In recent days it has been reported that Mo Mowlam is critically ill.
It had occurred to me that there have been very few major politicians whose achievements I can remember to have died. The only one I could think of was Donald Dewar.
This evening Robin Cook has died. I think for a lot of people my age who were against the war in Iraq, Robin Cook’s resignation speech in the House of Commons just before the war began will have been one of the greatest political moments that they have seen so far. The anti-war movement was massive, and Cook became a sort of unofficial figurehead of it. He was far more reasonable, and likeable, than George Galloway. Clare Short, meanwhile, was seen as spineless, in contrast to what was perceived to be the much more principled stance of Cook. Robin Cook was a genuinely powerful voice from the backbenches.
Since then, whatever else you may say about him, I have had a lot of respect for Robin Cook, and I find it a great shame that he has died.