ET wrote:How interesting! On the website link that Tom posted, the ERT says that she pulled out "because of the death of her son". Maybe that's the reason she gave them, I suppose, but if not, then they really are shameless in exploiting her personal tragedy to make themselves look better.
I wonder if that's really the reason she gave them.
Let me say first of all that I respect Libby Purves, her journalism and her integrity, and I was sad to learn about the tragic death of her son. My suspicion about her alleged reason for pulling out of the conference is entirely directed at the SES and its propaganda machine.
The ERT Cconference was held on 30th November 2006. http://www.education-renaissance-trust.org.uk/teacher03.htm
Libby Purves's son died on 26th June 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libby_Purveshttp://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/dec/09/culture.poetry
In September 2006 she returned to presenting the Radio 4 programme, 'Midweek'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/midweek_20060906.shtml
Apart from one programme (broadcast on 18th October 2006) she continued to present 'Midweek' every week for the rest of the year.
An episode of 'Midweek' was broadcast the day before the ERT conference. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/midweek_20061129.shtml
She continued to write newspaper articles throughout 2006. Some examples:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/libby_purves/article692210.ece http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/libby_purves/article1073507.ecehttp://www.campaignforadventure.org/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=54http://www.derekwyattmp.co.uk/news_item.aspx?i_PageID=114970
She continued to attend speaking engagements, including one at the Royal Geographical Society in September 2006: http://www.wildcamels.com/news16.htm http://www.wildcamels.com/news17.htm
I attempted to contact Libby Purves (not an easy task, as it turned out) shortly before the ERT conference to tell her about the findings of the Townend Inquiry and to give her more information about the ERT. She did not reply to my email so she may not have received it.
As sugarloaf says, she was handed a leaflet (which told the truth about the ERT and the Townend Inquiry) outside the ERT conference. She then entered the building briefly before coming back out and leaving.
Given these facts, it does seem strange that, as the ERT's website puts it, Libby Purves "had to pull out of being our opening speaker, due to the sad death of her son."