Talks & Events

Paul Lashmar regularly hosts, chairs and gives talks on a variety of subjects

Paul’s recent Media appearances

  • Interviewee on Drive Time on Time Radio by Carole Walker on the Martin Bashir scandal. 20 May 2021
  • Interviewee in Bent Coppers – Crossing the Line of the Duty. Three part series broadcast on BBC2 during April 2021.
  • Dr Paul Lashmaris quoted at length in this Daily Mail article on the Society of Editors executive director’s decision to quit following the backlash in reaction to his claims that the British press is not racist. 11 March 2021
  • ORB ZIB1 News. Interviewed on the media coverage for Brexit. Austrian nightly news. 28 March 2019 19.30.
  • BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. Interviewed on the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department covert propaganda operations. 18 March 2019..
  • Sept 2017 Interviewed about the Mafia by Laurie Taylor – BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed: I’m interviewed around 20 minutes in, discussing the UK side of major crime and comparing to Italian Mafia and other organised crime groups.
  • June 2017 BBC’s Last Word Radio 4: Interviewee on the life of Wing Commander Rex Sanders who flew Operation JuJitsu missions in the Cold War.
  • Nov 2016 Forces TV: Interviewee on US Cold War airpower policy and operations for ‘Secret Superpower Aircraft’ documentary (1 hr). 10pm Tuesday 22 November 2016
  • 26 Oct 2016 BBC’s Thinking Allowed. Radio 4: Interviewed by Laurie Taylor on investigations into Blacklisting
  • 5 Oct 2016: BBC’s Through the Night. Radio5 Live: Interviewed by Rhod Sharp on Mazher .

Talks & lectures

19 May 2022
speaker: Dr PAUL LASHMAR
RICHARD DRAX MP is the owner of Drax Hall, a plantation on Barbados that has been in his family since 1640 and for two hundred years was worked by enslaved people from Africa. He lives in the Charborough Estate which the family have owned since 1540. Tonight’s speaker, Paul Lashmar, estimates the MP is the wealthiest landowner in the House of Commons.
Richard Drax and his family’s total wealth is not known, as they use a clutch of private trusts that do not disclose their worth or the family beneficiaries. But we do know, as a result of Dr Lashmar’s research, that the MP’s Dorset estate alone amounts to some 15,000 acres and contains at least 125 properties – and he owns land and properties elsewhere in the UK – all to an estimated value of £150m+.
What’s the origin of the Drax fortune? How did his family come by their wealth and how did it build up such massive landholdings in Dorset? In this meeting, Paul Lashmar looks at connections between the Draxes’ slave-owning enterprises in Barbados and Jamaica and their Dorset estates.
FROM BARBADOS TO TOLPUDDLE – the Draxes have been part of the structures of privilege, exploiting chattel slaves in the Caribbean and agricultural workers in Dorset. Their story reveals much about colonial history – and the history of the land in Dorset and those who work it.

NUJ Freelance Branch, London. With Meirion Jones speaking on Investigative Journalism as a freelance. Thursday 29 November 2019

Friday 9 September 2016. Kind of Blue Revisited– Dorchester Arts Kind of Blue Revisited Poster 2016 (2)Centre – a celebration of the classic Miles Davis album. In Part 1: Paul Lashmar tells the story of Kind of Blue with musical illustrations from the Frank Griffiths sextet. A jazz outreach project with Frank Griffith (Brunel University). Fourth in series of Jazz Education. Sell out event. Friday 13th November 2015 6.30pm at The Electric Palace, Bridport

Pafelixdennisbookul Lashmar in conversation with Fergus Byrne – More Lives Than One: The Extraordinary Life of Felix Dennis. Canny, infuriating, cynical and generous by turns, Felix Dennis was a true polymath whose astonishing story of relative rags to phenomenal riches is told with insight and sensitivity by Fergus Byrne, publisher and editorial director of The Marshwood Vale Magazine.

Byrne had regular access to Dennis and his personal archive for this authorised biography and got to know him well. The early rebellious years started with Dennis as a grammar school drop-out, playing in a rock n’ roll band and being charged with obscenity relating to the infamous ‘schoolkids’ issue of the Sixties underground magazine: Oz. Then he founded Dennis Publishing, which became a pioneering publisher of computer, hobbyist and lifestyle magazines and subsequently the flagship brand The Week.

Dennis survived a self-destructive phase to become an industrious businessman and generous philanthropist, planting trees, writing poetry and creating a magnificent home in Warwickshire where he died in June 2014.

Other events include:

Oct 2014 – Brunel University Council Chamber
Anthony Barnett as part of the The State We Are In, Now series of seminars reviewing the 20 years since Will Hutton’s ground-breaking book was published.

February 2012 – Thomas Hardye School, Dorchesterjonleeandersonphoto
Jon Lee Anderson of the New Yorker, Iraq, Afghanistan and The Arab Spring at the Thomas Hardye School as part of their community lecture series. In association with the Rotary Club (All 500 tickets were taken up)

Inside Kind of BlueMay 2011 – Inside Kind of Blue – Bridport Arts Centre
A celebration of of the classic Miles Davis album. In Part 1: Paul Lashmar tells the story of Kind of Blue with musical illustrations from the Frank Griffiths sextet

frontline_club_logo2Feb 2011 – In conversation with David E.Hoffman, Frontline Club
David E. Hoffman, who worked for 27 years as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post, will be at the Frontline Club to discuss the relationship between US president Ronald Reagan and Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev and the dying days of the Cold War. Author of The Dead Hand, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative history of this era, David E. Hoffman covered the White House during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and was Moscow Bureau chief from 1995 to 2001.
From the discovery of a Soviet biological warfare machine to the refusal of Gorbachev in 1985 to compete in Reagan’s massive “Star Wars” weaponry programme, Hoffman tells the inside story of this fascinating era, including the little-known story of the Soviet semi-automatic retaliatory system known as the Dead Hand, a Doomsday Device that would leave the fate of Earth in the hands of three surviving duty officers buried deep underground in a concrete, globe-shaped bunker.

April 2009 – Bridport Film Festival, Bridport Arts Centrethe_informant_small
Paul Lashmar took a Q&A session on whistleblowing following a screening of The Informant as part of the film festival event.

cijsmallJuly 2009 – Reporting the financial crisis, City University
Paul chaired a panel discussion Reporting the financial crisis at the Centre for Investigative Journalism summer school at City University. Panellists: Ann Pettifor, author of The First World’s coming Debt Crisis (2006) and Tony Hillier, chairman of Stauffenberg Capital.

July 2008 – Discussion on Narco Wars – Can the war be won?, Frontline Club
Paul chaired this panel discussion with panel members Mike Trace, former deputy drugs czar David Raynes, former senior Customs executive and Danny Cushlick of Transform.

Nov 2008 – Media Talk on Predicting the Crash, in association with the CIJ at 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ
Chaired by Paul Mason (BBC), Paul Lashmar (CIJ), Gillian Tett (Financial Times), Ann Pettifor (author of The Coming First World Debt Crisis).

wmgMarch 2007 – The Media School, Bournemouth University
Chris Morris Satirist, Comic Writer and Actor. Chris is perhaps most well known for his satires on the conventions of TV broadcasting (The Day to Day and Brass Eye) and the device of “tricking celebrities and politicians into throwing their support behind public awareness campaigns for made-up issues that were often absurd or surreal in the extreme (such as a designer drug called ‘cake’ and an elephant with its trunk stuck up its anus). . .

Nov 2006 – Billy Bragg, Bridport Arts Centre
Singer-songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg made an appearance at the, to promote his new book, The Progressive Patriot – A Search For Belonging. The new work, part polemic, part biography, examines questions of national identity and belonging in modern Britain. In a discussion with journalist Paul Lashmar, Billy Bragg talked about the need for a set of English values and reminds us of the significance of fairness in British history.
To a full audience, Bragg deliberated on the positives of a multi-cultural Britain saying that today ‘to be British is to be ‘other’. Inspiring the listeners to become involved in local and national politics, he talked about his rediscovery of family and local history and why listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ was his first patriotic experience. At a time when the government is resorting to ID cards in increased ‘big brother-esque’ activities, Bragg also reminded us that this country has been built on people’s defiance of unjust authority.
An interesting talk covering important issues, and something that members of the Youth Page were glad they attended.

Sept 2005 – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on Kill It, Eat It, Film It – Inside the River Cottage, Electric Place, Bridport
In the first of a new series of Wessex Media Group Event, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and his business partner Andrew Palmer of Keo Films gave an early evening seminar and answered Hugh and a range questions from Chairman Paul Lashmar and members of the audience.
With many series of ‘River Cottage’ under their belts, Hugh and Andrew told of the triumphs and tribulations of taking a spark of an idea all the way through to the status of a well regarded brand.
Wessex Media Group chairman Gordon Cooper opened the evening, well attended by TV professionals and other interested parties. In keeping with the River Cottage and Wessex Media Group ethos food and drink for the event was locally produced.

November 2003 – Current Affairs – An Endangered Species. Panellist on plenary session – Taking the Risk. Bournemouth University 7-9 November.