Guest bloggers to the FromOverHere blog

I am very pleased to welcome three guest bloggers to the site.  They contribute their views under their own name.  We don’t all see eye-to-eye.  And we have very different perspectives.  But we all fundamentally believe in the value of a democratic state developing a national strategic narrative in response to  this complex world.  And we believe that public engagement and dialogue has to be at the heart of this process: both because it is the right thing to do and in order to achieve the right thing.   Apart from that, we have different political viewpoints and come from different parts of the policy world.   We enjoy the exchange of views… and hope you do too.

Squadron Leader Dave Tisdale (RAF) retired

Dave is what the British military calls ‘a scaly brat’ – the offspring of a serving soldier. Which accounts for why nearly 6 years of his formative schooling between the age of 5 and 15 was spent in the army education system in Singapore.

He joined the Royal Air Force Supply Trade as an apprentice at the age of 16 and with the exception of a two year gap in service working in industry (and as a part time trade union representative) he served for 25 years. In the process he returned to the Far East for jungle training, undertook a military courses in parachuting, fuels and tactical supply and became a specialist planner in expeditionary Logistics. Dave saw service in Northern Ireland, Norway, Germany, the USA, South Atlantic, Cyprus and Bosnia (the last two on secondment to the United Nations) and helped plan humanitarian operations in the Middle East.

Dave retired as a Squadron Leader taking redundancy in 1997 and then worked and lived in the USA and Cayman Islands for 4 years before returning to UK. His last full time position was as an Assistant Director of Welfare with the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. He now devotes his time to the Defence and Strategy Research Group – DefenceSynergia – where he is active in explaining the incoherence and weakness in UK defence and security strategies to HMG. The latter seeming to be on send and not receive.

Whilst Dave accepts that Great Britain is a European state through geography and political will, he sincerely hopes that the strategic vision Great Britain adopts can extend goodwill, trade and its benign influence beyond continentally limiting ambitions. He firmly believes that although British interests are EU related a coherent UK strategic narrative must consider a wider interconnected international world beyond EU borders with all departments of state working to the same strategic goal – UK domestic security through prosperity.

Dave is a leading member of DefenceSynergia, a Defence & Strategy research group focused on “Exposing the incoherence and weaknesses in the United Kingdom’s defence and security strategies”.

Browse all of Dave’s contributions to the website ».

ZOE BIRCHALL

Zoe is a postgraduate student currently completing a Masters Degree in International Relations at King’s College London. Specialising in Middle Eastern politics and human rights in Africa, Zoe has a keen interest in foreign policy and development, and is enjoying developing her interests here at FromOverHere. Working as an intern, Zoe assists Cat on FromOverHere projects, as well as contributing to this blog, with posts such as the weekly ‘Top Five’.

Prior to taking up further education, Zoe completed her Undergraduate Degree in History at Cardiff University, before going on to work in the head office of Family Links, a national UK charity that trains healthcare and social work professionals to work with families and children. In addition to completing her Postgraduate degree, Zoe is involved in the Tamil Information Centre, an NGO that works to promote human rights in Sri Lanka and draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis that is occurring daily.

Browse all of Zoe’s contributions to the website ».

PAUL FISHER

Born in South East England in the early 1950s, Paul was educated at a state grammar school and after a sojourn in Australia he returned to study physics at Imperial College London.  He began his career in the Royal Navy in the early 1970s and after early command of a patrol craft in Northern Ireland went on to serve ashore and afloat in various operational and staff appointments.  He undertook staff training at the Royal Naval Staff College at Greenwich and subsequently served in the Ministry of Defence and commanded a destroyer deployed on operations in the Arabian Gulf.  Seeking new pastures, he worked for large and small businesses before starting his own business before deciding to live in the south of France where he has built his own low energy house and begun to write about the demise of the 20th century capitalist/socialist paradigm and shaping the future.

Browse all of Paul’s contributions to the website ».