Reflection on tragic killing of MP Jo Cox

Posted on: 5th July 2018

It’s right that we annually reflect on the shocking and tragic killing of an exceptional MP Jo Cox by a right-wing extremist two years ago.

But I’m going to say what many are thinking yet are afraid to say.

Of course these occasions should be moments to bring communities together, break down divisions and stand up for the values which Jo Cox championed – openness, tolerance, strong environment, fair society. But we should make sure this is led by people who represent those values and is not used as a convenient bandwagon for people who at other times happily back campaigns which drive wedges through our communities, promote intolerance and support “hostile environments” which produce the politics of hatred which end in tragedies like this.

Too much of this is going on in our communities today. Those who use the privilege of their position to irresponsibly back campaigns or to use ‘dog whistle’ methods which promote prejudice, vilification and mistrust of other groups in society should be called out and not permitted to insincerely drape themselves in the image of someone who was herself the victim of those same forces.