Event Detail


Annual Dinner: Brexit, Boris and Britain: A Journalist's View in the Fake News Era

Sir Max Hastings
Friday, 22 Nov 2019
Drinks Reception 6.30pm; Dinner 7.30-11.00pm
Hong Kong Football Club, 1 Sports Road, Causeway Bay

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong is delighted to announce its Annual Dinner for 2019.

Guest of Honour and speaker Sir Max Hastings

Author of 26 books Former Editor of The Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard

Reporter for the BBC from 60 countries and from 11 wars

Boris Johnson's former employer

The Talk:

The RGS is delighted to welcome Sir Max Hastings, Britain’s most famous journalist, to give a talk on contemporary Britain, with his trademark humour, zest and wisdom.

Following one of the most tumultuous few months in British history, Britain’s future may not yet be clear.  The only thing for sure is that neither Britain nor its unwritten constitution are ever going to be the same again following the “Brexit, Boris and Britain” era.  This situation has polarised the electorate, triggered a string of crises and brought down two Prime Ministers already – but also led to the rise of Sir Max’s former employee, Boris Johnson.  

Before Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, Sir Max has commented that “I was Boris Johnson’s boss: he is utterly unfit to be Prime Minister” and that “his premiership will almost certainly reveal a contempt for rules, precedent, order and stability”.  He has also criticised the prorogation fiasco and the expulsion of 21 Conservative MPs, including two former Chancellors. 

Others, though, see a masterful Prime Minister on his way to a major election victory and a better Britain.  In this context, Sir Max considers whether Boris Johnson is just a brilliant entertainer interested principally in himself, or really a brilliant politician doing his job well.

He also discusses how Britain came to be in this conundrum in the first place and considers the role of the “post-fact” modern media in this.  Sir Max speaks about his experiences at the BBC and numerous newspapers, as well as his insights on the present and future of the media.  

The Event: 

The evening comprises a complimentary drinks reception and a four-course banquet dinner, with wines.   There is a choice of salmon, beef tenderloin or chicken curry - or vegetarian options – for the main course.  

In view of the popularity of this dinner, priority is being given to RGS-HK Members and their guests.   The Annual Dinner has sold out in each of the last 10 years, so early booking is strongly advised.

For this event, there is pre-booked individual seating available, or you may arrange a group at a table, or book a table of around 12 people. 

- Regular tickets are at HK$1,380 each, including one year’s RGS-HK membership worth HK$400
- Discounted tickets are HK$1,230 each, including one year’s RGS-HK membership worth HK$400 when payment is made by recurring credit card
- Members’ tickets are priced at HK$980 each 

Please kindly RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The surplus from this dinner, is used to subsidise make possible our educational and charitable activities.   This includes our programme of more than 150 events throughout the year, including a scholarship programme for students and a major Schools Outreach Programme.   Your support for this is much appreciated. 

The Speaker:

Sir Max Hastings, FRSL, FRHS, was educated at Charterhouse School and University College, Oxford.  He is a celebrated British journalist, editor, historian and author.  Following Oxford, Sir Max moved to the United States, spending a year as a Fellow of the World Press Institute, after which he published his first book, America.  He became a world-famous foreign correspondent and reported from more than sixty countries and from 11 wars for BBC TV's Twenty-Four Hours current affairs programme and for the Evening Standard in London.  Sir Max was the first journalist to enter the liberated Port Stanley during the 1982 Falklands War.  After ten years as editor and then editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, he became editor of the Evening Standard.

Sir Max has presented historical documentaries for the BBC and is the author of 25 books, including Bomber Command, which won the Somerset Maugham Award.  Both Overlord and The Battle for the Falklands won the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year prize.  Sir Max was named Journalist of the Year and Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards and Editor of the Year.  In 2010, he received the Royal United Services Institute's Westminster Medal, the Edgar Wallace Award from the London Press Club and the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award.  Sir Max is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society.  He was President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England from 2002–2007.  He was knighted in 2002 and talks globally.


The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its grateful thanks to
Silversea Cruises
for its generous support as Title Sponsor of this Dinner.


The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong also thanks: 
Cathay Pacific, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for their generous assistance as Co-title Sponsors
 and Freshfields as Gold Table sponsors.





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