Paddy Ashdown

British politician and diplomat (1941–2018)

Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, GCMG, CH, KBE, PC (born 27 February 194122 December 2018), commonly known as Paddy Ashdown, was a British politician and former Royal Marine. He is a former Leader of the UK Liberal Democrat party and former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006.

Paddy Ashdown


  • There can be no place in a 21st-century parliament for people with 15th-century titles upholding 19th-century prejudices.
    • Quoted in the Independent (25 November 1998)
  • 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.
  • I don't think Bosnia is ready for reconciliation, but I do think it is ready for truth.
  • My second job has been to try to use my power to create institutions of a modern state that could enter the European Union, and there was very little time. The door was closing, and I wanted to get Bosnia through before it shut.
  • 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.
    • Radio series for the BBC (2007) [1]

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