Crispin Tickell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir Crispin Tickell
GCMG KCVO FZS
Crispin Tickell in Malaysia in 2005
Crispin Tickell in Malaysia in 2005
Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations
In office
1987–1990
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by John Adam Thomson
Succeeded by David Hannay
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Mexico
In office
1981–1983
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Norman Ernest Cox
Succeeded by Sir Kenneth James
Personal details
Born (1930-08-25) August 25, 1930 (age 84)
Education Westminster School
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Fellow of the Zoological Society of London

Sir Crispin Tickell GCMG KCVO FZS[1] (born 25 August 1930) is a British diplomat, environmentalist, and academic.

Background[edit]

See also: Huxley family

Tickell is the son of writer Jerrard Tickell and Renée Tickell née Haynes (a great-granddaughter of Thomas Henry Huxley). He was educated at Westminster School where he was a King's Scholar, and Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1952 with first class honours in Modern History.[2] He did his national service in the Coldstream Guards as a 2nd Lieutenant from 1952-54.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Tickell joined the British diplomatic service in 1954, serving at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London until 1955. He was responsible for looking after the British Antarctic Territory; the experience gained may have laid the foundations for long term interests in the environment.[1] He then had posting at the British Embassy in The Hague (1955–58));[1] Mexico City (1958–61); London (1961–64); Paris (1964–70); and Private Secretary various Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster (1970–72) during negotions for the UK entry into the European Community. He was later Chef de Cabinet to the President of the European Commission (1977–1980), British Ambassador to Mexico (1981–1983), Permanent Secretary of the Overseas Development Administration (now Department for International Development) (1984–1987), and British Ambassador to the United Nations and Permanent Representative on the UN Security Council (1987–1990).

He was appointed MVO in 1958 and later knighted as a KCVO in 1983 on the Royal Yacht Britannia, to mark the conclusion of Queen Elizabeth's Official Visit to Mexico. He was appointed GCMG for his work at the UN in 1988.

Spying at U.N. headquarters debate[edit]

When Clare Short, former international development secretary in Blair’s Cabinet, said that British intelligence bugged the office of Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, Tickell refused to comment on the accuracy of Short's claim, saying he had a continuing duty of loyalty to governments past and present and told the BBC, "What I would say is I would not be surprised if in New York there is a great deal of listening all over the place from one country to another, and I don't know whether it really makes very much difference. My conscience is quite clear about these matters and I would not think it necessarily a bad thing at all if it is in the national interest." Tickell added, "Our friends and allies may indeed be doing something like that themselves.” Tickell also criticized Short for resigning from her position of Secretary for International Development in protest of Tony Blair's entry into the Iraq War in May 2003 and reprimanded her: "your prime loyalty is to your employer and, indeed, to the interests of the country.”[3]

Academic career[edit]

Sir Crispin was President of the Royal Geographical Society from 1990 to 1993 and Warden of Green College, Oxford, between 1990 and 1997, where he appointed George Monbiot and Norman Myers as Visiting Fellows. Green College merged with Templeton College in 2008 to become Green Templeton College, located at what was previously Green College.

He was President of the Marine Biological Association from 1990 to 2001.

From 1996 until August 2006 he was chancellor of the University of Kent when Sir Robert Worcester took over the position. He is currently director of the Policy Foresight Programme[4] of the James Martin 21st Century School[5] at the University of Oxford (formerly the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding) and Chairman Emeritus of the Climate Institute, in Washington DC. He has many interests, including climate change, population issues, conservation of biodiversity and the early history of the Earth.

Margaret Thatcher credits Tickell for persuading her to make a speech on global climate change to the Royal Society in September 1988 (though the speech was written by Thatcher and George Guise).[6] He chaired John Major's Government Panel on Sustainable Development (1994–2000), and was a member of two government task forces under the Labour Party: one on Urban Regeneration, chaired by Sir Richard Rogers, now Lord Rogers (1998–99), and one on Potentially Hazardous Near-Earth Objects (2000).

Public Impact[edit]

A man of strong environmental convictions, he has been described as influential in Britain, although his environmental message has not always travelled as easily abroad, particularly to the United States. His 1977 book Climatic Change and World Affairs argued that mandatory international pollution control would eventually be necessary. Despite his non-scientific background, he is internationally respected as having a strong grasp of science policy issues. He has been the recipient, between 1990 and 2006, of 23 honorary doctorates.[2]

He is currently the president of the UK charity Tree Aid,[7] which enables communities in Africa's drylands to fight poverty and become self-reliant, while improving the environment. He is also a patron of population concern charity Population Matters, (formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust),[8] and told Radio 4's Today programme that the ideal population for Britain could be around 20 million.[9] As a member of Lord Rogers' Urban Task Force, Tickell counselled against spreading cities saying that we need denser living, that young adults should not expect to leave home straight away, and that older relatives could live in 'granny flats'[10]

Personal life[edit]

Sir Crispin lives in a converted barn in the Cotswolds.[11] He married Chloe Gunn in 1954 but the marriage was dissolved in 1976. He has two sons and one daughter from this marriage. His main recreations include climatology, paleohistory, pre-Columbian art and mountains.[1]

Former appointments[edit]

Publications[edit]

Styles and Honours[edit]

  • Mr Crispin Tickell (1930–1958)
  • Mr Crispin Tickell MVO (1958–1983)
  • Sir Crispin Tickell KCVO (1983–1988)
  • Sir Crispin Tickell GCMG KCVO (1988-)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Citation Cranfield University Honorary Graduation
  2. ^ a b Crispin Tickell online CV Accessed 14 April 2007
  3. ^ Diplomats not surprised by U.N. spying charge, World news on msnbc.com quoting Associated Press 27 February 2004. Accessed 3 November 2011.
  4. ^ http://www.martininstitute.ox.ac.uk/jmi/networks/Policy+Foresight+Programme.htm
  5. ^ http://www.martininstitute.ox.ac.uk/jmi/
  6. ^ Thatcher, Margaret (1988) The Downing Street Years, London: HarperCollins p.640. ISBN 0-00-638321-1
  7. ^ http://www.treeaid.org.uk/
  8. ^ "Population Matters Patrons". www.populationmatters.org. 
  9. ^ Dominic Lawson, A retort to the population control freaks, Independent, 6 November 2007 http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dominic-lawson/dominic-lawson-a-retort-to-the-population-control-freaks-399128.html
  10. ^ Telegraph, 6 February 1998; Daily Mail, 31 July 2003
  11. ^ Who's Who entry, Sir Crispin Tickell

External links[edit]

Offices held[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Norman Ernest Cox
Ambassador to Mexico
1981–1983
Succeeded by
Kenneth James
Preceded by
John Adam Thomson
UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations
1987–1990
Succeeded by
David Hannay
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Horton
Chancellor of the University of Kent
1995–2006
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Worcester