I am reading the final pages of Mo Mowlam’s book and it exposes what was wrong with Blair’s Government and his leadership style. It was written in the early noughties and, amazingly, Mo’s concerns on global affairs that could impact upon the Northern Ireland Peace Process were correct. The impending recession, the introduction of the Euro, Gordon Brown taking over as leader of the Labour party and the events of September 11 all had an effect on progress.
Two points in particular struck a chord with me. First Mo believed that September 11 had an effect on the views of US citizens. Post 9/11 there was less US sympathy for Sinn Fein and the IRA’s militant approach to politics.
Second, she knew that Tony Blair was very politically close to Gordon Brown and feared for the future of the party. Her fears were realised when Brown later took over the leadership and promptly lost the majority support of the British public.
I did not know that Mo could have had a go at the Labour leadership herself. If she had I’m sure there would have been a different result in the last general election – At best Labout would have won, at worst the Lib Dems would have approached Mo first before Cameron. For me that would have been a potentially brilliant combination. Maybe too good as I would have not been able to cope with any failures. Mo, however, had observed that, as prime minister, Tony had less quality time with his family and had aged beyond his years because of the burden of leading the country and she was not willing to subject her life to that. To do that role she knew she would have to sacrifice her life’s happiness for what she believed in. As I read this I imagined what would have happened if Mo had gone for leadership. The fact that she had already predicted Gordon’s rise to leader (like many of her contemporaries) has led me to believe that fate dictates our political landscape to a large extent with the end result that, as voters, we have to decide on the best of a bad bunch served up by the political in-fighting of the parties. I think the public should choose the party leaders then we might stand a chance of getting closer to the better PM.
Just a thought….
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