Mo Mowlam near death

Just seen the Evening Standard’s front page (latest edition) and it’s reporting that Mo Mowlam is close to death and has breathing difficulties. She made a living will and stipulated that she did not want to be kept alive artificially.

Let’s hope that her death, when it comes, is peaceful and gentle.

She will surely be missed around the Labour party conference circuit and all the campaigns and organisations that she was involved in – including the Integrated Education Fund.

  • Logybird

    Ever feel like someone’s taken a hammer to your chest? That’s how I feel now. Terribly sad news.

  • Jo

    Would a moderator remove Fannys comment please – that sort of stuff demeans slugger and all of us.

  • Feismother

    Thank you, Jo. I’ve been sitting here wondering how one alerts a moderator here.

    I wasn’t a fan of Ms Mowlam but there is no excuse for that sort of comment.

  • Moderator


    We have a commenting policy. Your comments break this policy and have been removed.


  • damian

    As a Northern Irishman now living in the states, I am sorry to hear of Mo Mowlam’s circumstances. Regardless as to whether one liked or disliked her, she was a colorful and intelligent character, an extraordinary breath of fresh air. I loved seeing her on the telly. To me she represented some of what is good in the English character.

  • looking in

    Right or wrong she did what she thought was necessary and expidient at the time to keep things moving.

    However, in this time of her illness I think respect means that people ought to just pass on best wishes and reserve comment on her time in office until she is able to defend them or worse..

    I hope her legacy will be greater than many of Tony’s cronies (Lord Adonis FFS!!!!!! what drain did he emerge from!)

  • villa

    There is something about having to die in such a public way when she had all but retired from public life that commands us as a matter of basic humanity to respect her at this time

  • Jo

    It would appear that that common humanity is in short supply for at least 2 posters here on Slugger. Glad to see effective moderating.

  • DaithiO

    Just read the sad news that Mo Mowlam has died.

    A lady of integrity, deserving of the greates respect.


  • Kelvin Doherty

    Very sad news.

    Just heard on the radio about a meeting she attended when she prodded Gerry Adams in the chest and told Trimble to shut up. Class

  • The Beach Tree

    At the height of her powers she was an effective catylst to the peace process, and a vast improvement on many of her predecessors (and one must say successors). She put the hopes and lives of the people here above her own health, and certainly above her own pride and legacy.

    She knew speaking to loyalist prisoners would tarnish her legacy for many people. She did it anyway because she’d rather have no legacy and no bodybags. Indeed, while some saw her as ‘justifying’ the continuing loyalist violence, many of us wish someone like her was still around who might just be able to convince them of ‘another’ way, rather than empty condemnations and leaving their communities to rot.

    Good luck, Mo. May the next life be more gentle than the last.

  • Jo

    “told Trimble to shut up”

    only MO… 😉

  • smcgiff

    If every British Politician had been like Mow Mowlam in their dealings with Ireland not only would there not be a Northern Ireland, there wouldn’t even have been a Republic.

    RIP, Mo

    Seamus :-

  • CyberScribe

    I’d agree with what Moya St Leger said reviewing Momentum by Mo Mowlam that Mo has “earned an honoured place in Anglo-Irish history”

  • levee

    Agreed. This is very sad news. Shame others have to criticise those who at least try to make a difference around here.

  • kenny

    She told Ian Paisley to do something more vigorous than just shut up. Hooray for Mo, RIP.

  • Fanny

    So the reason we shouldn’t be rude about her is because she was rude to everyone else?

  • Grammaticus

    On a personal level one feels admiration for the brave way she faced up to her illness. However, the legacy left to us by Mo Mowalm is the doctrine of an “acceptable level of violence” – paramilitaries on both sides have been exploiting this willingness on the part of HMG to buy off thugs in order to keep the “process” on-line.

    I recall the thread when Sir Edward Heath passed away. Nationalist posters could barely contain themselves, pouring out visceral hatred on the man and his memory. Mowlam was no friend to the Unionist community and she made serious mistakes during her time here – she once called Jonny Adair and Michael Stone “unsung heroes” of the peace process.

    For the way she faced her final battle, she deserves admiration and respect. For her political conduct she deserves neither.

  • Jo

    “the legacy left to us by Mo Mowalm is the doctrine of an “acceptable level of violence”

    Absolute, unfounded, inaccurate, chauvinistic, uninformed, illiterate nonsense. The phrase goes back to Reggie Maudling, who was SoS during the worst period of violence of the last three decades.

    For your knowledge and the validity of your views – you deserve neither respect nor admiration.

  • Fanny

    A hysterical over-reaction by Jo – the doctine Mo Mowlam left us with was clearly a refinement of ‘acceptable level of violence’, summed up by the woman herself as ‘internal housekeeping’ i.e. only shoot your own.

    Surely that is the chauvinism.

  • Kelvin Doherty

    ” no friend of the unionist community “

    Was this because she was the first SoS to stand up to chauvinistic prats from the UUP/DUP

  • Fanny

    Get this – Mo Mowlam was no friend of *any* community. She left us all with this mess and it is particularly wierd seeing her lauded by nationalists, as the biggest mess of all she bequeathed us was loyalism running mental.

  • Printemps

    I met Mo Mowlam during her tenure as SoS when I was fairly green (as in inexperienced) and found her a different sort of politician – honest, forthright and prepared to compromise when necessary. But crucially I think she showed good judgement and a good understanding of the Big Picture. She’ll be missed.

    Rest in peace, Mo.

  • Kelvin Doherty

    What has ” loyalism running mental ” got to do with Mo Mowlam????

  • Colm

    As far as Fanny is concerned if it rains all day that would be Mo Mowlam’s fault!

  • la Dolorosa

    Moderator – unfortunately I didn’t see the comment (from Fanny) that was removed.

    Just as a suggestion I think it would be useful for comments of that ilk ( as long as they are libellious) to stay so everyone can read them but bar the poster for a set period of time.

  • Keith M

    It is probably too early for the complete verdict on Mowlam´s tenure as SoS, but certainly her legacy of appeasing terrorists (on both sides) has had longer term repercussions (some still in evidence today).

    I would not blame Mowlam for the Belfast Agreement as her involvement was minimal (making the tea, if some are to be believed).

    I also think we should be kind, in that it is quite clear that her brain surgary prior to the 1997 obviously had a bigger inpact than was known at th time. (The medical team who treated her towards the end are being very reticent).

  • Fanny

    Mo Mowlam’s responsibility for the current loyalist fiasco is the long-term outworking of the concept of ‘internal housekeeping’.
    This is so obvious it amazes me that I even need to point it out.

  • Jo

    Perhaps brain surgery might help you spell a little better and/or prevent you making this sort of comment yet again.

    The woman is dead less than 7 hours…the comments on this dying and now dead woman are some of the lowest I have ever read anywhere. I think Mo is well shot of the lot of you.

    Utterly contemptible.

    Close this thread now please.

  • la Dolorosa

    Jo – yes it is a shame to see these comments.

    I think a lot of them are fuelled by misogyny….

    I think words that describe Mo are: formidable, persistent, brave, open minded, honest, driven ….

    Yes I understand that her confident ‘get things done’ type of personality might have been alien to some but God just think what and whom she had to put up with as well as some of her New Labour colleagues…

    Yes she did throw awy the rule book and I think that was to her credit and the fact that ‘both sides’ criticised means she was doing something right.

  • colm

    “Just as a suggestion I think it would be useful for comments of that ilk ( as long as they are libellious) to stay so everyone can read them but bar the poster for a set period of time.”

    La Dolorosa

    I think you meant NOT libelous… although It would be good to see the libelous ones too!


    I hope you didn’t include me in your “well shot of the lot of you”…. I am with you 100% on this.

  • Printemps

    I think one of Mo’s strengths was that she wasn’t a ‘friend’ to any community. She didn’t buy into the Old Boys’ Network, and she was able to capitalise on that opportunity, instead of being held back by the challenge. I think history will remember her as someone who made things happen, not someone who twiddled their thumbs waiting for a higher appointment in Cabinet.

  • damian

    Jo, I am new to this thread and was born and educated in Northern Ireland where I got sick of all the intolerance and left for law school in Wales as soon as I was of age. I guess I am part of the so-called brain drain that they often lament about over there. I can relate to your ire because Fanny’s comments do appear incendiary– pardon the ‘pun’ in light of Northern Ireland’s past.

    I don’t know what Fanny said about Mo that got people upset, but an appeal to closing down a thread is not the answer. To do so smacks of the same intolerance and unwillingness to accommodate that has been so endemic in Northern Ireland in the past and remains today among certain party leaders who seem incapable of adjustiong to the new dynamic.

    Without a willingness by all of us to listen to and respectfully disagree with the opinions of others, no solutions or constructive ideas emerge.

    Condolences to Ms. Mowlan’s family should they venture into this thread at any point.

  • Grammaticus


    So Jonny and Michael are unsung heroes of the peace process then?

  • Jo

    Well, to be honest if I was a different type of person, I’d be expressing the fervent wish that some posters move significantly closer to Mo’s current position in the very near future.

    But I’m not, so I won’t. But I do know: what goes around….

    Colm, no, I didn’t mean you, or La D, or any other decent poster.

  • Grammaticus

    I think some people need to take a deep breath and calm down. It is entirely possible to be sorry at someone’s passing, while at the same time offer criticism of their actions while they were alive. Jo should stop being so precious.

  • Colm


    If I may be so bold as to speak for Jo

    What she (and those like I who agree with her) means is that there is a civilised protocol – for want of a better term – which dictates that there is a period of dignified reticence following a death in which negative or critical comments are held in abeyance. There will always be plenty of time to offer a hostile critique of a person’s mark on this world, but on the very day of their death , that isn’t the time to do so.

    Jo is not being precious she is simply trying to observe civilised customs that sadly many others feel are no longer relevent.

  • La Dolorosa

    Colm – here here!

    Grammticus and people like him probably think it’s ‘robust thinking’ etc but it’s not. It’s just taking an easy ‘pot shot’ (no pun intended) at a very inappropriate time.

  • Jo


    Thank you, thats how I and other decent people feel. I have other views on why its very inappropriate to speak ill of the dead, but thats for another day.

  • Keith M

    “Close this thread now please.”

    I aways find this kind of comment amusing. It´s as if some people believe in free speech until someone says something with hich they disagree or take offence. I imagine that what is being said on thread reflects what is being said in homes and pubs throughtout the UK and Ireland. In comparison to the comments made on the death of Edward Heath, this thread has been very polite, especially when you consider the overall achievements of Heath (something with which I´m strugling with Mowlem).

    I don´t believe that someone´s medical condition or death, should make them immune from criticism for things that they have said and done while alive. At the end of the day Mowlem´s trm as SoS was quite short, she made enemies and was quickly moved to position where she could do little or no harm (a position which was eliminated once Mowlem´s condition became more obvious and her longterm career in politics untenable).

  • Brendan

    I’ m really not concerned about blatantly playing the man here.

    [That much is clearly evident, Brendan – ed Mod]