Short changed?

by Stephen Tall on October 20, 2006

It’s the people who are most alike who are most likely to fall out big-time. That, at any rate, is my explanation for the visceral (and, I suspect, mutual) hostility between Clare Short and Tony Blair, which resulted today in Ms Short’s resignation as a Labour MP.

Both share a burning conviction of their own moral rectitude, a zealous self-importance, rampant egotism, and a disturbingly cast-iron certainty that they are indispensable.

And both of them are utterly, bloody clueless about when is the best time to quit.

As John Kampfner notes in his superb book, Blair’s Wars:

“If Short had co-ordinated her departure with Robin Cook before the war, Blair would have been in serious trouble.”

If anything explains Ms Short’s subsequent bitterness, it is her too-late recognition that, by allowing herself to be played by Mr Blair, she is implicated in the tragedies which followed.