Mo lied

A personal tragedy but was it also a public scandal? Looking back, despite the effing and blinding at unionists and huggy kissy for the bugged McGuinness, I doubt if her condition made much difference to what happened. It doesn’t change my verdict that she blew a gale of fresh air into the stuffy male chauvinist circles of NI politics. Keeping this terrible secret from everybody except her husband must have added greatly to her burden, yet she had the time of her life. But her secret exposes a powerful argument for compulsory health checks for everybody in high office.

Glaser, who is now chief of cancer services at the Imperial College NHS Trust, said he felt a heavy sense of responsibility as Mowlam took up the post of Northern Ireland secretary, in charge of the peace process, denying the existence of a debilitating condition that he expected would kill her within three years.

“A frontal lobe tumour can cause disinhibition, behavioural disturbance and poor judgment,” he told McKay. “And there she was taking up a job in what was effectively a war situation. But there was nothing I could do. I was her doctor. I was responsible for her care, even if she wouldn’t let me keep records in the proper places or write to her GP.”

  • tuatha

    So even with a serious health problem, she still did a better job that the conga line of seat warmers, apparatchiks and time servers who preceded and succeeded her. Sorta make the point that men should be banned from positions of public importance or the handing of sharp implements.

  • Pigeon Toes

    It’s also a symptom of a umber of neurological disorders?

    The real scandal is how those are diagnosed and dealt with in NI…

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Number”

  • Pigeon Toes

    I also pissed off with what you might be suggesting…

  • Did she do better?

    I think the role of John Major in all of this is often overlooked. Had he stayed in power he would no doubt have made sure all the ducks were correctly lined up for a working agreement.

    Mo Mowlam was lovely – if she liked you. If thats good politics, or good for women, we are in trouble.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Frontal lobe tumour can cause disinhibition, behavioural disturbance and poor judgment,” he told McKay“And there she was taking up a job in what was effectively a war situation. But there was nothing I could do. I was her doctor. I was responsible for her care, even if she wouldn’t let me keep records in the proper places or write to her GP.”

    “behavioural disturbance and poor judgement”

    Um the case for letting her primary care practitioner become aware of a condition flew out the window exactly when?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    There is a saying that if you have a reputation for getting up early, you can lie in bed all day. So the knee jerk reaction to the words “Mo Mowlam” is “Saint Mo”, “good ole Mo” “one of the boys” “breath of fresh air”. Insert lazy cliché here.
    Many people outside the usual elite got to see the inside of Stormont reception rooms when Mo was in charge. So all those armies of community workers are not going to say anything about Mo.
    My own view is that it does not really bear close analysis.
    She was….90% Image and 10% Substance.

  • Cynic2

    Intention was good but at times execution was bloody awful. She was so erratic. I understand that her officials despaired that her ability to handle complexity was even worse than that of one well known member of our current Executive. Her memory was also so poor that it made it easy to roll her over in discussions where she might lose track of existing agreements. In the end she was able to open the doors and get people in but wasn’t a player in closing a deal so Downing St just cut her out and went direct to the key people.

  • Stephen Blacker

    Mo Mowlam was a breath of fresh air and she spoke the language of ordinary people. Dealing with the hordes of self righteous politicians could not be easy and im not surprised she told some to F-off.

    Mo did her job as well as any of her predecessors. Her health was a personal issue and it was up to her to say or not.

  • georgieleigh

    Excellent spot pippakin.

    So she swore a lot. oooh, how daring.

  • Georgeleigh

    Did I mention Mo Mowlam swearing? I have no idea if she did or not and am happy to take the word of others.

    A politician is supposed to be big enough to meet with all people as equals. Ms Mowlam wore her likes and dislikes like an Armani dress, dismissive and disdainful if you were the despised opposition.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    “Saint Mo”, “good ole Mo” “one of the boys” “breath of fresh air”. Insert lazy cliché here.

    Message #9.
    “Mo Mowlam was a breath of fresh air”
    Mr Blacker, I didnt mean to be taken literally. 🙂

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Mo Mowlam and I are much the same vintage. It shocks me that she thought swearing like a football hooligan was big and clever (if indeed she really did swear as much as is claimed).

    No doubt there is a context to swearing. Behaviour which would not shock football fans at the Riverside Stadium would possibly shock the Ladys Sewing Circle.

    In this context swearing and drinking and generally behaving badly, seemingly with one eye on shocking the Christians just seems a bit chavvy.

  • Stephen Blacker

    FitzjamesHorse,

    I just thought it was a good way of describing Mo Mowlan. I should have quoted Brian Walker,

    “she blew a gale of fresh air into the stuffy male chauvinist circles of NI politics.”

    No matter what anyone thought of Mo, her style was something we never encountered before. I believe she sent out a warning to those stuck fast to their old well worn positions that change was here and the old ways days were numbered.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    She wanted to be seen as ‘one of the boys’. It is not why she was there. It may have been the illness, but it did more harm than good.

    In the end it was the reason she had to go.