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Jo Cox – one year on May 16, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Difficult to believe it has been a full year since the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox. So much has changed both in the UK and elsewhere. 

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1. Ed - May 16, 2017

It’s remarkable that the political effect of a British MP being murdered by a far-right activist yelling slogans that were taken straight from the pages of the Tory press has been, I would say, precisely nil. The Mail and the Express are still using exactly the same rhetoric, as if they find it disappointing that they’ve only claimed the scalp of one ‘traitor’ so far. Theresa May and her allies have moved straight into that territory; their whole election campaign is based on the premise that any domestic opposition to her Brexit strategy is unwelcome, unpatriotic and bordering on treason. A week or so ago, a Tory MP gleefully shared a picture of a handwritten sign from a door in her constituency: the sign explained that the resident was an Army veteran, the Labour Party was led, in his view, by an ‘IRA supporting traitor’, and thus Labour Party canvassers would knock ‘at their own risk’. Another Thomas Mair in the making, evidently, but there was no backlash against the MP for revelling in his threats of violence against ‘traitors’.

Obviously this is part of something much wider, but the entire British media has a case to answer for the way they reported Cox’s murder. The Mail were the worst, naturally enough, but right across the board, its obvious political significance—’death to traitors, freedom for Britain!’, FFS!—was buried as much as possible. The dominant reaction was to brand Mair as a loner with mental health issues; if political motivations were discussed at all, the murder was presented as a symptom of a general climate of hostility to ‘politicians’ as a collective group (there was even a gormless Twitter campaign to ‘thank your MP’, as if the proper response to the murder of an MP who defended the rights of refugees would be to praise other MPs who described them as insects). Implicitly or explicitly, someone calling an MP an arsehole on social media (often with good cause) was put on the same plane as a fascist hacking a woman to death in the street.

Predictably, when the case came to trial, mental health issues played no part in Mair’s defence, but there was no backtracking from the ‘lone wolf’ angle, and the Mail even managed to claim that Mair was driven to murder Cox because of some imaginary favouritism shown to immigrants in his area. That was the closest they could get to saying ‘we approve of this murder and hope that it happens again’ without breaking the law; it was a dog-whistle that could be heard from space. People like Mair are still out there, no doubt, and it’s only a matter of time before the right-wing press sends one of them into action again.

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2. WorldbyStorm - May 16, 2017

“It’s remarkable that the political effect of a British MP being murdered by a far-right activist yelling slogans that were taken straight from the pages of the Tory press has been, I would say, precisely nil.”

+1 Imagine if it had been a Tory shot dead by some sort of ultra-leftist – not that I think that probable.

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Dr. Nightdub - May 16, 2017

Or compare the reaction to the Brighton bombing, Airey Neave getting blown up at Westminster, or the Provos trying to kill John Taylor in the 70s, to the relative “whatevs” over Jo Cox…different strokes for different folks.

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Joe - May 17, 2017

Pretty sure it was the Sticks who nearly killed John Taylor in the early seventies – not the Provos.

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EWI - May 17, 2017

Typical. Can’t even shoot straight!

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3. Starkadder - May 16, 2017

Hope Not Hate is reporting a far-right activist has created a meme mocking the murdered MP:

https://hopenothate.org.uk/2017/05/15/right-wing-troll-posts-foul-jo-cox-meme/

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4. Ed - May 17, 2017

Farage has just announced that he’ll ‘pick up a rifle’ if May backslides on Brexit. Following on from his delicately worded ‘without a shot being fired’ comment after Cox’s murder (it was several shots, strictly speaking), another unsubtle incitement to violence. He won’t be the one picking up the rifle, of course, and he won’t be held accountable for this anymore than his previous comments.

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WorldbyStorm - May 17, 2017

+1

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EWI - May 17, 2017

Farage has also, surprising nobody, made anti-Irish comments recently.

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