Friday, 17 June 2016

Jo Cox : RIP

I'm normally fairly light hearted here. I don't make a habit of positing about politics.

But today, I came home, I turned on the news, and learned that Jo Cox, MP a West Yorkshire MP, and former charity worker,  was murdered today. She was stabbed and shot while holding a surgery in her constituency.

I didn't know her. I didn't know her name, before today.

But I am appalled that anyone, politician or otherwise, has been killed for doing her job, for standing up for her principals, for holding, and expressing, views which others didn't accept.

She was only elected 13 months ago, in May 2015. She used her Maiden Speech in the House of Commons to speak out in support of the benefits of multi-culturalism and immigrants to this country, she seems, by all accounts, to have been an excellent and effective constituency MP, and she actively worked to support and welcome refugees.

Her death is a huge loss, not only to her family and  her own Yorkshire community, but to all of us. She was the sort of politician one can respect and support, and even if you don't share her political views, she clearly earned respect for her integrity, commitment and compassion.

And she was well-matched. Her husband, in the middle of the first shock of her death, gave a statement. He said:

“Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo.

Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it everyday of her life with an energy and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. 

She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.

Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full.”

My heart goes out to him, and their children. To be able to refrain from any mention of revenge, from any hatred.. I hope that he will find some comfort in the outpouring of love and support there has been for his wife.

I have also been thinking a lot about the word Neil Gaiman wrote, after and in response to the Charlie Hebdo murders. I think they apply here, too. 

"I believe I have the right to think and say the wrong things. I believe your remedy for that should be to argue with me or to ignore me, and that I should have the same remedy for the wrong things that you think.

I believe that you have the absolute right to think things that I find offensive, stupid, preposterous or dangerous, and that you have the right to speak, write, or distribute these things, and that I do not have the right to kill you, maim you, hurt you, or take away your liberty or property because I find your ideas threatening or insulting or downright disgusting. You probably think my ideas are pretty vile, too."

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