It was a huge honour to host Tim Marshall this Thursday in school as he gave a compelling presentation of current world GeoPolitics to a Senior School Hall audience consisting of Sixth Form Humanities students and Year 10 PPE/TOK pupils. We use his work both in the Politics & International Relations Elective and in A Level Geography, and it is rare that he gets into schools to talk to students due to his busy media and writing commitments. This was a tour-de-force of Planet Earth and international developments.
There are too many topics for me to cover here but it included explanations of the present and future strategic positions of nations such as the USA, China, Australia, Turkey, Iran, and regions of the world such as the Middle East and Central Africa. Even the colonisation of space by the superpowers was discussed as Tim rattled through several questions from our pupils, keen to ask about Germany, Afghanistan, the plight of the Uighurs, and also how renewable energy might affect foreign policy. We very much hope that this has helped our students to see the world from a different perspective and understand that stereotypically ‘western’ viewpoints of world affairs often fuel misinterpretations of how and why changes are happening.
Tim began his career in journalism with three years as the Paris correspondent for Independent Radio News before working for BBC Radio and TV, after which he joined Sky News. Tim was Diplomatic Editor and Foreign Correspondent at Sky reporting from more than 30 countries, including many conflict zones. For many of us who have studied Modern History and Global Politics over the past few decades, Tim has been the expert/our ‘go-to’ person/the guide that we have watched and listened to for a real understanding of unfolding events around the world. He spent the majority of the 1999 Kosovo crisis in Belgrade, where he was one of the few western journalists who stayed on to report from one of the main targets of NATO bombing raids, and in recent years Tim has covered the conflicts in Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria.
After thirty years’ experience in news reporting and presenting, he left full-time news journalism to concentrate on writing and analysis. He has written six books, the most significant being ‘Prisoners of Geography’ – a New York Times Bestseller and #1 Sunday Times bestseller, which has now sold more than one and a million copies worldwide and has been published in 21 countries. His latest book, ‘The Power of Geography’ was recently published and is highly recommended reading. I know that several colleagues have already read it and brought it along desperate to get him to sign it.