Yesterday, a British Member of Parliament was stabbed and shot. Her name was Jo Cox. I am numbed by the news. This column by Alex Massie in the Spectator puts into words my feelings at the moment, please go and read it. A sample:
When you shout BREAKING POINT over and over again, you don’t get to be surprised when someone breaks. When you present politics as a matter of life and death, as a question of national survival, don’t be surprised if someone takes you at your word. You didn’t make them do it, no, but you didn’t do much to stop it either.
Sometimes rhetoric has consequences. If you spend days, weeks, months, years telling people they are under threat, that their country has been stolen from them, that they have been betrayed and sold down the river, that their birthright has been pilfered, that their problem is they’re too slow to realise any of this is happening, that their problem is they’re not sufficiently mad as hell, then at some point, in some place, something or someone is going to snap. And then something terrible is going to happen.
All the demonisation of the “other”, whether they be immigrants, Muslims, or the EU by the likes of Nigel Farage and his ilk does have consequences. We have an even nastier example here in the Netherlands in the form of Geert Wilders.
My father was a politician, and was a member of the Manx parliament. Like Jo Cox, he always fought for the underdog. It would have broken his heart had he lived to have seen the events of yesterday.