Robin Jim Devine

Robin Cook, a man who appeared to have integrity, if not a lot of mates, ran off (apparently, if my memory serves) with a Gay Norwegian and shortly afterwards died on a mountain from a heart attack.

You can see it all taking place on the Sofa at Number Ten: "Let's hope Robin meets with a little accident. He has become..a nuisance"

Robin Cook resigned as Foreign Secretary over the decsion to go to war with Iraq. "The threshold for war must always be high", he said in his resignation speech. But it is a bit, tucked away later on in the speech that made me think again about "what ifs", and it is astonishly pertinent.

"What has come to trouble me over the past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British Troops."

Such a huge decision, and so many lives left hanging by a "chad". That's a big, "what if". But it highlights the way in which major events can turn on one apparently desultory turn of a card.
In the preamble to his book, The Point of Departure, Cook says:

Political movements that leave their mark on history do so because they shape the political culture of society to their values. 

Is it not then, a sad irony that Cook was replaced, following his death, by the election of the disgraced (and soon to be jailed, I expect) Jim Devine, MP for Livingston who has demonstrated by his greed and deceit, the very antithesis of what a career in politics can achieve?


Richard said...

I always had a lot of time for Robin Cook - a proper parliamentary intellect, and a decent man too (if you disregard his personal peccadilloes). IIRC, it was a heart attack, not a fall, that ended his life on the mountain - although I appreciate that your 'fall' might have been metaphorical :)

It's a sobering thought, though, that Al Gore might have won. we may have escaped involvement in Iraq, but Climate Alarmism would now be world government policy. I'm not sure which is worse. (Thinks: Iraq. Ideology can be argued against and defeated. The dead can never be brought back.)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I have changed it to try and make more sense. Thanks

Brian said...

Jim Devine was Robin Cook's friend and party agent from 1983. It's a pity he didn't inherit Cook's moral compass.

Jim Baxter said...

Moral Compass my arse. Cook was a malevolent little opportunist who resigned because 1) he had been demoted from Foreign Secratary to Leader of the House and 2) he thought it would give him a chance at the leadership when the whole thing was revealed for the criminal enterprise that it was. Death intervened. Do you think he would have resigned if he'd still been at the FCO?

I saw Robin Cook up close and personal quite a few times, including one time he was sitting in an Edinburgh restaurant in his riding boots glaring at anyone who dared to notice him with unbridled (sic) contempt. He was a shit, just like the rest of them.

Jim Baxter said...

Oh, and just for the record, he never glared at me because I knew better than to notice the little basket except out of the corner of my eye and only then to notice his euqestrian wear, not that I'm into that sort of thing. Not on gnomes anyway. So that's not personal affront speaking up there.

Also, I know how to spell secretary when I'm not pure ragin at folks gullibility.

Richard said...

He didn't buy you that pint he promised you, did he?

Jim Baxter said...

Grotesque poisoned dwarf that he was.

I just got on with me Singapore rice noodles satisfied that the bird I was with was a gigaplanet more fit than the atrocious munter he was with.

My bird still is. Just a different bird these days.

Rebel Saint said...

Whilst we're on electoral "What ifs" ...

What if another Scottish parliamentarian of genuine integrity hadn't suddenly died? What if John Smith had been leader of the Labour party in 1997?

Richard said...

He would have beaten Major, but by a less resounding majority, and we would have a Labour government today.

Reason? Blair was tainted fatally by Iraq, and Brown was an unelectable psycho, and yet Labour still came within an inch of winning. With a calm and intelligent leader like Smith, the Major/Hague/IDS/Howard/Cameron line-up wouldn't have stood a chance.

I had the greatest respect for Smith and was truly upset when he died. He did have integrity, something singularly lacking in his successors.

Richard said...

Forgot to say: no Iraq war, of course, and the security situation would be vastly different for the UK.