Rhubarb 2019

14 ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

Anthony Glees discloses to the Kenneth Grahame Society

And the Bees The Teddies Apiary is flourishing with David Aldred (G, 1981-1986) Master i/c of the Apiary crediting much of this year’s success to former President of the Beekeeping Society, now OSE, Richard Fuest (B, 2013-2018) who has had much experience working with a professional beekeeper and also has his own hives. As testament to this success John Alexander (B, 1961-1965) wrote to thank us for sending him a jar of Teddies honey. It arrived in the post just as he was leaving to attend a ‘bee safari’, a regular event when the beekeepers in his honey association visit other members’ hives and usually have an al fresco lunch on the way. He gave his verdict on the Teddies honey: ‘sampling the contents I can tell you (what you already know) that it is very good and what’s more very well extracted and filtered. And what a good label! All in all, I was much impressed and further impressed to read in the r h u b a r b magazine that the pupils have found no trouble in queen rearing, which I always find very difficult.’ The bees are being rewarded with a flower garden being created near to the hives in memory of Polly Birch (née Dick) (J, 1998- 2003). Polly was a vet and among the last wishes she made was: ‘Respect the planet and look after the bees’. Everyone was given a packet of wildflower seeds with that quote on it at her funeral. The School had just started the apiary so James Vaughan-Fowler suggested the idea of a wildflower garden to the Warden, who fully approved. Polly’s husband Phil and her parents, Richard and Felicity, gave their consent. Thanks go to Bob Bowerman, Grounds Manager, and his team for their hard work.

Anthony Glees (F, 1963-1966) wrote about returning to St Edward’s to give a talk: ‘What a huge pleasure it was to be invited back to St Edward's by Warden Jones to speak to the Kenneth Grahame Society on 27th November 2018! My time at St Edward's was really happy. I had some outstanding teachers (Dr ‘Fritz’ Alexander for German and Colin Pedley for English to name but two) and made great friendships there (two very good friends, Ian Littlewood (F, 1962-1966) and Richard Grier (F, 1962-1966), are still very good friends, fifty years on). I was in Tilly’s, run at the time by Eric Reid, said to have been a British spy in France during the War (under the guise of being an absent- minded antiques dealer). After St Edward's I went to St Catherine’s College, Oxford, to read Modern History and German, later becoming a senior associate member of St Antony’s (known always as ‘the spies’ college’). After my first real job at Warwick University, I moved to Brunel University, becoming a professor of Politics and in 2008 I took up a professorship at the University of Buckingham where I set up its security and intelligence studies centre. Twice in my career I’ve had two periods of two years working on the outside: thirty years ago I was appointed advisor to the War Crimes Inquiry in the Home Office, set up by Margaret Thatcher, to investigate the KGB claim that Britain was home to some 200 Nazi war criminals; ten years later I spent two years working for the Head of Current Affairs at BBC television on a series on intelligence and spying. In addition to my teaching duties, I’m often interviewed in the media, in the UK on security and intelligence issues and in Germany on Brexit. At the Society, I suggested that keeping people safe was not just a core duty of any government but that over the past century Britain in particular had developed intelligence-led security activity to a very high degree. Looking at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ it seemed to me that we were well on the way to becoming a ‘national security state’ and that secret intelligence had become a chief means of safeguarding our way of life. I then took a look at the

recent and current challenges about which I’d written and lectured (the Soviet secret service, the East German Stasi, Islamist terrorism and, most recently, the Russian attack on Salisbury). All ran British agents, all did us serious damage. The take-away for my audience was, perhaps, the thought that to be lawful, fair, ethical and effective, secret intelligence activity needed to be even more intelligent and no less secret. We needed smart brave people, whether James Bonds (in MI6) or George Smileys (in MI5 and GCHQ), with good degrees in all manner of subjects to work for us and prevent current and future dangers. The need for secrecy was vital. That said, security policy should always be a ‘dial’ rather than a ‘switch’ and today’s levels of threat (officially set at ‘severe’) might reduce over time, allowing the tempo of secret activity to be turned down. But today, in a nation more divided than we’ve ever been in my lifetime, we are prey to more extremists than ever before, and we are potentially more vulnerable than we should be. I’ve spoken to many audiences over the years, but the very attentive, knowledgeable and clearly gifted students at the Kenneth Grahame Society were tops and their questions superb – and challenging. This was an event for me to remember.’


The rewards of bee keeping.

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