On 16 June 2016 Labour MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered outside her constituency surgery. A week before her birthday this well-loved woman with a young family was killed by a man in broad daylight.
I am shocked as well as the rest of the nation, and the world.
While the police has not made official announcements, there is a lot of speculation in the media that the attacker shouted “Britain First” during the attack. It seems that the attack was premeditated and sustained. It appears the attacker had far-right sympathies, if not actual connections.
Everyone is writing about this at the moment, so why am I joining in? I am writing this because I have a simple point to make.
Brexiteers are morally responsible for this crime.
They may not have ordered the attack. The attacker may not be one of them. They will certainly not benefit from it. Yet I blame them.
Should the Cox atrocity become a stick to beat Leavers with? Yes it should. Isn’t that unfair? No it isn’t.
A healthy political climate is a dynamic thing. Polarisation and anger, hatred and tension breed monsters. Monsters commit violence on the innocent. The murderer of Jo Cox is such a monster.
The EU referendum started as an intra-Tory battle and has turned out to be a fight for the moral heart of the nation. Let us remember of few things about the leadership of Leave.
They are enemies of human rights
Hard core Tories and the fascists of UKIP have been campaigning against human rights, your rights, for years. Human rights are not about evil Muslim hate clerics who cannot be deported. They are about YOUR life, your rights. Sadly one realises that they are threatened always too late. You do not want to be the hapless crab that cooks as the temperature increases slowly. The erosion of human rights will take away those of migrants and foreigners first. Then it will take yours.
They are enemies of the working class
The Tories who support Leave are the hard right elements of the party who care about their business buddies and personal interests. If you are an average Joe, they don’t care about you, never have never will. Nigel Farage is a posh fascist who plays funny to win over working class people he would not spit on, never mind share a beer with. Boris is even worse.
They are enemies of democracy
Hard core policies have failed at the ballot box time and time again. Yet they now achieve the aura of a movement, of momentum, of a majority through the trick of the referendum. This is not democracy, this is a coup.
I apologise to my friends and neighbours who support Leave. I know they are not racists and bigots. If they were, I would not be able (or allowed) to live amongst them. Yet the leadership of Leave are racists and bigots. The Labour elements in them are just deluded fantasists, the few that have joined Leave.
Let us return to the Cox atrocity and why I think it can be attributed to the poisoned political climate emanating from Leave.
If a Muslim man, in a bout of moronic fanaticism kills a couple of defenseless commuters shouting Allahu Akbar, would we think that he is a psychopath acting on his own? While he may well be a psychopath acting on his own, we will call him a jihadist and go bomb ISIS in retaliation (and we should).
If an English white man in a bout of moronic fanaticism kills a woman on the street shouting Britain First, would we think that he is a psychopath acting on his own? Yes, and he will be. Yet we do not want to blame the neo-nazi, fascist, rotten hatred-peddling ideology that informed his thinking. We will avoid at all costs to make the connection between such hatred and the angry anti-everything nationalism of Leave.
Is this the right thing to do?
Should you base your decision on the 23rd on the murder of Jo Cox?
I think you should.