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RIP Mo Mowlam
August 19, 2005 4:16 AM   Subscribe

The Right Honourable Dr Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam whose no-nonsense negotiating as Labour Secretary of State for Northern Ireland helped forge the province's landmark peace accord has died at 55 after a long battle with cancer. In reaching agreement in the Northern Ireland she got the IRA to restore their cease-fire - and defended the ceasefire when it seemed all but broken - she stood up to Ulster Unionists but paid an extraordinary visit to Northern Ireland's notorious Maze prison to meet with Loyalist and Republican inmates and shepherded the multi-party talks to a successful conclusion. Remarkably, she even devolved her own role as Secretary of State. Billy Joel was right: only the good die young.
posted by three blind mice (27 comments total)

 
I once saw her speak. This is sort of a huge Mo Mowlam cliche but it's true: she was so incredibly, overpoweringly human. A spectacularly wonderful human being. This is actually really sad, especially coming so soon after the death of Robin Cook, another politician I admired and whose career finished long before it should have done.
posted by Hartster at 4:21 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by The Salaryman at 4:33 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by flashboy at 4:37 AM on August 19, 2005


It's a bad month for those putting human values above their market worth.

Glad someone felt they could do the subject justice with their post, because I know I wimped out.

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posted by NinjaPirate at 4:37 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by creeky at 4:45 AM on August 19, 2005


Very sad. There are so few decent politicians left.
posted by veedubya at 4:46 AM on August 19, 2005


NinjaPirate, the FPP really does not do her justice, but I tried to capture a slice of the enormity of her character. Without her personal involvement in the process, it seems pretty clear to me that the deal would never have been reached. Sinn Fein and Ulster Unionists are among the hardest heads on the planet. These people could give lessons in intransigence to the Arabs and Israelis.

The progress in Northern Ireland gives me hope that anyone can put aside their differences and work together for peace.

But it takes an extraordinary person to make it happen. Dr. Mowlam was one such person.
posted by three blind mice at 4:54 AM on August 19, 2005


Not to derail, but I thought that the term "Right Honourable" referred only to those who served as Prime Minister. Or is it also used by members of the Privy Council?
posted by smcniven at 5:02 AM on August 19, 2005


smcniven: the latter. In fact, Prime Ministers essentially get the term by virtue of their membership on the PC.

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posted by grouse at 5:04 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by amberglow at 5:10 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by Kiell at 5:11 AM on August 19, 2005


Tragic loss.

Among her many accomplishments, Mo Mowlam was one of a
tiny number of politicians who were prepared to stand up and
tell the truth about drugs -- using her own experiences to inform
her position.

Of course, I'd have been yet more impressed had she been
prepared to speak out while she was still in the Cabinet, and
still on the ins with Blair et. al., as opposed to after they fucked
her over, but nevertheless, she was always one of a tiny and
dwindling number of politicians who you could count on to try and be honest.

Most of the time, at least.

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posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:17 AM on August 19, 2005


Mo to Gerry Adams: "You bloody well get on and do it. Otherwise I'll head-butt you."

A personal hero.
posted by creeky at 5:26 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by Chunder at 5:36 AM on August 19, 2005


A very great loss, but some confort can be taken from the fact that she was able to see the IRA order an end to the armed campaign at the end of July.

She'll influence many politicians and people alike in the future, I'm sure of that - and she has justly cemented her place in history.
posted by si at 5:48 AM on August 19, 2005




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posted by fire&wings at 5:51 AM on August 19, 2005


Truly a shame and, as others have mentioned, with the passing of Robin Cook there's a real dearth of admirable politicians left in the UK.
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posted by TheDonF at 5:59 AM on August 19, 2005


She may also (during a time as a lecturer in Talahassee) have successfully fought off Ted Bundy (scroll almost halfway down the obituary).
posted by gdav at 6:20 AM on August 19, 2005



creeky: "Mo to Gerry Adams: "You bloody well get on and do it. Otherwise I'll head-butt you." "

Also, according to the same article, she told Ian Paisley to "fuck off" in 1997. Top lady.
posted by tapeguy at 6:51 AM on August 19, 2005


I wonder if Tony will make the effort to go to the funeral this time.

RIP Mo.
posted by PurpleJack at 7:35 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by cerebus19 at 7:51 AM on August 19, 2005


The only Labour politician I actually liked. Mainly because she told that Paisley twat to fuck off. Something more people should have done. Class Act.
posted by BadSeamus at 8:45 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by Rumple at 8:54 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by Lebannen at 9:38 AM on August 19, 2005


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posted by slater at 11:48 AM on August 19, 2005


Very, very sad news. I, like PurpleJack, also wonder if TB can be bothered to cut his holidays a little short and attend the funeral. I suspect he could care less, but maybe he'll be forced into it this time.
posted by kaemaril at 1:01 PM on August 19, 2005


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posted by Vidiot at 4:53 PM on August 19, 2005


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