Sunday, August 07, 2005
  RIP Robin Cook
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary for the first four years of Tony Blair's Labour government in Britain and the man who damagingly resigned on the eve of the war in Iraq, died of a heart attack while hill-walking in Scotland at the start of Britain's parliamentary holidays. He was 59.

He told a hushed House of Commons in March 2003: "The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the leading international bodies in which we are a leading power. Not NATO. Not the EU. And now not the Security Council."
He also made this prescient prediction: "Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood use of the term."
Lawmakers on the government backbenches broke all the British parliamentary rules by applauding his speech.
After that he became a regular contributor to British media as well as continuing to voice his criticisms in the House of Commons.
Like this intervention in October, 2003: "Parliament was asked to vote for war on an assurance that weapons of mass destruction existed.

But although Cook was praised as an analytical thinker and was a leading left winger in his party few believed he could ever have been its leader.
Something of a loner, he didn't have either the physical stature or the clubbability to carry him all the way.

Rest in peace Mr Cook. I shall miss your guest appearances on Have I Got News For You, or one of Jimmy Carr's show, whatever he's calling it these days...
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