I HAD the honour of knowing Paddy Cosgrove since I moved to the north east in 1976, meeting him through the Labour Party.
While there were issues on which we disagreed, we found comradeship in our belief that there needs to be a different kind of society and world. One based on need and not on greed.
A principle we all held precious in our socialism in the Labour Party.
Paddy was not a person to blindly follow party lines, but looked at every issue from his own principled position and then, if necessary, argued his position within the party.
A specific case being the invasion and war in Iraq.
Partly due to the case he made, a majority of Tynemouth Constituency Party were against this invasion and considered the war, entered into by Tony Blair and the Labour cabinet against all the evidence with no United Nations endorsement and using manipulated documents, as illegal.
He became a staunch supporter of the Anti-War Campaign and became the chairman of the Coast Anti-War Group, a cross-party group campaigning against the Labour leadership and its media propaganda in favour of the Iraq war.
Paddy used all his influence both inside the Labour Party and outside and he never allowed party/tribal loyalty to cloud his view of socialism.
Locally he had a great amount of respect amongst not only Labour supporters but across all parties.
His letters to the News Guardian were well argued and widely read.
I, and my colleagues, will remember Paddy as a person of intense principles who was active over many years in promoting and working for them in our community.
He will be much missed.
St George’s Road