Like many people I have been on Twitter this evening, and on the internet. I have watched the news obsessively. The first I knew of the shooting of Jo Cox MP was when I picked up my ‘phone early this evening and saw an email from a newsfeed saying there had been reports of an attack on an MP.
Jo Cox was one of the few MPs in the House of Commons who made you feel every word she said was genuine. She was bright and funny, serious and committed. I am sure I am not the only one to have noted her as a future leader of the Labour Party, and a future Prime Minister.
For all my news scanning and watching, why she was killed is still unclear. There are reports that her killer suffered from mental illness, that he was normally a gentle person who did work in other people’s gardens for free. Other reports say that he shouted “Britain first!” before pulling the trigger on his home made gun.
Moving tributes were made by stunned colleagues and constituents. For once David Cameron looked genuinely shaken and upset. Conservative Andrew Mitchell, hardly the most endearing of our elected representatives, spoke of her warmly and with obvious respect and admiration. Tonight the flags on our official buildings fly at half mast.
It seems that not a day this week can pass without some dreadful human on human violence. Anyone deemed as other is fair target. Blood and tears are our nightly television fare.
Jo Cox’ husband called for an end to hate. That hasn’t stopped people demanding her killer should be executed. An eye for an eye so we all end up blind, as though our blind ignorance and intolerance isn’t destructive enough. No doubt they’ll be others who say those with mental illness/suspected of having links to extremists should be locked up and the key thrown away. That isn’t fighting hate; it’s feeding it.
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