Friday, August 19, 2005

We Want Mo

They say only the good die young. In this case, they've rarely been so right.

I'm not normally prone to participating in the media mass mourn-in phenomenon. It's becoming an increasingly unhealthy habit in this country. When I see people on TV shedding tears for dead celebrities or other public figure they've never met in their lives, I tend to have the urge to shout "Get a grip!" at the screen. Reaction to the death of Diana, for example, seemed wholly out of control, bordering on hysterical in many cases. My attitude is that respect (and even sadness) can appropriate, but a sense of perspective must be retained.

Anyway, I find that in the case of Mo, my attitude is slipping slightly. I'd never met Mo, and all my impressions of her came through the media, and yet I feel a real sense of loss on hearing this news. I think it's partly down to her eyes. I always got the feeling that you could really understand something about Mo through her eyes. There was an honestly, a deep humanity, and a sparkle of mischief in those eyes. It wasn't an act, a politician playing to the camera, it was Mo. The eyes don't lie (as they are also heard to say on occassion).

She was a remarkable woman, a genuine one off. I recommend that anyone who's just starting in politics should be required by law to spend a year studying the life of Mo Mowlam. It'd be impossible to replicate her unique spirit, but many valuable lessons could be learned about the attributes needed to participate honourably in political life: honesty, integrity, courage, and humour, and a lot more besides.

Mo lived a life anyone would be proud to have lived. Goodbye Mo, you shall be greatly missed.

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