Letter: Cook's poor judgement

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The Independent Online
Cook's poor judgement

Sir: So what if a British company has broken a UN resolution with the collusion of the Foreign Office? Should we not be reminding ourselves that, theoretically at least, the UN exists to further democracy and protect human rights and if a Security Council resolution goes counter to these aims - as in this case - then it is a bad resolution.

In any case, the people who are directly affected by this action are not the self-righteous members of the Government, the Opposition or the British press. They are the people of Sierra Leone, and has anybody bothered to ask them what they think? We show every sign, as in so many things, of not being able to see the wood for the trees.

None of this in anyway exonerates Robin Cook or satisfactorily explains his behaviour. We now have the bizarre sight of a British Foreign Secretary committed to an ethical foreign policy condemning the implementation of a policy which was, in all but the narrow legal sense, completely ethical. Sadly one is forced to conclude that he's just not up to the job. Either in terms of his grasp on the affairs of his department or in terms of his awareness of the political fallout from a perceived cover-up - or possibly both - he has shown an extraordinary lack of judgement.

STUART RUSSELL

Cirencester, Gloucestershire

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