I thought she had said she would not be seeking re-election so she isn't risking a lot anyway; just the last days of Emperor Nero's reign in a dead duck gobment. She had the integrity to stand up when it almost mattered - respect for that.
Given that the next election might well produce a hung parliament, I want to be free to argue that this creates a valuable opportunity to reform our voting system so that the House of Commons more accurately reflects public opinion and we have a parliament more able to hold the government to account and to ensure that policy is well considered.
She is actually quite a good egg on the personal level and is certainly a bit "mischievous" if you like 'em buxom with a west midlands accent you could cut with a knife.
On the basis my enemy's enmey is my friend, we should give clare a second crack but she will ultimately revert to student marxist and revolutionary socialist in the long run a la Wedgie. However she does at least have more balls than the rest of the cabinet. Did anyone hear that smug git Blunkett going on about how naughty she was to come to cabinet and disagree in private with Tony after disagreeing in public. while he was asking knobby questions for Tony to hit for six and lapping away at his arrse...forsooth!!
Quote from the BBC website: But unlike Mr Cook who quit on the eve of the war, the way she went severely damaged her standing with her previous supporters.
Rather than quitting before the war she publicly agonised over the rights and wrongs of the conflict - and only decided to quit her post as International Development Secretary once the main hostilities ended.
That bemused many of her traditional allies in the Labour left - and her latest revelation is likely to raise the question of why, if she had been concerned by the intelligence services' behaviour, she did not resign at the time. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3488642.stm
I can't say that I agree with her politics, but she didn't kow-tow, so thats got to be worth something. It would be interesting to see if she would have been de-selected by her constituency Labour party prior to the next election had she stayed on.
But as SofS at DfID in the run up to the Iraq invasion she directed her Department only to plan for a humanitarian refugee problem and not to conduct any planning for the reconstruction or reinstatement of the area of Iraq in which the UK were to end up occupying, or to provide any advisors to develop governance, the judiciary etc.
I seem to remember reading about her visiting a unit somewher in Africa that was providing humanitarian aid which changed her view of us from the standard nun shagging, baby bayonetting to the wow these people actually do good stuff. It impressed me that she could actually learn from experience - kinda rare in the political game.