Lord Jonathan Oates, Liberal Democrat Peer, on his memoir: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.
'Aged fifteen and armed with a credit card stolen from his father, Jonny ran away from home and boarded a plane bound for Addis Ababa. His plan? To single-handedly save the Ethiopian people from the devastating 1985 famine. Discovering on arrival that the demand for the assistance of fifteen-year-old English boys was limited, he learned the hard lesson that you can’t change the world just by force of will.'
Jonny’s story charts his path through troubled teenage years, first to Ethiopia, then teaching in Zimbabwe, to post-apartheid politics in South Africa, and ultimately to the roller-coaster ride of Britain’s first post-war coalition government, where he played a key role in the struggle for his own country’s future and learns important lessons about the difference between power and duty.
Jonny was Liberal Democrats Communications Director for the 2010 General Election Campaign and Chief of Staff for Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, 2010-15, after which he took a seat in the House of Lords. He is our spokesperson on Climate Change, and also focusses on International Development and Mental Health.
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