Political issues dominate Festival goer’s interests with a week to go

Posted 07/10/2018

Bookings are flooding in for speakers who explore and explain the background to today’s big national and international problems. War zones, Russian politics, immigration, and political party turmoil are drawing in audiences looking for insight to today’s troubling times.

The Red Funnel Isle of Wight Literary Festival now in its 7th Year takes place from 11-14 October at Northwood House, Cowes. Over 60 speakers provide a diverse programme that has something for all. Authors and presenters – with rich experience and knowledge – discuss their latest work examining history, medicine, gardening, fiction, travel, technology, maritime adventure as well as politics.

This year topical sessions that are attracting festival goers include:

  • James Hanratty – The Making of an Immigration Judge
  • Terry Waite CBE – Creativity and Solitude
  • General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux will provide reflections on a troubled World
  • Angus Roxburgh – Moscow Calling: Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent
  • Mark Price – from Business to Politics to Writing
  • Austin Mitchell – Confessions of a Political Maverick
  • James Bloodworth – Hired: Six Months undercover in Low Wage Britain
  • Theo Barclay – Fighters and Quitters: Great Political Resignations
  • Stanley Johnson – Kompromat – his latest satirical novel

Victoria Orr Ewing Programme Director says, “Books provide us all with a tremendous opportunity to explore many topics including history and socio-political ideas in depth, guided by individuals passionate about their subjects and expert in their field.”

The festival closes on Sunday with a Politics Panel that promises a lively finale addressing questions posed by the audience. Chaired by the Rt Hon. Sir Richard Ottaway the panel includes Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Austin Mitchell, Bob Seely MP and Julian Critchley, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate. Between them there will be some trenchant views on recent political party conferences, Brexit, international conflicts, and the division of the Isle of Wight into two constituencies.

There is much more than politics to capture the interest of local residents and visitors to the Island. For full details of the programme and to book tickets online visit www.isleofwightliteraryfestival.com

Red Funnel as title sponsor are offering excellent deals for book lovers travelling from the mainland for a day visit or the full weekend. www.redfunnel.co.uk/litfest

About the Politics Panel

Richard Ottaway was knighted in 2014 following a distinguished career in the Navy, the legal profession and as a parliamentary MP. He supports the UK remaining in the EU. Andrew Mitchell MP has spent nearly 30 years in parliament holding several senior roles, Austin Mitchell was Labour member of parliament from 1997-2015, a euro-sceptic, and declared political maverick. Bob Seely has been the MP for the Isle of Wight since the 2017 general election. He has spent time in Russia as a journalist and served as a soldier in the army Reserve where he was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Julian Critchley is Chair of the Isle of Wight Labour Party, and was Labour’s candidate in the 2017 General Election standing against Bob Seely.

About the Isle of Wight Literary Festival

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival, an established event on the UK Arts calendar, is now in its 7th year. The festival provides a far reaching eclectic programme designed to attract a wide audience and increase the cultural richness of the Isle of Wight. Hosted at Northwood House over 4 days over 60 writers and presenters talk about their latest works and insights. Sessions can be individually booked online and range in price from £5 to £12.

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival is a non-profit organisation, Charity No. 1164814 relying on the generous support of sponsors, benefactors and friends, and staffed by volunteers. The festival has two patrons: Major General Sir Martin White KCVO, CB, CBE, JP HM Lord Lieutenant IOW and Nicholas Allan – author and illustrator patron of the Youth Programme and Alan Titchmarsh MBE DL, Michael Grade – The Lord Grade of Yarmouth CBE.

The Youth Programme was set up by the charity 4 years ago. It is comprised of the IWLF Schools Programme and the Youth Zone. The Schools Programme sends authors, illustrators and dramatists into the schools to enrich education for the under 18s on the Isle of Wight by increasing the cultural experiences available to stimulate interest in learning and creative ideas. A weekend of workshops, performances, exhibitions, pop up museums, and talks on a wide range of subjects feature in the Youth Zone, which will be held from 20th – 21st October at Northwood House, Cowes. For more information please contact:


t: 01983 295612

Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Northwood House, Ward Avenue, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8AZ.

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