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An Honourable Deception?: New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power [Paperback]

Clare Short
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 2004
Clare Short MP has been one of the government's most outspoken critics, despite having been a member of it for most of its two terms of office since 1997. Her resignation from the Cabinet over the war in Iraq in 2003 caused a furore -- not least because she had already threatened to go a few months earlier. Why did she delay? Why did she then decide to go? What is at the heart of her reservations about the New Labour style of government, and how does it affect the way we all live our lives? Writing 'more in sorrow than in anger', Clare Short now reveals her thinking about all aspects of the way Britain has been run since 1997. Drawing on her first-hand experience of events at the heart of power, she assesses the true effects of the centralisation of decision-making in Number 10 and shows us how New Labour has contrived to damage the goodwill afforded it by two successive three-figure majorities. Candid and forthright, lucid and thought-provoking, this is a major book about modern Britain.


Product details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press; 1st edition (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743263928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743263924
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,251,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death by Convenience? 21 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It wasn't until I read this book that the penny finally dropped: John Smith (Labour leader) may have been assassinated! There were other convenient deaths during the Blair regime, namely Robin Cook (who claimed that Al Qaeda was a Western invention) and David Kelly (who conveniently committed "suicide").

But John Smith was years before Blair came to power. Yes, but he was taking the Labour party AWAY from the likes of Blair and Mandelson. Smith hated Mandelson (as did Gordon Brown) and with his integrity, well-known Labour values and the Tories about to implode it meant that John Smith could be the next prime minister. Can you imagine Smith becoming buddies with George Bush?

Then there was the convenient "heart attack". And the path was clear for Blair. How very convenient! In his excellent biography of Mandelson ("Mandy"), Paul Routledge in chapter 10 claims that Mandelson was campaigning for Blair to be the next leader of the Labour party within twenty minutes of hearing of John Smith's death! Was Blair that important? Or was it something to do with a few Freemason connections? (By a "hidden" path!)

Ah, but political assassinations belong to other counties. Remember, the UK is the country that gave us James Bond, Harry Palmer and Johnny English (all fictional, in case you have forgotten); these things don't happen in the UK. They may happen in Sweden (Olof Palme) and Italy (Aldo Moro), and even in the USA (John and Robert Kennedy), but not in the UK. You think so? Try reading Gladio, NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis and you might come to a different conclusion.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most honest of politicians? 22 May 2005
By G. L. Haggett VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This book exhibits all of that straightforward, direct and forthright approach we have come to expect from Claire Short. Her ability to express complex political concepts in a clear, concise and very readable manner (the short sentences are noteworthy for a political memoir) is exhibited to great effect as she considers her career and specifically her time at the Department for International Development and her response to the decision to go to war in Iraq.
I suspect this is a book which will not be discussed in five years' time. Its value lies instead in its immediacy; what it has to say about Tony Blair and New Labour's style of government and the resultant effect on our standing and reputation in the world as a whole provides plenty of food for thought.
Could Claire Short be the one of the most honest of politicians?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'The Drums Of War' 11 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like many people, politicians are not amongst my favourite public servants, but when I
hear of a falling out between two prominant public figures from the same political party
(i.e, Heath & Powell, Thatcher & Howe/Heseltine, Blair & Cook), somewhere along the line
the truth will come out, due to the fact that no-one is now being forced to tow the party line.

So when Clare Short fell out with Tony Blair, because of his '... misuse of power'
(part of the sub-title of her book), over the Iraq war, I was left intrigue.

I enjoyed reading Clare Short's side of the story, because when her fall-out with Blair came into the public
domain, she was pilloried by the news media, the tabloid press, and from many quarters of her own Labour party,
and nobody gave her any support - it seemed - at the time.

The book itself revealed quite a bit about the machinations of party politics - and politicians.
My favourite chapter was the one about 'The Drums Of War'. Overall a 'trustworthy' read!
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