The City Debate led by the Rt Hon Clare Short, 25th October 2000
Letís get one thing abundantly clear: I have never been the greatest fan of Ms Shortís political and press persona. That she would be addressing a topic close to St Peterís concerns meant that I went to the Debate.
A delayed Ms Short commenced immediately; she started to show a large audience her vulnerability and her sincere gratitude to organisations like Jubilee 2000. Ms Short acknowledged the pressure for change that its members had created by their peaceful and growing demonstrations; she had been able to refer to this active concern in encouraging Britainís part in debt cancellation in some of the poorest countries in the world.
Ms Short showed a depth of appreciation and grasp of her subject which drew my admiration; her commitment to her work was almost palpable as she spoke with fervour and passion about appropriate change in counties where debt forgiveness was taking place. Such change was also available in other countries once democratic responsibility and processes to benefit the lives of ordinary people had been established.
Ms Short handled questions from all sections of the audience with aplomb and respect, encouraging us to make our views heard and appreciated by our Government.
I left thinking that Ms Shortís appointment to her present post had been nothing less than a masterstroke.