10 of the most inspiring Paddy Ashdown quotes to live your life by

10 of the most inspiring Paddy Ashdown quotes to live your life by

Paddy Ashdown, who has passed away at 77, was the Liberal Democrat’s longest-serving leader who built the party into a major political force.

An ardent pro-European, he was respected for his expertise in foreign affairs and served as the UN’s representative in Bosnia-Herzegovnia after stepping down as an MP.

But he was also highly involved in local politics and always strived to look beyond the Westminster bubble.

Here are a collection of his best quotes that will inspire us for years to come.

1. On how to conduct yourself in politics.

Politics is about putting yourself in a state of grace


It's not my job to be popular. I'm goal-driven; my job is to get results.


2. On the importance of modernising Westminster.

There can be no place in a 21st-century parliament for people with 15th-century titles upholding 19th-century prejudices.

-Independent, 1998

3. On David Cameron's referendum gamble.

I think Mr Cameron is one of the most dangerous Prime Minsters I can remember. Not because he is not a decent man. He is a decent man with broadly decent instincts. Nor because he does not believe in anything (except that Britain would be better run by people like him - though that is true too). Nor because he intends to do damage. He does it all unwittingly. But that does not lessen the damage. He is so short term, casual and unthinking about the things he grabs hold of. And the consequences? in 70 days (just 70 days) he has put the Union at risk, ditto our future in Europe, placed a charge of dynamite under our constitution with [EVEL] and put a noose around the neck of the BBC. Not bad considering all that has been done by accident

Reddit, 2015

4. On the danger of global corporations.

The multinational corporations now developing budgets often bigger than medium-sized countries — these live in a global space which is largely unregulated, not subject to the rule of law, and in which people may act free of constraint.


5. On the war against ISIS.

We are not losing the war against Isis because we do not have enough bombs – we are losing it because we do not have enough diplomacy… We see a problem in the world and our first instinct is to bomb it. We have become obsessed with high explosives as an instrument for peace.

-The Independent, 2015

6. On Tony Blair.

Blair is regarded by most people in Britain as a smarmy git.

-The Telegraph, 2001

7. On the Bosnian war.

Bosnia is under my skin. It's the place you cannot leave behind. I was obsessed by the nightmare of it all; there was this sense of guilt, and an anger that has become something much deeper over these last years.


'Truth and reconciliation' are always combined, but I would split them: I don't think Bosnia is ready for reconciliation, but I do think it is ready for truth.

-The Guardian, 2005

8. On foreign intervention.

History teaches us these lessons for the interveners: leave your prejudices at home, keep your ambitions low, have enough resources to do the job, do not lose the golden hour, make security your first priority, involve the neighbours.

-BBC, 2007

9. On the importance of society.

I can create institutions, but I can't rewrite the chips in people's heads.


The greatest failure is that although we have created institutions, we have not created a civil society


10. On embracing femininity.

Most people think I am a rampant carnivore, but there is an oddly feminine quality to my character.


More:Everyone should read what Paddy Ashdown has to say about David Cameron​

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