Today, in Britain, a Member of Parliament was murdered. Forty-one year old Jo Cox, a Labour MP for the Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen, was gunned down, then repeatedly stabbed, as she left her local office. It has been said that the man who committed this crime shouted, “Britain First,” as he killed her.
Sparrow Chat is no friend of politicians, but Jo Cox wasn’t of the usual breed. She actually cared, and not just about those she represented. She had compassion for the whole human race, a rarity indeed in today’s politicians.
Shootings are virtually unheard of in Britain. Witnesses described the gun as either ‘very old’ or ‘homemade’. Hand guns have been banned for many years. Incalculable numbers of lives have been saved because of that law.
Britain is not America, and guns are considered only weapons of destruction, not to be glorified but avoided and shunned at all costs. The British do not have a diseased mindset about firearms, like so many Americans. Shootings are commonplace in America. Most never make the headlines. The disease is covered up, except when it explodes into mass murder such as occurred this week in Orlando.
When news of Jo Cox’s assassination reaches the United States one can be sure the ‘gun lobby’ will react as they always do when a shooting occurs in their own country: “if she’d only carried a gun, she could have defended herself,”; “if only the bystanders had been allowed to ‘pack heat’ (Americans gun owners adore that phrase, it makes them feel macho) they might have saved her.”
It’s a disease of the mind; a sickness that has spread over America like an epidemic. It’s to be hoped the ‘American disease’ will never take hold in Britain.
Undoubtedly, Mrs Cox’s killer was unhinged. He was possibly a supporter of the far right-wing party, ‘Britain First’, that believes Britain should shun the European Union, Islam should be banned in the U.K.(Donald Trump?), the death penalty re-introduced for paedophiles, terrorists and murderers, the BBC abolished, introduction of ‘chain gangs’ for prisoners, new laws guaranteeing citizens the right to protect their own homes (shades of “Stand Your Ground”?), and other nefarious ideals.
Jo Cox believed Britain’s place was in Europe. With a referendum on whether the nation should remain in, or leave, the E.U. only a week away, she was likely murdered for holding that view.
Jo Cox’s death could probably have been avoided. This forthcoming referendum should never have been proposed in the first place. It was voiced by the British prime minister, David Cameron, as a means of securing votes to ensure his election victory in 2010. Had he been in favour of leaving Europe, it might have been more comprehensible. As it was, when campaigning to be leader of the nation, he turned the decision over to the general public, even while he, himself, firmly believed it was best for the country to retain its membership. It’s rather like a wartime general saying to his troops, “Well, lads, I’m in favour of engaging the enemy – but I’ll leave it up to you.”
The result has been a long and bitter round of infighting between politicians on the “Remain” side, and those dedicated to the “Leave” campaign (many of the latter, it must be said, spurred on by the possibility of achieving greater political power by adopting the stance). The media has, of course, whipped up both sides to a frenzy and forced the public to take sides as though the whole thing was a political football match (which, in many respects, it is).
Cameron’s self-centred, promise of a referendum on Europe should he be elected, and proffered only to boost his chances of becoming prime minister, has served to generate ill-informed passions and hatreds that may well have indirectly contributed to the foul assassination of Jo Cox this afternoon.
One can only wonder if Mister Cameron has a conscience.
Jo Cox was a rare breed of politician. The nation couldn’t afford to lose her – unlike many who take on the job. She’ll be sorely missed, not least by her husband and two small children.
An isolated case of the ‘American disease’ reared its evil head in Britain today. Let us hope there’s not another like it for a very long time.