Anorak News | Short Shrift

Short Shrift

by | 13th, May 2003

‘STILL hurting from his victory in a television poll to find the 100 Worst Britons, Tony Blair must be something of a broken man this morning as he eyes the front pages.

A national joke

The Independent, as with all papers, leads with Clare Short, the unlovely now ex-minister who finally did as promised and resigned her post in the Cabinet.

Sadly for Tony she is not departing as quietly as Saddam Hussein, and the paper uses its entire front page to reproduce the full text of Short’s resignation statement in the House of Commons.

‘I have decided to resign from the Government,’ she begins – an opening line that she vowed would come when the first bullet was fired in the Iraqi desert.

At that point many MPs, and readers alike, would be expected to switch off. Reams of words follow – but when someone is gone, their power is diminished. Right?

Perhaps, but Short is keen to keep her mouth in working order and gives full voice to her true feelings in the Guardian, a paper she knows Tony will read.

In an interview with the Guardian, she performs the neat trick of turning demotion into victory, asking herself if ‘maybe I can help more on the backbenches’ in protecting Labour from Blair’s ‘control freak style’ and ‘diktats in favour of increasingly bad policy initiatives’.

And if she achieves that, she will doubtless restore her tarnished credibility and pave the way for a return to Government as part of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s team.

In the words of the less-than-dearly departed, Short urges Tony to start preparing ‘an elegant succession’ for Gordon Brown to take over the party and the country.

A situation that would need Tony to resign his post, a move about as likely as Clare Short ever being as important as she thinks she is…

Posted: 13th, May 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink