Thursday, June 16, 2016

The murder of Jo Cox: I want my country back

I wanted to write something about the murder of Jo Cox, but it is hard to say anything beyond how desperately sad it is.

For a good tribute from a slightly unexpected source, read Andrew Mitchell:
What was so striking about that was that here was a newly-elected Labour MP who had so little time for the petty aspects of party-political life of Westminster. 
At the time, her party leadership was against military intervention in Syria and mine was in favour, which meant the atmosphere around the issue was quite heated. But she was completely uninterested in any of that. She just wanted to do the right thing. 
A lot people in her situation would have been very reluctant to work with a wicked old Tory like me, but Jo never minded. During Commons debates about Syria, we would sit across the chamber exchanging text messages. 
When we set up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Syria, she and I chaired it together, taking evidence from military commanders, diplomats and officials from the region. She might have been new to Westminster, but she led the way.
Some have blamed her death on the poisonous political climate engendered by the referendum on Europe,

Given how little we know about her death so far, there is a danger that anything written today will look foolish in a few days.

But Alex Massie writes powerfully and I feel he is right:
So, no, Nigel Farage isn’t responsible for Jo Cox’s murder. And nor is the Leave campaign. But they are responsible for the manner in which they have pressed their argument. They weren’t to know something like this was going to happen, of course, and they will be just as shocked and horrified by it as anyone else. 
But, still. Look. When you encourage rage you cannot then feign surprise when people become enraged. You cannot turn around and say, ‘Mate, you weren’t supposed to take it so seriously. It’s just a game, just a ploy, a strategy for winning votes.
Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceAs more than one person has tweeted tonight, I want my country back.

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