Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jo Cox RIP

I am horrified to learn that Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, has been murdered.

The 41-year old mother of two was shot and stabbed as she was arriving at her constituency surgery by a man who appeared to have been waiting for her. In other words, she was murdered while carrying out one of the most important duties of an MP, listening to the concerns of the people she was elected to represent.

A 77-year old man who attempted to defend the MP was also stabbed in the stomach.

This murder was an attack, not on one MP or party but on democracy itself.

Both Leave and Remain suspended campaigning for the day as a mark of respect. The weekly column in Conservative Home by four floating voters commenting on the referendum campaign, to which I am one of the contributors, will not appear tomorrow for the same reason and I will be making no more posts today after this obit piece.

Tributes have been paid to Jo Cos from across the political spectrum and around the world

Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who paid tribute to her, saying:
"This is absolutely tragic and dreadful news and my thoughts are with Jo's husband Brendan, their two children and wider family. We've lost a great star. She had a big heart and people are going to be very, very sad at what has happened.
Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn said of Jo Cox's killing:
"In Parliament, she was respected across the whole house as somebody with a deep commitment and deep passion for human rights and justice. She leaves behind a husband, a wonderful man who likewise spends his life campaigning for human rights and justice. And two young children who will never grow up to see their mum again. They can be proud of everything she stood for."

Chancellor George Osborne said in an emotional speech
"People are free in this country to live their lives as they choose and express themselves without fear. Society will protect their right to do so and hold to account those who disregard our laws. Today's horrible events are an assault on all of these values. But we know that these values, no matter how they have been challenged in the past, have always prevailed, prevail today and they will always prevail. For they are the values of Great Britain, our great democracy."
 He added that MPs' accessibility to constituents was a virtue of the UK's political system.
"To be an effective representative, all of us who are MPs engage with their communities, talk to everyone and anyone, hold constituency surgeries and must be prepared to stand up and argue publicly for what we believe. Jo did all of these things. She will never know how many lives she helped transform. Today, doing that job, she senselessly lost her own life."

Brendan Cox, her widower, 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."
Rest in Peace.

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