The Daily – Exclusive: Clare Short to step down amid controversy (Sep 11): In a controversial speech to an academic symposium this afternoon, she said that she wanted to be free to advocate a hung parliament so that the Lib Dems could “do a deal” to ensure PR. She did not specify that the deal would be with Labour, and pointedly noted that “PR is now in the objective interests of the Conservatives”. She expected to see “the Labour Party crumble as the Tories did [in 1997]” but a social democratic party to rise from the ashes.
BBC – Clare Short resignation letter in full (Sep 12)
Independent – Clare Short: I’m standing down so I can speak the truth (Sep 14): The Labour Party has lost its way, our constitutional arrangements are broken and the gap between the political elite and the country grows ever wider… Stay and fight, some argue. But there is no discussion of policy any more. The challenge to Blair and discussions of a new leadership are confined to personalities and all commit to continue the Blair errors. My conclusion is that the key to the change we need is a hung parliament which will bring in electoral reform. Then we would have a second election. Labour – with existing levels of support – would have one-third of the seats in the Commons, the Tories something similar, and we would be likely to see some Greens and others added, creating a plurality of voices and power centres in the Commons. British politics would then change profoundly. Parliament, and in turn the people, would have to be listened to, Cabinet government would return, the error-prone arrogance of Number 10 would end, and we would have a chance of creating a new politics, a more civilised country and a more honourable role in the world.
Independent – Short faces expulsion from Labour Party (Sep 15): The Chief Whip, Jacqui Smith, announced yesterday that she is lodging a complaint with Labour’s national executive, arguing that Ms Short has broken a rule which bars any party member from encouraging electors to vote against a Labour candidate. “We have had calls coming in from MPs all day about this, and people are very angry,” a party source said. “Jacqui has written to Clare twice before about her interesting thoughts that her parliamentary colleagues should be defeated. Previously we tried to arrange a meeting with four or five of the most marginal MPs who wanted to talk to her about it, but she refused.”
Independent – Arrogance and insecurity (Sep 15): In lambasting Ms Short, Ms Smith and the Parliamentary Labour Party are only revealing their own insecurity and guaranteeing greater publicity for her views.
I’ll second that… and add this:
With the subtle use of the phrase “interesting thoughts” – New Labour has yet again shown its uglier side, with the repeated suggestions that those who oppose Blair only do so because they are mentally challenged and/or unbalanced.
The Scum have an even more … erm… interesting viewpoint….
It would appear that everything that Clare Short says can be ignored because she’s not attractive (so it goes without saying that – for informed comment – one should turn to Page 3):
Today Keeley (19, from Kent) is “over the moon” that MP Clare Short is ‘on the way out’ and says; “Page 3 girls and the fans will be glad to see the back of her – mind you, who’d want to see the front of her.”
(For the record, I currently disagree with Clare Short on the subject of boobies in ‘news’ papers and think that Page 3 should stay exactly where it is… on the condition that The Sun takes its rightful place on the top shelf as a result.)
Blair Watch – Clare Short – Too Little and Too Late: I’ve said it before but Labour Party members remind me of battered wives, clinging on to a distant past, swearing that they can change things and making excuses for the abuse.
I’d also agree with that. All of the True Believers who can’t resist a dig at Clare Short’s Iraq two-step will one day have to do a two-step of their own when they are forced to protect their seat by declaring to the world that they had been lied to. Why, if only they had been told the truth…
Why, if only they had been paying attention, more like.
These same people even have the audacity to proclaim that Clare Short doesn’t stand for ‘Labour values’.
Do torture and murder count as Labour values? I don’t think so…. that’s why I spend so much time going for Blair’s throat.
But the blame can’t be put entirely upon Blair; there’s also the corrupting influence of power to deal with… one very good reason to begin a serious debate about proportional representation.