Clare Short is an interesting politician who has always been a rebel in the Labour Party. She is outspoken and she resigned her Ministerial position over the Iraq war. I admire people immensely who feel so strongly and I wish more politicians had her convictions and acted accordingly in resigning.
She is critical of the motives for war of both British and American leaders. We did not buy the book but the evidence she talks about lies in high places sounded pretty compelling.
HOWEVER ....The main thing that put us off buying her book was the way she reacted so aggressively to someone who asked her what, to us, seemed a reasonable question.
I think it is great that people have strong views and that we can all express those extreme views in our society. It is even OK in my book that leaders in politics can be personally criticised and Clare Short was indeed very critical of Tony Blair.
When she is then criticised it is only fair she takes it on the chin rather than reacting aggressively in my opinion. In other words 'people in glass houses should not throw stones.'
I am sure the book is a good read and I am also pretty sure she is technically correct about many of the things she says. On a human level I wish she could accept criticism a little more graciously – the aggressive reaction does her no favours whatsoever.
She was also critical of the close relationship between Britain and America and suggested the two countries are too close. I can see what she means and I know there are many people in Britain who agree with her about that. I don’t.
My view is pragmatic. I want to be on the side of America. Britain is a small country that one day may need America in my opinion. We have desperately needed America in our past and we should remember that.
My position on America and Britain is best summed by the quote of former US President Lyndon B. Johnson.
“It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”
Please excuse the swearing – Johnson’s words not mine – I just agree with the sentiment.