I had a good day yesterday. A colleague of mine had the best reaction ever to a surprise afternoon tea with the entire office for her 30th birthday and it absolutely made my day.
Then I went back to my desk and quickly checked Twitter to check the football score.
And it all went to shit.
Because Labour MP, Jo Cox, was murdered yesterday.
I was speechless. Almost to the point of not really believing something like this had happened. Because this woman, this former charity worker, who worked so very hard to actually make this country better, who campaigned for opportunities for all and for unification amongst all races, religions, creed etc. was gunned down and then repeatedly stabbed by a man who thought that his opinion mattered to anyone else but him.
You know what? I’ve had enough of this. I’ve had enough of hatred, enough of the reckless and dangerous behaviour of our politicians. Because, whether or not it is true that this man yelled “Britain First” before murdering this mother to two small children, the fact remains that Jo Cox’s death will now always be synonymous with the frankly shambolic, cruel and careless Leave campaign. None of us know if this was the reason behind her death. Jo fought hard for equality in this country and was a fierce champion of welcoming immigrants who have come here to pursue a better life for themselves and their children. It was only this past Wednesday that she proudly tweeted a picture of her husband and children in a little boat on the Thames. They were taking part in the Remain campaign.
The next day she was dead.
I will reiterate that I don’t know if her stance on the Referendum was the reason behind her death. But the fact remains that it will be tinged with the feckless actions of the likes of Nigel Farage and the Leave campaign.
I don’t want this country to be like America. We can’t use violence and hate to make a point. It’s not the answer. And it cannot become the norm for us. Fear cannot override every scruple, every principle we might have in this country. It just can’t. We are all lucky enough to live in a free country, a democracy, where everyone is allowed their own opinion but not everyone agrees with each other. Using fear and hatred to force people into certain ideals is not what a democracy is. It’s not how we operate here.
And no group of people should be more ashamed of themselves than those who have continually used fear as a means of getting what they want – of trying to control the people of this country than those campaigning to Leave the EU. These people are in a position of power and they have used this power against us. What did they think was going to happen? We are all human beings. Of course you are going to get some unhinged, pathetic idiot that sees that using fear is perfectly ok to further your own agenda. Of course that person is going to wield fear like a weapon against us. Of course he is. Because that is what you are doing. Just look at this disgusting poster unveiled by Farage only yesterday morning. The comparisons to nazi propaganda is overwhelmingly clear. And just because Farage isn’t Muslim and hasn’t committed obscene acts of violence, he is not called an Extremist. Why? He preaches intolerance in the guise of putting this country first. He is in a position of power and he is abusing it.
A man lost his wife yesterday. He is living the worst kind of hell at the moment and there are no words of comfort anyone can offer him that will bring Jo back. Brendan must now reconcile the fact that he must now live as a widower and a single father. He has to figure out a way of looking into his children’s eyes and telling them that mummy won’t be coming home again – that she will never again tuck them in at night or be there to comfort them when they are hurt or sad, she won’t watch them get married. There will simply be a hole where their mother should be. But mostly, Brendan will have to one day explain to them why they have grown up without a mother. My heart breaks for them all.
I am so ashamed of all of the politicians, the Prime Minister included, who didn’t once take a single moment to think of how much damage their scaremongering could do.
I hope these pompous idiots take a good long look at themselves in the mirror, that they all face Brendan Cox and take responsibility for running this country so poorly that the mother of his children was brutally murdered in broad daylight by a Brit who (supposedly) championed their scaremongering tactics.
Is Britain united in the face of Jo Cox’s death? I hope so. I hope the people of this country band together and can say: no more. No more fear. And that they refuse to accept the continued hideousness of our politicians who have been entrusted with the welfare of this country. Jo understood what being an MP was about. She was one of the good ones. She was one of the best ones. I am sorry that so many of us (myself included) didn’t know just how much of a force of good she was for this country until she died. I am sorry that she won’t get to finish what she started. I am sorry that this country has lost her. Because we need her. We need more like her. This country needs better.
This country deserves better.
In Jo Cox’s name, let’s all just make it better for everyone. So at the very least, her children will grow up in a country that honours their mother’s lifelong work and refuses to crumble under hatred and fear. Be kind to each other. Be accepting of the differences of others. Fear only breads hate, hate only breads violence. Violence solves nothing. Lead by Jo’s example instead of the, Donald Trump idolising, dangerous, political rhetoric from those who run the country which has come to shame us all this week.