"The long term impact of the Internet" - how Lady Dame Jane Pauline Neville Jones' Fan club got to think about it
The Ditchley Foundation is one of those curious, reserved bodies that have much influence but who remain little known and their purpose even less understood - although they have a very elegant, clear, well illustrated and informative website.
Founded and funded by the donations of Sir David Wills and based at Ditchley Park in north Oxfordshire which he acquired in 1953. It , "organises private and highly focussed conferences of senior international experts to address issues of transatlantic and indeed global interest."
For readers here , one of the most interesting this year was held the weekend of June 1st - 3rd on the subject of , "The long-term impact of the internet" which was chaired by Mr Tim Gardam.
"Ditchley’s style and programme provide an opportunity for brainstorming unique in international affairs. Small invited groups of about 40 distinguished men and women are brought together from senior levels in the worlds of politics, business and industry, academic life, the civil service, the armed forces and the media. Conference subjects are carefully chosen in response to new international challenges arising from issues of concern to democratic societies. Conferences stress open, informal discussions that reflect personal thinking and take place under strict rules of confidentiality." says the website.
It would be fascinating to know who attended and what was said at that particular secluded chat. Mr Tim Gardam is of course Principal of St. Annes College, Oxford. A product of Westminster School, Gonville and Caius (Double first) BBC, inventor of Newsnight and Timewatch, and also once a Director Channel 4 who undertook for Tessa Jowell a study of digital TV in Britain.
The Foundation has a list of Governors constituting both the great and the good and many members of the Lady Dame Jane Pauline Neville-Jones Fan club - indeed, surprise, surprise she is one of the Governors. As is Sir Rodric Braithwaite , GCMG once our Ambasador in Moscow whose dulcet tones we so frequently hear on the BBC along with Ms. doe eyed ex Home Office, Director of Liberty Sami Chakrabarti, Oxford know all quasi historian Tim Garton Ash, Peter Hennessy, Peter Mandelson, the mysterious Dr Matt Ridley, Sir Crispin Tickell, Baroness Warnock, and that ever present psephologist Sir Bob Worcester.
..and it seemed like only yesterday that Clarence Mitchell of The Media Monitoring Unit (MMU), part of the Cabinet Office's Central Office of Information (COI), is considering how to add blogs and forum entries into its regular summaries of public policy coverage that are distributed to government ministers.
Hang on it was yesterday ...Government blog "monitoring" - first step to regulation, censorship ...
Now there is a coincidence.
You may be wondering what the picture of Clementine Churchill is doing here - well Winston Churchill when wartime PM used Dytchley as an alternative to Chequers in the war and the Dytchley website has some fascinating pictures of the GOM. This is the caption to the one above...
Clementine Churchill and Viscountess Cranborne in the Library. Viscount Cranborne was the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs 1940-42, and both he and his father, the Marquis of Salisbury, were allies of Churchill and staunch defenders of white-dominated administrations within the Empire.