Obviously the murder of MP Jo Cox is tragic because a young mum was gunned down by a right-wing extremist for believing in a better world. Two kids have lost their mother. And by all accounts she was an awesome one.
But aside from the personal tragedy for Jo Cox’s family, here is the tragedy for Britain: how extraordinary she appears to have been in Westminster.
Actual international humanitarian experience, warmth, enthusiasm, compassion. An ability to make informed speeches about human rights based on first-hand field experience, and a deep knowledge of how best to defend the persecuted. And in the same stride, inexhaustible pride in a hometown and a zealous quest to fight for its interests.
What an astonishing indictment on British politics that Jo Cox stood out like a rainbow on a thundercloud.
How utterly tragic that in politics, Cox’s world view and work ethic is seen as having been so exceptional. Her cheerful nature, her groundedness and good heart, managing somehow to bring egos to their knees, cut across political divides, rivalries and agendas to forge alliances, partnership, cooperation.
The tributes to Jo Cox from her Parliamentary colleagues were warm and heartfelt, and left me with a true sense that other MPs respected her and were grateful for her input. But would they want to grow to be more like her? To stand up in Parliament to selflessly represent their hometown and shape Britain’s decisions, actively sharing her compassionate humanitarian outlook?
It has been written a million times that she had a passion to create a better world. Her husband said she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.
I am diametrically opposed to my MP’s very Conservative, very economy-centric viewpoint. So much so that I look with awe and wonder at politicians who bear in mind wider social, environmental, ethical and humanitarian factors when mulling over decisions.
Bravo Jo Cox. Bravo for her life, her experiences, and her desire to make the world a better place. Bravo that she went into politics at all, even for too short a time.
There can, and should, be good people in politics.
Presume that your MP operates with respect and dignity. If you disagree with them, challenge them. Feel disgusted when politicians scar important debates with scaremongering, racism and lies, whilst totally abandoning facts, honesty, decency and reason. Tell your MP you disapprove of that kind of behaviour in politics.
If they won’t budge, put yourself forward. Join a political party, become a political candidate.
If you don’t want to do that, then do this one thing: vote REMAIN on 23rd June.
Together we can make a change.
Thanks Jo Cox for showing us how it can, and should, be done.