I had the privilege, briefly, of editing John Cole, who has just died, at the New Statesman in the 1990s, after he had retired from the BBC and became the paper's main political columnist. He was a very good writer, superbly informed and always a real gent on the phone and in person. He was a Labour soft-leftist too. We need more journos like him today. There's a warm obit by David McKie in the Guardian here.