There's a principle of intellectual reasoning that one should generally follow. Attend to the substance of what's being said rather than the identity of the person saying it. You need to be able to deal with the argument even if it's being put forward by a person you don't have much time for. Good as it is, this principle needs qualification, however. There are circumstances in which, relative to what's being said, it matters who it is saying it. For example, if someone is testifying to whether Magda struck Melvyn first or vice versa, it is relevant to know whether that someone was on the spot and able to see what happened. If Mitch is the subject of a character reference vouching for his probity, industry, initiative, then the reference ought to come from someone other than Mitch himself.
Clare Short is singularly ill-equipped to tell people that the case for war in early 2003 was without merit. This was entailed both by her claim before the Chilcot Inquiry today that the case was based on deception, and by her suggestion that parliament was merely a 'rubber stamp'. Short resigned from the cabinet two months after the invasion - as it says here, 'in protest at planning for the war's aftermath'. She was asked by the Chilcot panel why she didn't resign before that and answered, 'If I knew then what I know now, I would have.' That's fair enough; she changed her mind, as anybody can. But if she felt able to support the invasion before seeing what went wrong in the aftermath, how arrogate to herself the right to say of her colleagues in the House who voted for the war, that they were just a 'rubber stamp' rather than individuals voting as they thought right? The same question is prompted by this: 'She said she was focused on making sure Britain "did it right" after the conflict.' And by this:
She knew at that point that the war would go ahead regardless because the Tories were going to back the Government and she decided it was worth staying, she said.
'I took a hell of a lot of flak for it but I still think if we had done those things it would have been much better...'
There was something there worth doing 'right', then. This is not the testimony of someone able to show convincingly that, as she evidently came to believe along with so many blinkered others, the whole issue was black and white, cut and dried. It wasn't, and Short will carry this divisive fact along within her person and her personal history.