Again this showed that Diana wasn’t afraid to ruffle some feathers when people were in need. It was the first time in her charity work where she was openly criticised by British Politicians.
The junior defence Minster, Earl Howe described Diana as a “Loose cannon” basically saying that she was ill-informed about the issue and should not be using the media interest to highlight the victims of land mines. Yes… because showing the victims would be rather inconvenient for a defence minster who perhaps is involved in the selling and distribution of weapons. As Diana once said “You can’t comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable.”
Governments get very uncomfortable when the victims of wars are highlighted because during the 1970s/80s the UK was one of the leading manufacturers of Land mines along with the former soviet union, China and Italy. Diana was fully aware of this when she took on this campaign and was prepared to face any criticism. That is pretty damn brave, to put your self in a position where the Member of your own government openly try criticise you.
There is no way of knowing how successful Diana and the red cross would have been if Diana had not died in 1997. But the ICBL (International Campaign to Ban Land mines) managed to get 40 counties including the UK to sign “Mine Ban Treaty” which states that those who sign it must not produce land mines and must destroy any stock piles of land mines they may have. By 1998 the UK had stopped producing Land mines officially and had destroyed all their stock piles altogether.
It very hard to say how much Diana’s support and later the media coverage of her death helped the cause. Most credit should go to the ICBL and Red cross who started campaigning against landmines in 1992 but I certainly think that Diana’s help ensured that the British government would look over banning landmines.
In fact the thenforeign secretary, Robin Cook,paid tribute to Diana’s work on banning landmines when the “Mine Ban treaty” was being put through the British Parliament. He said.
“All honourable Members will be aware from their postbags of the immense contribution made by Diana, Princess of Wales to bringing home to many of our constituents the human costs of landmines. The best way in which to record our appreciation of her work, and the work of NGOs that have campaigned against landmines, is to pass the Bill, and to pave the way towards a global ban on landmines.”
Wow…. At least some MPs listened to diana.