Andy McSmith's Diary: A shocking glimpse of what it took to win peace

  • @andymcsmith

Today being the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement which brought peace to Northern Ireland, it seems as good excuse to revive anecdotes about the slightly made Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam, who did so much to make it possible while slowly dying of a malignant brain tumour.

She shocked Northern Ireland's Unionist politicians with her habit of hugging them and, on at least one occasion, removing the wig that covered a skull rendered bald by chemotherapy. As Gerry Adams hesitated before putting his name to the document, she is reputed to have told him: "Bloody well get on and do it, otherwise I'll head butt you!"

The 2010 Channel 4 drama about her life included an incident when a horrified David Trimble caught a glimpse of her knickers. In the script, the character playing her Minister of State dam Ingram said: "It's lucky they were orange, not green."  But when Ingram was asked by The Guardian whether this was accurate, he said: "That is actually just a part of a story. The real thing is much, much cruder."


David Cameron's visit to Germany this weekend should be a memorable one for the Cameron kids, Nancy, Elwen and Florence, because they are all going with him as overnight guests of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and her husband Joachim Sauer, who have no children of their own.


"I hated Margaret Thatcher so do not ask me to pretend that I'm not glad she's gone, unlike the drivelling lickspittles and sycophants whose crocodile tears are fusing their iPads," said George Galloway, the ever-charming 'Respect' MP, speaking to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.


Commiserations to Martyn Underhill, former detective chief inspector and now Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, who on leaving a crime fighting meeting in Boscombe discovered that someone had broken into his car and stolen his sat nav.