Influential & courageous British politician dies
Mo was the British government's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the historical 'Good Friday' agreement was signed between the main Irish nationalist and 'Unionist' parties. She was the most energetic, dynamic and radical politician ever to hold this post and her presence was vital in making the agreement happen.
She was a true friend of Ireland and was sympathetic to the aim of a United Ireland.
On a personal level, she was witty, irreverent, straight-talking and blunt much to the annoyance of many civil servants and old style politicians.
A BBC correspondent summarised her persona when he told the story today of the circumstances around one interview he had with her in Government buildings. She just strolled into the room, waving her wig around in her hand & saying, "Well Douggie, have you got a comb handy"! When he gave her his comb, she started to brush her wig and then asked him to proceed with his questions!!!
Many in Britain hold that she was the most popular politician of her generation.
Sad to say, she was finally pushed out of the British cabinet by people like Tony Blair & Peter Mandelson who felt threatened by her popularity and left-wing stance.
In that sense, she was from the same stable as other British Labour politicos such as Clare Short, Tony Benn & Ken Livingstone (all of whom were pro-Irish nationalist) and the late lamented Robin Cook (who died last week).
I'll miss her