More participants have been named for the forthcoming fourth edition of the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival. Former politician and Labour Government Minister David Owen, together with authors Robert Montagu and Anna Bogie, have been confirmed.
Lord Owen served as British Foreign Secretary of the Callaghan Labour Government from 1977 to 1979: the youngest person in over 40 years to hold the post. In 1981, Owen was one of the dissident ‘Gang of Four,’ a moderate faction of the Labour Party who quit the organisation to create the Social Democratic Party (SDP), after the election of leftist Michael Foot as new party leader.
He resigned from the Labour Party when it rejected ‘one member, one vote’ in February 1981 and later stepped down as leader of the Social Democratic Party, of which he was a founder member, after the party's rank-and-file membership voted to merge with the Liberal Party in 1987.
He led the SDP from 1983 to 1987, and the ‘continuing’ SDP from 1988 to 1990. He was also Minister of State for Health and Social Security in the period 1974-76 and an MP for Plymouth Devonport (1974-1992) and for Plymouth Sutton (1966-1974). He sat in the House of Lords as a crossbencher until March 2014, and now sits as an independent social democrat. His latest book Speaking for England: The Hidden Agenda of May 1940, will form the basis of an enthralling talk examining a pivotal chapter in World War II, when in the face of certain defeat to
Hitler’s Germany, Churchill’s determination to fight on changed the course of history. Also taking part in the festival will be Anna Bogie, author of the acclaimed illustrated children’s book series about animals, Happy Hooves published in 2014, a favourite with Prince William’s sons.
The picture book series was conceived when she lived in a rustic farmhouse in Tarifa which had the most amazing far-reaching views of rolling hills and the ocean. Anna now resides in Gibraltar with her husband and two young children, but enjoys visiting beautiful places in the rugged Andalusian countryside whenever she can for inspiration, especially Tarifa and La Peña.
Robert Montagu’s talk will be based on his memoir A Humour of Love, published earlier this month. The book recalls disturbing episodes that took place in his household as a seven year-old child systematically abused by his own father Victor, the 10th Earl of Sandwich, almost on a daily basis for nearly four years.
Robert has tried to use his terrible experiences for a good cause. In 2000, he qualified as a family therapist after many years running a successful import business. Ten years ago he set up the Dorset Child and Family Counselling Trust, which offers counselling to children, adolescents and families on the waiting lists for NHS appointments. He and a team of therapists see 175 families a year across the county.