She chaired the Douglas Hurd talk and gave the distinct impression of being charmed by the Old Etonian and graduate of Trinity Cambridge.
This afternoon she was in charge again, this time with General Sir Michael Rose, educated at Cheltenham College, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and the Sorbonne.
Ruth had a problem with her mike. When it seemed to be working OK she started to sit down and the General followed suit just afterwards. But the mike wasn't working and Ruth stood up again. The General hadn't quite sat down by this point and immediately stood up again to wait for Ruth. The lady was quite taken aback by this gentlemanly behaviour and praised the speaker profusely. I suppose it's different at the Herald...
We were given an interesting talk on Rose's new book comparing the American Revolution with the situation in Iraq. Rose reckoned that Bush wasn't at first convinced about the case for invading Iraq but was persuaded by Tony Blair, whom Rose thought should be in jail. The audience was receptive to an increase in defence spending, especially after Rose told us that the boys in Afghanistan have poorer weapons than Rose himself had when he started out in the 1960's. A group of serving soldiers were sitting quite near me and one supported those senior officers who have complained to their political bosses about the equipment situation. Ruth had asked if any of the soldiers were armed! There was no reply but she had picked one of them out of the crowd of 500 for a question, perhaps just in case.