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RIP Jo Cox MP - Sauntering Vaguely Downward [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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RIP Jo Cox MP [20160616|20:46]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |depressed]
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A little over a year ago, I wrote this, about what I wanted from the UK government. After the general election, I did something I’d consciously rejected all my adult life: I joined a political party. Slowly, verry slowly, I’ve been getting involved in my local party’s activities. I attended a meeting for the first time about a month ago, about campaigning for the Remain side on the EU referendum.

Now, in my constituency, joining any party other than the Conservatives could be seen as a bit of a jolly. Put it this way: Sajid Javid (Business Secretary) is my MP. He toes the party line so hard it’s a wonder he’s not permanently wearing sandals. But still, for me, a naturally cautious person, it was a big step. Even working myself up to entertaining the idea of campaigning for a political cause took me far outside my comfort zone.

Some of that caution has been trained into me. Many scientists discourage their proteges from being actively political. The message that’s tacitly (and sometimes overtly) drilled into us is that politics is for people who are willing to make bold, brash statements and even change laws based on very little evidence or popular sentiment. This idea is anathema to scientists, who are taught to prize the acquisition of repeatable results and well-considered, demonstrable precepts above all things. It takes months or even years to even think of putting possible conclusions based on those results before your peers.Politicians simply don’t have that kind of time to make decisions.

Anyway, my point is that for the first time in my life, I was actually willing to, however remotely, entertain the notion of running for a political office.

And then, today, Jo Cox MP, who has been outspokenly supportive of refugees and campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU, was killed in the street by a man who allegedly shouted “Britain First”* as he committed the crime.

Jo Cox is, apparently, the first MP to be murdered since Ian Gow, who was killed by a car bomb planted by the IRA. In 1990.

Jo Cox is a woman only a couple of years older than I am. Jo Cox is survived by her husband and two small children, aged three and five.

So if you’re asking, is this heinous crime going to put women off of the idea of becoming active in politics? I can assure you that the answer is yes.

* an ultra-right political group

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1032234.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: thatdamnninja
2016-06-16 21:07 (UTC)

Shitty as fuck. Sorry, dude.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-06-16 21:52 (UTC)
Yeah. Never mind not getting the hang of Thursdays; can we just Ctrl Z this whole fucking week please?
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[User Picture]From: flexagain
2016-06-17 09:30 (UTC)

Horrible though the events of yesterday were, serious attacks on MPs do seem to be very rare. Historically, most of the deaths, not entirely surprisingly, were the results of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. It would have been nice if the cessation of most violence relating to that had brought an end to all such occurrences in the UK, but it was never that likely. Some people just seem to search for an excuse to bring misery and pain to others.

It's not just the MPs and other senior political figures who suffer, when Lord Jones (then an MP for my constituency at that time) was attacked with a sword, an assistant, Andrew Pennington, received fatal wounds trying to stop the attack, and posthumously received the George Medal. I'm sure there are many other instances where bystanders and helpers have experienced appalling effects upon their lives.

I still recall those events, and far too many others over the years, by people who think that their particular political, social or personal justification is adequate excuse for extreme violence, sometimes against those who have little or no control over that cause.

People like MPs of all political flavours, who feel a moral obligation to have surgeries and other events, must accept that they have an increased risk of violent attacks against them, but continue to expose themselves. They know that it's important for the useful and correct function of politics and government in this country, and I applaud them all for this.

RIP Jo Cox, an honest and strong woman, who obviously believed in a better world for all, and was willing to put herself at risk attempting to ensure that.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-06-17 19:30 (UTC)
People like MPs of all political flavours, who feel a moral obligation to have surgeries and other events, must accept that they have an increased risk of violent attacks against them, but continue to expose themselves. They know that it's important for the useful and correct function of politics and government in this country, and I applaud them all for this.

Well said. I do hope this doesn't dissuade any MP from holding surgeries in future.
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[User Picture]From: mysterysquid
2016-06-17 11:38 (UTC)
What a horrible, awful thing. And she seemed like one of the REALLY good ones.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-06-17 19:27 (UTC)
I'm still processing. Still very depressed. The developments coming out of the police investigation are not encouraging - it appears he was a neo-Nazi.
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2016-06-18 09:00 (UTC)
I'm still shocked. This is the second time it happens within a year in Europe - I am not sure how much this made the news in the UK, but there was also the case of Henriette Reker in Germany (a then major-candidate and now major in Cologne, also a pro-refugee stance, but luckily she was "just" severely injured) ... :( It scares me. It scares me so much.

(As a side note: you thoughts on that caution - I find them very interesting. Mine has been trained into me, too, but more by the general stance of a family trying to survive in the former SU. I was politically active in Germany arounf my early twenties, but over a lot of shouting with my parents and could never let fully go of the caution, getting as far as leaving the political activism out of my application for scholarships, too afraid it would backfire because this is what I've been constantly told in my family it would. And most interestingly: I have the feeling as if it's science that pushes me towards [science] politics. Which may not say the best about my little corner of science ... I hope this last paragraph does not appear improper. But your posts sent me once again thinking into why I hesitate to become more active.)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-06-23 20:44 (UTC)
I really don't want this to become a pattern. I don't want this kind of violence to be the port of call for people who feel marginalised to vent their frustration and anger. That's what's happened in the States, where it's exacerbated by easy access to firearms. But even strict weapons control doesn't mean it couldn't happen here.

Edited at 2016-06-23 08:44 pm (UTC)
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