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Friday, 17 June 2016

Jo Cox Dead - Stop The Madness

You may not have heard of Byron Williams. After all, he never killed anyone, but he certainly intended to. Williams was stopped on US Interstate 580 by Police who observed him driving erratically. After an exchange of gunfire and his subsequent arrest, it was discovered that he had several high-powered weapons, and had intended to visit the San Francisco offices of the Tides Foundation to kill “people of importance”.
Jo Cox MP, who was murdered yesterday

Williams had been watching a lot of cable news, specifically the weekday rants by Glenn Beck at Fox News Channel, who had regularly featured Tides on his chalkboard of conspiracy. He got angrier and angrier before something sent him over the edge and he loaded up his vehicle, heading to San Fran to do some damage.

And you may have forgotten the name of Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people and gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a shooting outside a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. Loughner might have killed many more if he had not fumbled the reloading of his Glock pistol. His actions followed an election campaign filled with violent rhetoric that included putting crosshairs over “targets” like that of Rep. Giffords.

We know from those incidents that actions can have consequences. And, although we do not have anything like Fox News Channel, the campaign for next week’s referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU has seen a tsunami of incendiary rhetoric, made yet more combustible by a seemingly unending deluge of exaggeration, misrepresentation and downright dishonesty. We knew where it could lead. But still it kept on coming.
Voters have been bombarded with propaganda telling them that tens of millions of brown people are going to be swamping their country. Only yesterday, they were being told by one of the country’s best-selling newspapers that free movement of people meant lorries filled with brown people from the Middle East. They were “other”. They were Muslims. They were coming here. Our “political elite” wanted to let them in.

Then those same voters were fed straplines like “I want my country back”. They were told of “sovereignty”, of “taking control”, of ending the waves of people from foreign lands taking their jobs, driving down wages, bringing their unfamiliar customs, turning their country into something full of “other” people. The “other” people did not speak English. They were probably talking about us. And we did not know what they were saying.

On and on went the stoking of paranoia, the injection of poisonous hatred, the fear that something was being done to their country without their consent, and that it was all down to this terrible thing called the EU. It was only a matter of time before these actions brought their terrible consequences, that someone snapped, that something awful happened.

That something happened yesterday in the West Yorkshire market town of Birstall, a quiet community in which used to be called the Woollen District, when the local MP, Jo Cox, a supporter of remaining in the EU, was approached as she left her weekly surgery, attacked, stabbed, and shot three times by someone who wanted to “put Britain first”.
Ms Cox, one of the brightest stars of the 2015 intake of new MPs, later died from her wounds. Actions have consequences. This was the consequence of the incessant stoking of rhetoric, the barrage of propaganda, the demonisation of anyone pro-EU.

It took the Tucson shooting for politicians across the USA to tone down the rhetoric. Perhaps those who have been contributing to the incendiary, screaming, voter-frightening welter of poisonous, paranoid hatred will now see the folly of their ways and tone down their rhetoric, too - before anyone else gets killed.

For too many hacks, pundits and their hangers-on, this is one great big game, all a bit of a laugh. I have to tell them that, for those of us who exist outside the Westminster and Fleet Street bubbles, it is anything but. Actions have consequences.

It might not happen to the hacks and pundits. But that is no excuse for continuing to stoke the bonfire. It is time to stop the madness, the never-ending diet of propaganda aimed at scaring voters into being bent to the will of those for whom this is just another day at the office, another biscuit thrown by a grateful billionaire, another laugh down the pub with like-minded participants in that great big game.

It is time for those people to do something they have done so little of in their recent working lives - it is time for them to stop and think before they act.


Anonymous said...

I really hope both sides of what has become a most unedifying campaign now see the light and decide enough is enough.

Make a joint statement that all campaigning is over and they are leaving it to the voters to decide next Thursday.

Anonymous said...


Do you really think this awful tragedy is going to make the slightest difference to events and to those who create the kind of society that makes it inevitable? Is it any wonder mentally unbalanced people go over the edge and unleash their mad furies on the promising innocence of the likes of Jo Cox?

It's only necessary to look around the world to see the horror that looms yet again, the deliberate and carefully planned insanity that triggers individual acts like the murder of Jo Cox - which is, after all, however terrible and tragic, merely symptomatic. No country, no society, is free of it. And it will get worse, not better, if there is no raising of the Zeitgeist to a higher level of understanding.

Our self-appointed "representative" society in Britain has looked on with enmity in its heart, not just dispassion, at the daily loss of economic refugees crossing the Mediterranean. We have joined in mass murders, bombing and strafing across the world - Hilary Benn even encouraged it in Parliament to the waving of order papers and cheers from its inmates. Our media is unspeakable, too many of our politicians corrupt insensate beasts. Who are WE to lecture anybody?

The tragedy of this country is that it simply doesn't care as a society. Jeers and legalised theft are the measure of "achievement." We have become a cheap Gekkoland, a sort of Economic Airstrip One for the rich serviced by a capital with virtually no connection or understanding of the rest of the country. Why be surprised when eventually it infects even a hamlet as bucolic as Birstall?

The tragedy is the snuffing of a promising young life like Jo Cox is that it isn't the first and it won't be the last. It is symptomatic.

I am thoroughly ashamed of this country, that we have allowed ourselves to fall to this level, that we have allowed greed, lies, corruption, and, yes, murder, to reach the current levels. We have surrendered the country to hate-filled demagogues and thieves in suits and media front men and women who are little more than stenographers for their crooked employers.

No, things won't change any time soon and I suggest we all know it. It will take decades to turn this country around. There has been too much lying and wilful ignorance, too much robbery of innocence. We once had a sort of consensual society that sort of worked. Now there is no such thing as society. Now there is only Gordon Gekko, Rupert Murdoch, "Lord" Rothermere, David Cameron and his gang, Tony Blair and his lying mob, Canary Wharf, Westminster and Whitehall civil servants and all the rest of the motley crew........Tell me, what do you think their legacy will be?

Anonymous said...

The shockwaves from this will no doubt affect many.

Namely one in particular. It's been a long time coming for the vermin.
To think, they allow it around children.

Can't wait.

Shazz said...

"It took the Tucson shooting for politicians across the USA to tone down the rhetoric."

And now we have Donald Trump who has pushed the volume WAY above 11.

Nothing changes, nothing gets better even with an MP like Jo Cox who seemed like one of the goodies.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You seem to know everything there is to know about this case it's not even been 24 hours. Have you tried contacting the police telling them to call off the investigation?

Anonymous said...

While the Mail Online have called the man who shot & stabbed Jo Cox MP to death "timid", it appears there could be strong evidence (if proved genuine) pointing to him having longtime links to violent fascist groups. The article includes receipts for books, magazines etc he ordered from them-


Meanwhile Louise Mensch thinks MPs having surgeries in rooms in police stations is a good idea. For starters the Tory-led coalition cuts meant my local police station no longer exists...

Anonymous said...

Of course people will point out the wrong doings of all in the upper echelons but unfortunately there are those who make it their lifes work to go above and beyond that.
You know, the usual, blackmail , intimidation and ridicule and not just Iin working life but in private too.
It is fair enough that the media have a job to report issues but then there are those who have no journalistic legitamacy and are only out for vengeance because their bitter and twisted mind screwed their own careerand now resorts to attacks.
Not only do they do all of the above but they use loopholes in law, internet and other countries as safe havens to do it.

Vauxhall cross had best be on code red today and the future when it comes to security of politicians.

They have let people down (again).

I will NOT allow this to continuee and anyone with any decency would feel the same.
I guess that's everyone?

pete c said...

Not only should the campaigning stop - the referendum should be cancelled.

We tell the press to shut up, and to start being nice to people . Or they get a financial smacking.

We get stuck in and reform the EU.

We get PR in and henceforth all local and national voting becomes compulsory.

A small start that might convince the population that these are serious matters in serious times.

Glaivester said...

If the right-wing is supposed to "take responsibility" for the assassination of Jo Cox, ought to left to take responsibility for the assassination of Pim Fortuyn in 2002, whom they repeatedly referred to as a fascist until some leftist decided it was time to nip a potential fascist in the bud and killed him?

Anonymous said...

The referendum should not be stopped.

All media will be under the spotlight after recent events.

Then, people will see that the BBC have been right all along not to run certain stories or cause public unrest.

Unfortunately, it will be too late for some.

Anonymous said...


With that kind of "look over there" bullshit you should be working for Murdoch and/or Rothermere.

Grow up and have some respect for Jo Cox and what she tried to achieve in her short life.