Robin Cook RIP
 Now I admit that I did once describe Robin Cook as looking like the sexual organs of an alien akin to those depicted in the Predator series of movies.
However, I'm no oil painting myself.
So I feel bad to lead from that tacky reference onto the news of his tragic death. This was a man who I very much respected, a selfless politician of principle rather than the hypocritical opportunist type that we've become more used to.
I shall never forget him resigning from the cabinet to an ovation from his peers over the misguided decision to go to war in Iraq, and that seeming rare moment of clarity, of epiphany, amongst the other parliamentarians, fermented by their respect for the man for saying what needed to be said rather than what would save their skins.
Since then he's been an essential high-visibility voice of reason from within the Labour party.