Thursday, 16 June 2016

GQ: We must reassert the civilised values Jo Cox MP stood for

GQ: We must reassert the civilised values Jo Cox MP stood for

by Rupert Myers

"Jo Cox’s heartbreaking twitter timeline is so clearly the output of a decent, devoted public servant. Her death, coming at it does at a time of such hostility and division, is likely to be debated in the coming days. It shouldn’t divide us, but remind us of our common humanity. As Jo Cox said, we are more united than divided. While her children have been denied their mother, the nation has a chance to unify around that important sentiment, and to cherish that common humanity as a civilizing force, to build upon the legacy of a woman who had so much more to give.

Jo Cox’s killing cannot be decontextualised. There are reports that the killer shouted “Britain First” before killing Jo Cox, who was campaigning for the UK to remain in Europe. The febrile atmosphere of the referendum has caused tempers to flare, and lowered the tone of public debate yet further. The country is awash with fear, cynicism and anger all stoked by political rhetoric. If politicians have played with fire in this referendum, then Jo Cox’s family are the ones who have been burned. The awful manner of her death must not be allowed to overshadow a simple, vital message: the belief Jo Cox held in our shared values. Those values have been attacked, as they are whenever democracy is attacked, but only by reasserting the civilised values Jo Cox stood for can we hope to meet that challenge."

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