Dave Cook (politician)

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David John Scott Cook (1941 – 1993) was a British communist activist, also known as a rock climber.

Born in Warrington, Cook grew up in Solihull, and was educated at Solihull Grammar School and St Catherine's College, Cambridge, where he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). He then became a teacher in Leeds and was active in the Young Communist League, eventually becoming its full-time National Organiser, based in London.[1]

Involved in rock climbing since his school days,[1] Cook became a prominent writer on the subject. In particular, he championed the role of cultural history in writing on mountaineering, and on the importance of including feminist perspectives.[2]

In 1975, Cook was appointed as National Organiser of the CPGB, in which role he defended the Eurocommunists who were looking to change the approach of the party. He served in this post until 1981, after which he devoted his time to the Campaign Against Racist Laws.[1] Cook also stood unsuccessfully in Vauxhall at the 1983 and 1987 general elections, losing his deposit on both occasions.

The CPGB dissolved in 1991, and Cook joined its successor, Democratic Left. In 1992, he founded the Green Socialist Network, intended to bring together socialism and environmentalism. However, he was involved in a traffic accident the following year, while in Turkey, and died of complications soon afterwards.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Graham Stevenson, "Cook Dave", Compendium of Communist Biography
  2. ^ Terry Gifford, Reconnecting with John Muir: Essays in Post-Pastoral Practice, p.167
Party political offices
Preceded by
Gordon McLennan
National Organiser of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Succeeded by
Ian McKay
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