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JO COX: Public Servant, Rest In Peace

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Today, British public life saw the loss of Jo Cox, mother of two, wife to Brendan.

Having dedicated her life to aid work for Oxfam, and then becoming a socialist MP for Labour, having only served in the House of Commons for a year, Jo made immigration, the plight of Syrian refugees, the poor and needy amongst her constituents, her key priorities.

In an act of cowardice, barbarity and brutal inhumanity, Jo was attacked today as she left her weekly constituency surgery in Birstall, Leeds, having just met with local people to discuss their problems. Named as Tommy Mair, a 52 year old white man, shot her a number of times and then stabbed her on the street. It was by all accounts a targeted and intentional act of true terror. There have been some reports that the attacker called out the name of the far right group “Britain First” whilst attacking her.

What has become of Britain? How far we have fallen. The politics of hate, prejudice and hysteria have now fomented to the point where anger is spilling over onto our streets. Tensions have been consistently ratcheted up. All those politicians involved, and those ugly strategists like Lynton Crosby, have pursued this as an intentional strategy. To create angry white men who would vote hard right. To make immigration and anger top issues. We have seen mosques firebombed. Members of the public attacked. Pious old men going to and from morning prayers, brutally slain. And now a diligent public servant, in the course of her duties. Murdered.

There will need to be a time for calm reflection but for once, when it has so often been my way to call for tolerance and peace, for unity; today there unbridled anger. It is a swell of emotion based on the sacrifice of a mother, and her two children who tonight won’t see their mummy come home. It is of a man who loses his life partner. It is against a political system which I have lobbied, offered written legal submissions to, written about in the media and spoken about on television and radio, begging that we take action against the far right. Why haven’t we proscribed the far right? Why has James Brokenshire, the Parliamentary Undersecretary, over and again refused to take action? No matter what links to Anders Breivik, terror, ideology, contrary to the public good. The EDL, Pegida, Britain First, the English Democrats. Why have we allowed them to become emboldened and to strengthen? Why have we allowed their hate to grow? Whatever the benchmark, the Home Office and our ministers have repeatedly refused to ban or take action against the far right. And should it be shown Tommy Mair was a far right ideologue, James Brokenshire and all those others who kept turning a blind eye to the far right because it suited your political ends… blood is on your hands today.

I’ve previously reported that UK intelligence officers have told me that clamping down on far right extremism is neither a strategic, nor operational, priority. Why? The focus has been about Muslims, Syria and ISIS. White extremism and radicalisation is rife in the UK. It has been simmering beneath the surface but today, in the most callous and barbaric way, it has been shown to be at boiling point.

Now government needs to act. Decisively. There must be a swift reckoning against the far right. On the day Jo Cox was murdered, Britain First also made threats of ‘direct action’ against Sadiq Khan, London Mayor.
Unless we see the hammer come down on these people: Pegida, the EDL and others, we will continue to see blood spilled on British streets.

The tragedy is of the loss of a wife, mother and daughter. Her sacrifice should not be in vain. Jo has fallen. We can honour her legacy by picking up her torch and carrying it for her – for social justice, for the plight of Syrians, for refugees, to support and promote immigration, for reform, for peace, for international aid and local activism. Pick up the torch of activism and hold it aloft. Push back the politics of hate and prejudice.

From Him we come, and to Him we return.

Rest in peace, Jo Cox. We won’t let you down.

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This entry was posted on 16/06/2016 by in UK Politics and tagged , , .

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Mo Ansar

Mo Ansar

Musician | Lead singer with Solomon | Broadcaster | Political Commentator | Activist

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