Comment at end
6th February, 2010
BLAIR PREVENTS CLARE SHORT’S ARREST
You may have forgotten this. I had, until I was sent a picture of the article. It’s from The Mirror, March 2nd 2004. With all the applause she has been getting recently from the like-minded and gullible for her “high-minded, principled” troof-seeking-and-yelli er sorry -telling, I thought you might enjoy this timely reminder:
I’M NOT GOING THROUGH THAT SECURITY CHECK? DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM? – screamed a staggering, drunk, slurring and bleary-eyed Clare Short.
So when was this, again? Well, the Mirror doesn’t quite tell us in its “exclusive”. But it does refer to a Brighton Grand Hotel party conference. The hotel which was the scene of the IRA bombing of the Conservative Conference of 1984 which killed five and injuring 34: “Five people died and 34 were injured. Those killed were Anthony Berry MP, Roberta Wakeham, Eric Taylor, Muriel Maclean and Jeanne Shattock.”
The Tory party leader and then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped shaken but unhurt.
[UPDATE: It was 1997. My thanks go to the eagle-eyed commenter below who spotted something I missed – “incident shortly after Labour’s 1997 election win.” (top of 3rd column). So that would have been September 1997. This conference. Read there Blair’s first leader’s speech to conference as PM. Some start with a drunken Short on board!]
It seems that by the time of this article in March 2004 Mr Blair was already rueing the day that he had politely asked the police not to take Short’s shortcoming any further. He had written to the Sussex Police saying how sorry he was for her conduct, thus stopping her arrest for public order offences and her public humiliation. If charged she would have had to resign or would have been sacked.
Instead Short has displayed her unique brand of ‘thank-you” as well as a lack of loyalty and adherence to cabinet responsibility. Mr Blair has had to endure watching this despicable individual traducing him for the last eight years over his motives and decisions on the Iraq war.
She resigned in May 2003 after the Iraq invasion and after she had singularly and purposely failed when it came to the crunch moment to do her job as International Development Secretary, which she held from 1997-2003. Mr Blair had to personally intervene to ensure relief under her charge was given to Iraqi refugees. Clearly an individual who cared less about the Iraqi people than about her own attempts to make Blair’s mission fail.
A truly awful woman. Sorry, John Rentoul, but again I’m disagreeing with you. I neither like nor admire her.
Clare Short Iraq-Chilcot Inquiry 2nd Feb 2010
Secrecy and deceit? You know all about that, Ms Short, don’t you?
By 2004, after her twisting and turning, shenanigans and sheer incompetence at her cabinet responsibilities in Iraq, and after her recent rantings to the Iraq Inquiry, Mr Blair must be wishing more than ever that he had seen the writing on the wall earlier as far as this individual is concerned. But he was such a “presidential prime minister” that he kept her on for six years.
A dangerous decision, Mr Blair? Yes, clearly. The public are easily deceived by the motives of others, even where they have grounds to question them.
Given that this excuse for responsible cabinet government actually received a round of applause from the gathered faithful in the Inquiry room this week, while the prime minister who had to make decisions or at least guide others to gain support for his preferred decisions on Iraq, was heckled.
Applause at a political gathering? Old principled politics back as before most of us were born? No such luck. The blind and rancourous leading the rest.
I wonder quite what Ms Short she had in her morning coffee before her recent appearance at the Iraq Inquiry this week? A dash of lies and deceit with a sprinkling of revisionism?
ANYONE ELSE AT CHILCOT’S IRAQ INQUIRY RECENTLY?
Well, yes, as it happens. Two former colleagues of Mr Blair’s – John Reid and Ann Clwyd.
Neither received anything like the same publicity Blair or Short did, of course. But former Defence Secretary John Reid said that he had had every opportunity to ask questions in cabinet, and had never felt any inhibition in telling Mr Blair he was wrong.
Ann Clwyd, UK Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq since 2003, spoke from her experience as chairman of Indict, a body which since 1996 has been pushing for an international tribunal to put senior figures in Saddam’s regime on trial for crimes against humanity. Former prime minister Tony Blair appointed Ms Clwyd as special envoy to Iraq on human rights two months after the invasion.
She documented what she said was “35 years of abuse” against the Iraqi people prior to the 2003 invasion, particularly against the Kurdish and Shia populations. The Kurds had been begging the west for years to take action against Saddam. On the invasion of Iraq she said:
“So I felt myself there was no other option. I didn’t feel that I could go back and face the Kurds and say that I’d argue any other way.”
Both Ms Clwyd and Mr Reid said they regretted the deaths of innocents and the troops in Iraq. For that have they received plaudits or press coverage? Of course not.
If they had not said sorry, no-one would have noticed either.
In case you haven’t realised it yet the words of our former prime minister are the only words that seem to count when it comes to saying, or not saying the hardest word. The agenda of the press and various anti groups is clear to those of us with balanced thought processes. Speaking of which, you might wish to read my thoughts on the politics of the apology here.
BBC report, 2004: Mr Blair said that Short’s remarks on Kofi Annan and bugging were “totally irresponsible”. So, nothing new under the sun, is there?