for your comfort,
Yea, nought for your desire.
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.”

I suspect that many Lib Dems waking on Monday morning will identify with King Alfred’s speech to his ragged army in G.K Chesterton’s epic “The Ballad of the White Horse”.

41 per cent of Lib Dem activists are dissatisfied with Nick Clegg's performance as party leader

Lib Dems’ biggest challenge is not to lose our heads

We have a proud record of achievement to take to the electorate at the next general election

UN Climate Conference: Fighting climate change is moral, vital, and in our own interests

Amid the political horse trading, politicians ignore climate change at their peril

Paddy Ashdown: We need a Tobin tax – but not to fill black holes

It is not just the regulatory benefits that are clear. The money raised could be used to help millions of children

Podium: Racism festering on my doorstep

Paddy Ashdown

Podium: Paddy Ashdown - Britain has five political parties

From a lecture to the Royal Society of Arts on proportional representat ion given by the leader of the Liberal Democrats

Unremembered acts of kindness

Monday Book; ANTI-CATHOLICISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND 1600-1998: THE MOTE AND THE BEAM BY JOHN D BREWER WITH GARETH I HIGGINS, MACMILLAN PRESS, pounds 16.99

We cannot allow the Serbs to attempt a `final solution'

Now we must think the unthinkable and consider the least worst option of sending the troops in

We can only achieve our aims by co-operating with Labour

We have no intention of allowing ourselves to be swallowed by Labour - we are too indigestible
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Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
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Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
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Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

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There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
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It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
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The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform