Comment about Jo Cox’s Murder by Nick Palmer former MP for Broxtowe

nickpJust a few words on Jo Cox’s murder – others more eloquent than me have already said more. I didn’t know her, but she was clearly a quite outstanding woman, who defended refugees despite the unpopularity of the cause and repeated personal threats, and what has happened is utterly terrible.  

Three additional comments. 

First, we need to remember that it is both a political tragedy and a personal one. As Jeremy Corbyn commented, we in the Labour Party have lost a friend and colleague who worked with us for justice and fairness, but her children have lost a mother and the joy of growing up in a really happy environment. We need to celebrate all that she did to make politics a better place, while respecting the quiet, private grief. Politics is not all of life.

Second, it goes without saying that nobody is responsible for the murder except the murderer (and any accomplices) – we should avoid trying to draw parallels to anyone on the right, in the same way as we ask people not to blame other Muslims for the lunatic in Orlando. It is, however, fair to say that a political climate where terms like “scum” and “traitor” are bandied about create an atmosphere where someone who is unbalanced may feel it’s easier to justify violence. We should accept that the overwhelming majority of people mean well, however much we may disagree with them.

And finally I’m glad that one lesson that has been mentioned is that MPs and other politicians do in general make a real effort to represent their constituents, and we are all aware that there is an element of personal risk in it. Next time you hear someone saying that “all politicians are just out for themselves”, please speak up to disagree.

I do not think you should decide your vote on Thursday in reaction to the murder. Please consider the pros and cons carefully, include the spirit of European friendship and solidarity that Jo championed as one element of your decision, then do whatever you think is best for our society. I shall, as you know, be voting Remain. I respect anyone who reaches a different conclusion but please decide carefully, for all our sakes and for the next generation.

Best wishes,  Nick


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2 Responses to Comment about Jo Cox’s Murder by Nick Palmer former MP for Broxtowe

  1. Graham Taylor says:

    I am sure everyone will agree with the words you have expressed Nick.

    We should all respect our politicians whatever party they support. They are our democracy. Without them this country would descend into anarchy.

    The way to go is for the UK to lead the world in how to deal with the difficult matter of movements of population . It is not through hate and vile images of people who are genuinely fleeing tyranny and oppression.

    If we leave the EU we will become isolationist and have no allies. Now is the time for the world to unite, not to divide.

    This is the lesson Jo Cox will have taught everyone. Reason overcomes hate and bigotry.

  2. Joan Wade says:

    I had not heard of Jo Cox before she was murdered. Having now looked at her twitter feed – with several links to articles about her work and her views – I am struck by how much she seemed able to identify with people’s concerns and fears and address them in a positive way. She was clearly someone keen to do her best for all people in her local constituency and someone who went about her work and her home life with much love for others, skill and good humour. I don’t think that there is really more I could want from a fellow human being.

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