Paddy Ashdown served his country as a Royal Marine, a diplomat, as an intelligence officer in the security services, as an MP, as leader of the Liberal Democrat party and as emissary for the world community.
Of politics and war – in the 1960s and 1970s, he saw active service in Borneo and Northern Ireland during the Troubles – Ashdown, who has died at the age of 77, once claimed that politics was more exciting and often more terrifying than active service. “On active service nothing happens for 90 percent of the time,” he said. “But in politics things happen all the time, and the bullets can start flying just when you least expect them.” For Lord Ashdown of Norton-Sub-Hamdon, as he was ennobled after leaving the Commons, collecting a knighthood along the way, the two were always closely linked. More