Aug 9th 2005

The stuff being spouted now about Robin Cook is enough to turn the stomach. I speak as one who admired him throughout his career until the final act. Here was a man of, as has been said, 'forensic intelligence'. But he was not a man of exceptionally wide contemporary knowledge outside politics. Any man who thought Hans Blix, given a hundred years of wandering around Saddam's Iraq, could have discovered whether or not there were still massive quantities of WMD, has absolutely no understanding of either Iraq or mathematics. This has now been proved since we have only just, after many months of complete coalition access and the assistance of Iraqis on the ground, discovered massive underground facilities where such things could have remained hidden.

Then we are asked to believe he was making a great sacrifice on ethical principles when he resigned. If you believe that, you really will believe anything. The only future for Robin Cook at that moment that was acceptable to him (and by that I mean a leading role in a future Labour Government), was as the man who could claim he had always opposed a war which he knew would be immensely unpopular and would be likely to have terrible consequences. The ethical case could be made equally either way and Cook, believe me, could have sold the country on either. He chose to make the case that since there was no immediate threat to the United Kingdom (quite correct) and since the UN could not be mobilised, the Coalition would have to withdraw unless Blix found WMD. The proposition that unless the UK was directly threatened it had no special obligations in these particular circumstances is in my view totally unethical. Only a coalition including the US and the UK could possibly remove Saddam. The idea that Blix could have achieved anything has been exposed a ridiculous.

No, Cook's resignation was due to the height of ambition, an ambition brought to an end only by his death but for which he would be, if not the leader, the eminence grise of a future Labour Party. The fact that this point has not been made clearly by any national newspaper or broadcaster, is further proof, if it were needed, of the greasy prostitutional nature of UK media.

Aug 14th 2005
The above was all I was going to say, but since there is still more idiocy afoot, I feel obliged to point out a few more truths. It was probably a mark of respect from the PM that he left the occasion of the funeral to those who for close personal reasons attended and took centre stage. Judging by the outpouring from the absurd McCriric he was absolutely right not to be around, particularly since a Christian funeral with all the trimmings is a strange procedure for a convinced atheist. But then we know why Robin was an atheist - for the same reason why so many others whose parent was a cleric. Religious understanding must be contextual and make contemporary sense. It seems it can not only rarely pass from father to son, it is likely to suffer total destruction on the journey. The relationship is too close. There are questions that cannot be answered. The ideas that are put in child's mind when son of a clergyman are likely to form an early and juvenile understanding which cannot evolve. In adulthood, the rejection of these juvenile images, along with literalistic understanding of the Bible, ends up in rejection of religion. Its the Philip Pullman syndrome. People will say the Church is to blame, that It should leave people to read the New Testament and make their own interpretation of it, with helpful suggestions, but lets be sensible: most people who don't have a clergyman as a parent can do that anyway. It's those who are not allowed to do that from an early age who end up as fundamentalists or atheists.