Skip to main content

Short Change

I hold no particular brief for Claire Short, She has often appeared a bit naive - and has been a serial resigner form Labour's front bench. Nevertheless she is clearly an honest and well meaning sort of politician and does have a genuine following in the country. She is an all too human antidote to the machine politicians of both Labour and increasingly the Tories.

I was therefore rather struck by her comments as she announced that she will stand down as a Labour MP at the next election. Her contempt for Blair and Brown was obvious. She lambasted them both- not just for Iraq or for the mess of ID cards and the trespasses that they have launched against civil liberties and, perhaps more significantly on their failure to deliver PR- which she sees as a central question in British politics.

As for Cameron, she condemned him too as a shallow PR merchant.

Claire Short represents a significant faction in the Labour Party- a faction that both Robin Cook and Mo Mowlam were a part of. This is not an insignificant faction: Denis McShane, Bob Marshall Andrews, are public critics of the government, but over 100 other Labour M.Ps support electoral reform too.

The obvious anger that Short feels towards the Blair-Brown government have driven her to contemplate leaving the Labour Party and perhaps standing as an independent.

It strikes me, that the few pebbles that Claire Short is throwing around could start an avalanche.

The tide for political reform in Britain may be turning- it will be interesting to watch how other Labour figures react to this clarion call for reform.


Rk said…
I think you could be right.
When the leadership contest eventually comes around I think we will see the labour party split along these lines, but it will take someone with more authority than Clare Short to get the ball rolling. The thing is I don’t see anyone from this wing of the party with enough gravitas and enough of public profile to serious challenge.
Now had Robin Cook still been around things might be different, I don’t think he would have won but it would have made for a livelier contest.
James said…
I think that your post is a bit optimistic. The problem with Claire Short is that as you say she is well known as being a 'serial resigner' - but crucially she ended up supporting the attack on Iraq after some absurd dithering.

I expect you've heard the joke at that time: 'Claire Short couldn't decide whether she was dove or hawk, so she ended up as a dork'
Quite frankly, it's a cruel but fair comment on her entire career.

Popular posts from this blog

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

The rumbling financial markets

Security specialists use a variety of ways to address the risks that they face: and these risk assessments are made in the certain knowledge that the actors in the system hold only incomplete information. Although much mocked at the time, Donald Rumsfeld’s categorization of “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”, is now generally recognized as a succinct summery of his strategic quandaries.
By contrast, actors in the financial markets have a more sanguine assessment of the risks they deal with: they divide them into two kinds of risk: quantifiable and unquantifiable. Unquantifiable risk is not generally considered, since there is usually no financial profit that can be made except from pure supposition. Therefore for the purposes of the financial markets, any given event is priced relative to its level of probability, that is to say its quantifiable risk. 
Depending on the market, higher levels of risk generally carry higher prices, lower levels generally lower prices. Clearly such an…