When the BBC announced the death of UK Member of Parliament, Robin Cook, “He will be best remembered for his opposition to the war in Iraq,” they said. The Times newspaper carries the same opinion: “Robin Cook … will most be [sic] remembered for his … opposition to Tony Blair’s war in Iraq.”
They both seem pretty poor eulogies; was that negative episode really his most memorable accomplishment? It certainly wasn’t, not by his own reckoning.
Surely, a fairer statement would go something along the lines of: Robin Cook, who ended his front-bench political career with his resignation from the cabinet in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, will be best remembered for his achievements as Foreign Secretary. Infamously, he will also be remembered for ditching his first wife Margaret, after 28 years of marriage, at Heathrow airport as they were about to depart on a holiday together. (Although he had entertained a “string of lovers” over the years, the discovery of his relationship with his secretary, Gaynor Regan, threatened his position in government and he was forced into a speedy and public admission. After a “difficult separation” from his first wife, Mr Cook and Ms Regan were married a short time later.)
But what is most important to the Media is that this occasion presents another opportunity for them to remind us of the topic that is top of their agenda right now: their opposition to the allied presence in Iraq.
Until one learns to appreciate their tactics, it is very easy to simply take in what they broadcast. Instead, it is necessary to listen carefully and consider everything they say. Only then will it become clear.
BBC News 27 January 1998
BBC News 10 January 1999