Mo Mowlam moved to hospice

Just seen this on the bbc’s website. It looks like Mo’s condition is worsening. Let’s hope she’s able to put up a brave fight.

Mo Mowlam transferred to hospice

Ex-cabinet minister Mo Mowlam is widely popular

Critically ill former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam has been moved from hospital to a hospice in Kent to be closer to her family.

Ms Mowlam, 55, was taken to hospital in London two weeks ago. Hospital officials say her condition is still “critical but stable”.

She has now been transferred from King’s College Hospital in London to Pilgrim Hospice in Canterbury,

No details of her illness have been given by her doctors.

The hospital has refused to say whether or not it is connected to her previous brain tumour.

Jail talks

Ms Mowlam, Labour MP for Redcar between 1987-2001, oversaw the talks which led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

In 1998, as Northern Ireland secretary, she went inside the Maze Prison when it became clear that the peace process would only succeed with the backing of the prisoners. The loyalist UDA/UFF prisoners had previously withdrawn their support for the process.

She spoke to the prisoners face-to-face for 60 minutes, and two hours later the paramilitaries’ political representatives announced they were being allowed to rejoin the talks.

In 1999 she was replaced as Northern Ireland secretary by Peter Mandelson, and became Tony Blair’s Cabinet Office “enforcer”.

She subsequently stood down as an MP and in recent years has pursued a career in the media.

  • kitty

    God Bless her. What a credit to the ‘fair sex’ Mo has been.

  • Denny Boy

    Life is so cruel! Best Secretary NI ever had.

  • Fanny

    …brace yourselves for the clutch of cloying tributes, none of which will dare suggest she was in any way responsible for ripping the moral spine out of the peace process. Because after all, she’s only a girl.

  • The Beach Tree

    Fanny

    the peace process was a dirty deal between a party with a history of evil sectarian government, and an organisation intimately linked with massive acts of wanton terrorism.

    It was never about moral spine, it was keeping people out of bodybags.

    Mo did well on that count. You keep your moral spine, we’ll keep our loved one’s breathing. Deal?

  • RedPaul

    God Bless Mo. x

  • Denny Boy

    Well said, TBT. Mo went against everybody, of all hues, by doing a deal with the prisoners. She showed true backbone.

    Would the peace process have been possible without her? Well maybe, but history will be VERY kind to her – deservedly so.

  • tra g

    Give a wee thought for her family before going to bed tonight

    Prayer is not everyones cup of tea, but if it is, say one for Mo.

  • Fanny

    Rubbish, Beach Tree. It didn’t need to be a dirty deal – or at least not to this extent. But thanks to Mo ‘Internal Housekeeping’ Mowlam the peace process is as much about ignoring murder as it is about preventing it. That’s her real legacy.

    Notice, for example, the complete absence of any mention of Gareth O’Connor since his body was dragged out of the Newry Canal.

    A country where the law hadn’t been placed second to all other expediencies would already have had O’Connor in jail. Instead he is dead, possibly due to being an informer – and we’re all fine with that as an alternative option, apparently.

    Cheers Mo!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Denny Boy, she also went against a lot of people by saying in 1997 that there would have to be, quote “Orange feet on the Garvaghy Road”. Regarding the prisoners, I thought it was a disgrace to see loyalist paramilitaries shouting “jump” and the UK Secretary of State replying “how high?”, and further refer to the shooting of a drug dealer as “internal housekeeping” as another poster has replied.

    I think deep down she is a good person with the right intentions but she made a number of serious mistakes. Nonetheless, I’m sorry to hear about her recent condition, and I hope her passage is peaceful and painless.

  • The Binlid

    God bless.
    Whosever that one might be.

  • kitty

    Bringing conflict to an end is not always a pretty task. In any conflict.Mo Mowlam did a great job in that capacity.
    Regarding Gareth O’Connor- a critical mind would ask what the ‘security forces’ had to do with his disappearance- they were after all continually in contact with him as an infomer, as proven in court documents.There might be a very good (Special Branch) reason silence fell after his body was found.
    Pity that capacity for thinking seems absent here.

  • kitty

    ‘It was never about moral spine, it was keeping people out of bodybags.

    Mo did well on that count. You keep your moral spine, we’ll keep our loved one’s breathing. Deal?’

    Well said! Mo Mowlam did an excellent job in the worst of circumstances. History will be kind to her.
    May God Bless her and her family at this time.

  • vespasian

    I doubt history will be kind to Mo, she was incompetent and misguided and the author of what ails this society today – gangterism and criminality being acceptable.

    By talking to them she made some of the most despicable people ever known socially acceptable.

    What she sowed we shall reap for years to come.

  • Colm

    Mo Mowlam was not entirely suited to the realpolitik of Northern Ireland and her critics here credit her with much more influence than she ever really had.

    In a government of spin and image she was chosen by the new Labour government to give a bit of touchy feely niceness to the role – but she never had her hand on the steering wheel of real power in the way that previous N.I. secretaries like Roy Mason did.

    During her period in office the real decisions were made elsewhere. She was too honest natural and self-effacing to succeed in a game where more cynical attributes bring greater rewards .

    May the remainder of her days be as peaceful and comfortable as possible.

  • Jo

    “none of which will dare suggest she was in any way responsible for ripping the moral spine out of the peace process.”
    Nothing like personalising things, rather than comment on wider government policy huh – especially when it would appear that the peron concerned is dying. Brave.

  • Jo

    Colm:

    Exactly, its unremitting chauvinism that is pursuing her, even on her possible deathbed. The views here of her almost make me physically sick.

    I had expressed the hope elsewhere that those making such comments dont experience a lingering cancer themselves – I have changed my mind on that last point.

  • vespasian

    I am sorry but a person’s actions are a person’s actions.

    I may have sympathy for her and her family as I would for anyone in their position but I have long held the view and still believe what she did was totally wrong. Her current state of health has no bearing on that.

  • Fanny

    This ‘Kitty’ person is a complete fool:

    “Regarding Gareth O’Connor- a critical mind would ask what the ‘security forces’ had to do with his disappearance” – she asks. I asked that too, in fact that was at least half the gist of my question on the damage Mo Mowlam did to the peace process. Is Kitty even reading the posts she’s replying to?

  • kitty

    ‘This ‘Kitty’ person is a complete fool:

    “Regarding Gareth O’Connor- a critical mind would ask what the ‘security forces’ had to do with his disappearance” – she asks. I asked that too, in fact that was at least half the gist of my question on the damage Mo Mowlam did to the peace process. Is Kitty even reading the posts she’s replying to’

    Tut Tut Fanny, name calling on the internet, I had assumed you were an adult, my apologies.
    The security forces were engaged in prison talks with Mo Mowlam in talks of stepping down their murder campaigns????????? Please show me some evidence of that, thanks.

  • Fanny

    Nice use of multiple question marks.
    I have the suspicion that you also draw little circles instead of dots above your ‘i’s and your ‘j’s.

  • Denny Boy

    Personal slagging-off aside, what news on poor Mo? The Observer had absolutely niente on her, making me wonder at how far they’d strayed from their Labour roots.

    BTW why did she have to go into a hospice? No money for home care? Hardly a fitting way for a public figure to end her life I’d have thought….

  • Colm

    I think that is a bit unfair on hospices.

    The Hospice movement is among the most praiseworthy unselfish benelovent and worthy institutions in our society. Hospices offer a dignified peaceful and serene service to the dying and their families.

    However none of us know the truth of Mo Mowlam’s condition so I think to assume her life is coming to an end is unnecessarily pessimistic.

  • Denny Boy

    Colm, I meant no disrespect to hospices; I agree that they do an amazing job, bless them. I was simply wondering why Mo’s family couldn’t pay to have her nursed at home, if money is indeed at issue.

    I too pray she pulls through.

  • kitty

    ‘Nice use of multiple question marks.
    I have the suspicion that you also draw little circles instead of dots above your ‘i’s and your ‘j’s’

    Despite the multiple question marks you couldn’t answer the question. No surprise there, after surveying your ‘contributions’ to any of the debates here. My my ignorance, hatred and resentment are alive and well in your world.
    Are you one who also points out typos when your inept ‘debating skills’ and ignorance are pointed out to you?????? ( multiples)
    Now, this is a blog about a wonderful accomplished woman who is gravely ill. I understand that knowing such women exist in the world must be deeply discerning for someone of your ‘skills’, but please leave your resentment for such persons off a blog that is designed to express sympathy for the sufferer.
    Thanks.

  • Denny Boy

    Hear hear, kitty. A little compassion is called for.

    Is that too much to ask???????????

  • Fanny

    *sigh* in my original post I mentioned the allegation that Gareth O’Connor had been an informer. However that wasn’t enough of a ‘but themmuns’ reference for kitty, hence her semi-literate response.
    As for the fact that Mowlam is a woman, so what? You’re the one making an issue of her gender. Had a man mis-handled the early stages of the peace process so spectacularly no doubt the reaction to his imminent demise would be different. Sexism, how are ye?

  • kitty

    ‘*sigh* in my original post I mentioned the allegation that Gareth O’Connor had been an informer. However that wasn’t enough of a ‘but themmuns’ reference for kitty, hence her semi-literate response.
    As for the fact that Mowlam is a woman, so what? You’re the one making an issue of her gender. Had a man mis-handled the early stages of the peace process so spectacularly no doubt the reaction to his imminent demise would be different. Sexism, how are ye?’

    Calling a woman a woman is sexist? In what world.
    So you still didn’t answer the question put to you, when did she talk to security force members in prison about their murderous activities? You appear to be unable to answer the question, thus your flurry of insults, and quite frankly, inept and glaringly stupid responses.
    So will you answer without further insult, and have a bit of respect and compassion for a fellow human being who is suffering at this time? Or………

  • Fanny

    Kitty, Mo Mowlam did not talk to security force personally in prison about collusion – as well you know. Why are you implying that I’m denying events that didn’t occur? I explained in my original post that security force involvement is a likely factor in Gareth O’Connor’s murder – and certainly a factor in ignoring his murder. You have not asked me a question – merely repeatedly restated a nonsense proposition. What is the line of your argument?

    My argument is that the moral ambivalence of our political process today owes a lot of its faults to Mo Mowlam’s mistakes – including barging into the Maze to ask the UDA’s permission for progress. Are you finding this difficult to understand?

  • kitty

    ‘Kitty, Mo Mowlam did not talk to security force personally in prison about collusion – as well you know. Why are you implying that I’m denying events that didn’t occur? I explained in my original post that security force involvement is a likely factor in Gareth O’Connor’s murder – and certainly a factor in ignoring his murder. You have not asked me a question – merely repeatedly restated a nonsense proposition. What is the line of your argument?

    My argument is that the moral ambivalence of our political process today owes a lot of its faults to Mo Mowlam’s mistakes – including barging into the Maze to ask the UDA’s permission for progress. Are you finding this difficult to understand?’

    You introduced the Gareth O’Connor case to the debate on Mo Mowlams activity with prisoners. That was the stupid part of the thread.
    One can only assume that you found some relevance in the case to introduce it to a thread expressing sympathy to the woman’s illness, and a discussion on her role with prisoners.
    You say it is ‘moral ambivalence’ is the connection.What I am trying to establish is what does Mo Mowlam have to do with the ‘moral ambivalence’ of the RUC/PSNI, who were obviously involved in the murder of Gareth O’Connor in some capacity. The fact is, the RUC/PSNI have been at the same thing for years before we ever heard of Mo Mowlam.
    Nothing difficult to understand in your blogs at all FANNY. I would bet me life that you were one of the people screaming the provos killed Gareth O’Connor, but have gone strangely quiet after his body was found and evidence in the court of his involvement with the ‘security forces’ emerged. Go on be honest, you were in the’ the provos did it’ choir.
    She barged in? I have heard of people barging out and well I know security is lax, but she she barged in? Really, I wasn’t aware of that. Could you show me some evidence of this, did she use a battering ram maybe?

    I had assumed she was appointed to undertake the talks to move the peace process forward- but now you say otherwise.

  • Alan

    Sad news.

    Thanks to Mo for her support of Integrated Education.

    *Lif is laene.*

  • Fanny

    “I would bet me life that you were one of the people screaming the provos killed Gareth O’Connor, but have gone strangely quiet after his body was found and evidence in the court of his involvement with the ‘security forces’ emerged.”

    …yet here I am talking about it, flagging it up and indeed raising the subject. So in fact I’m clearly not one of those people – although apparently you very badly want me to be.

    It is also obvious that the moral ambivalence introduced by the authorities will flow primarily from the authorities – be that secretary of state to security forces, or whatever.

    There is nothing ‘stupid’ about this although there is something very mysterious about your allergic reaction to my pointing it out.

  • Fanny

    PS Alan, on the assumption you are not being sarcastic, Mo Mowlam certainly did not support integrated education. She paid lip service to the idea, like all secretaries of state. But she refused to make any real changes to actually promote it.
    She did call Martin McGuinness ‘darling’ rather a lot though. And Martin McGuinness called integrated education “British social engineering”.

  • la Dolorosa

    Fanny – you are incorrect re Mo’s view of Integrated Education. She was their main speaker at an IEF reception held last year on board HMS Belfast and so they must have been pretty confident of her pro IEF views and commitment.

  • kitty

    ‘PS Alan, on the assumption you are not being sarcastic, Mo Mowlam certainly did not support integrated education. She paid lip service to the idea, like all secretaries of state. But she refused to make any real changes to actually promote it.
    She did call Martin McGuinness ‘darling’ rather a lot though. And Martin McGuinness called integrated education “British social engineering”.’

    Mo Mowlam was an great advocate of integrated education. Spoke of its necessity many times in speeches concerning the future of Northern Ireland. Maybe you just missed them while you were watching her ‘barging in’ to places she was actually appointed to go.
    Martin Mc Guinness allocated the largest amount of the education budget to integrated education- I believe it was the largest of any allocation to the project at the time. He was of course condemned by Mon Faul ( who was singing from your ‘the provos did it,’ hymn sheet and the DUP.

  • Jo

    Its absolute nonsense to say Mo wasn’t a keen and indeed avid supporter of IE.

    An astonishingly blinkered and appallingly ignorant view of the womans’ achievements has emerged here.

    I wonder more and more if some people actually want peace in this country as each and every step of the way their poison drips like acid on the efforts, past and present, of hardworking people to try and improve things.

    I suppose the moral “certainties” of having a daily set of corpses to blame on *themmuns* is something that some people miss – take a walk up sandy Row this morning and you can relive the “good ol’ Troubles.”

  • Fanny

    Take a walk down Sandy Row tomorrow – when those reponsible for this morning’s murder are back on the streets and in no danger of arrest, ever – and you can relive the wonderful days of Mo ‘Internal Housekeeping’ Mowlam.

    As for integrated education, the opinion of the former US consul general Barbara Stephenson says it all: she made it quite clear that while Mo Mowlam talked a great talk on the subject, the barriers she left in its way were “quite deliberate”.

  • La Dolorosa

    Fanny – the US consul can have her opinion but you ask anyone who works at the Integrated Education Fund in NI and I think they will tell you different – and they should know.

    From my contacts with them they have made it clear that MO is dear friiend and advocate of IE.

  • Fanny

    Didn’t do it much good then, did she?

  • la Dolorosa

    Fanny – you obviulsy have no time for Mo or like her very much – fair enough that’s your opinion. But next time you bump in to May Blood as her about Mo’s input and passion re Integrated Education.

  • kitty

    ‘Its absolute nonsense to say Mo wasn’t a keen and indeed avid supporter of IE.

    An astonishingly blinkered and appallingly ignorant view of the womans’ achievements has emerged here.

    I wonder more and more if some people actually want peace in this country as each and every step of the way their poison drips like acid on the efforts, past and present, of hardworking people to try and improve things.

    I suppose the moral “certainties” of having a daily set of corpses to blame on *themmuns* is something that some people miss – take a walk up sandy Row this morning and you can relive the “good ol’ Troubles.”‘

    Well said Jo.

  • kitty

    ‘Take a walk down Sandy Row tomorrow – when those reponsible for this morning’s murder are back on the streets and in no danger of arrest, ever – and you can relive the wonderful days of Mo ‘Internal Housekeeping’ Mowlam.’

    So you know who did it? Were they EX-Prisoners? Did they engage in talks with Mo Mowlam?

  • Jo

    ..leave it Kitty..come on now luv, he’s not worf it… 😉