With just a week to go I had planned to write a blog this evening urging a Remain vote next week and pointing out what an awful campaign this had been – exposing a rather nasty side to Britain. I wanted to make the point that Farage and the Leave campaign had unleashed a campaign of fear and hatred of ‘other’ that has exposed the rather thin veneer of our claim to be a compassionate and tolerant country. I was feeling pretty low this week as I gathered the evidence to create the blog. Then today Farage launched one of the most disgusting political posters I have seen – and my anger was palpable.
But then as I left a meeting at Loughborough University with the VC I saw on my Twitter timeline the awful news about an attack on the wonderfully passionate MP Jo Cox. Even as an attack with Jo still described as ‘critical’ I was emotional at hearing the news. My emotions changed to anger and despair as we learned she had been murdered later this afternoon.
Even now I feel I have no adequate words to describe what has happened, it’s consequences and where we go from here. But having said that I know in these times we need to be strong and to remain convinced that love and compassion will always win over hate and distrust. I was right. I can’t find the words but I found two wonderful examples of others who could express much better than me just how we should react.
The first was this remarkable statement from Brendon her husband. How on earth he was able to articulate such wonderful thoughts on a day like today puts those of us who were angry to shame.
The idealism of Ms Cox was the very antithesis of such brutal cynicism. Honour her memory. Because the values and the commitment that she embodied are all that we have to keep barbarism at bay. (The Guardian)
I am still passionate and determined we win the referendum campaign for remain next week and whilst it does not seem remotely important on a tragic day like today I think those who wrote these beautiful words would agree it should be a start for creating the sort of society Jo Cox was fighting for.
I didn’t really know Jo Cox MP. But I knew what she and others stand for in creating a better society. It’s a set of views and values I share. If anything her tragic loss makes me more determined to finish the job she started. Rest in Peace Jo. In your memory we should all fight for the better world you gave your life for.