No-one knows the motives for what happened in this miserable, pointless and sickening murder. There are suggestions that the alleged killer both had mental health issues, and that the MP may have been facing an ongoing campaign of harassment. It is unclear what, if anything, was shouted, with at least one eye witness stating he didn’t hear anyone should “Britain First” or “Put Britain first”, which has also been reported. There’s a lot of people trying to jump to political conclusions - and frankly, now is not the time - those doing so need to pack it in. On a minor point, Jo Cox wasn’t a “left-leaning” Labour MP - whilst she nominated Jeremy Corbyn, she voted for Liz Kendall, the most “right-wing” of the recent Labour leadership contenders.
when is the time? this argument is often used in murder cases, in the beginning as “the tragedy is too fresh for discussions”, later as “the mental wounds are barely healed, it is unethical to open them with ongoing arguments”
Gee, I can’t imagine why people would think that the murder of a politician might be political act.
I’d suggest the time would be when the facts have been established. Speculation at the minute is really unhelpful, is spreading unsourced rumours and is being used by a minority as a way to support political agendas. Which is really not right.
As an example, one of the eye witnesses has apparently posted a sign in his shop at the scene this morning to the effect that no one shouted about Britain First. Let’s get the investigation done, establish the facts, and then, if necessary, apportion blame.
A sign in a shop? And he does not make a political statement with something like that?
I’d suggest that it is particularly reasonable to speculate that the attack was motivated by fascist isolationism. Whereas mental health hasn’t yet had any evidence to support it, and is mere assumption based on the idea that you would have to be mentally ill to do this. Two named eye witnesses claim he shouted Britain first while the third said he shouted something but didn’t know what it was. It may turn out that he in fact was a mentally ill, non-fascist little Englander isolationist, but early indications are that this is a political murder. We have no knowledge of his mental health but locals talking about him allude to what seems like a reasonably normally adjusted man, helpful etc. with the only negative being he didn’t like teenagers hanging about on walls.
“In the hours after the killing, detectives searched Mair’s home for any evidence of extremist rightwing material, held physically or in digital form, as he was referenced on at least one extremist website. Police were checking with the NHS to see if the suspect was known to their mental health services.”"
Witness Hicham Ben Abdallah said he saw the attacker kicking Cox and then pull a handgun out of a black bag, shooting her and pulling her by the hair. “He was fiddling with the gun, which looked like it was homemade. It seemed like the bullet was lodged, and then he shouted something and began to fire,” …
Graeme Howard, 38, who lives in nearby Bond Street, said the attacker shouted “Britain first”, adding: “I heard the shot and I ran outside and saw some ladies from the cafe running out with towels. There was loads of screaming and shouting and the police officers showed up. He was shouting ‘Britain first’ when he was doing it and being arrested.”
Another witness, Clarke Rothwell, also told the BBC that Cox’s attacker shouted “Britain first”. He said: “Somebody tried grabbing, wrestling with him, then he was wielding a knife, a hunting knife. He just started lunging at her with a knife, half a dozen times.”
But the pro-fascist Torygraphs second story today is about this political murder being politicised. Because: fascist playbook in the US.
When the facts become clearer. Right now it’s all merely speculation and rumour.
I don’t think anyone’s suggested it’s too soon for discussions because it’s insensitive/painful, just that uninformed chatter is pointless.
I’ve seen articles with him talking about his mental health problems receiving psychotherapy and medication. Maybe he’s no longer affected by his mental health problems and this was completely political but it does seem like it’s pretty certain he has had issues in the past. Of course he could have lied he had gone through mental health issues but that seems unlikely.
I have no idea whether you are in the UK or not:
If you are it shouldn’t have escaped you that Jo Cox was among the most prominent Remain campaigners, whose picture (with her children and husband) was all over the press on Wednesday, the day before she was murdered.
It should also not have escaped you that yesterday’s news day started with this Daily Mail cover (for which they today apologised in the small prints)
Hate happens in context, people don’t float around in airtight mental bubbles, they are influenced and impressionable, unhappy people even more so.
Please don’t tell me that when one of the most outspoken, pro-refugee, pro-Remain MPs is murdered, in a country where wishy washy, inflammatory, cowardly politics rules the day, that that has nothing to do with her stance, her politics. That when, EU citizens living in the UK for decades feel ostracised and worried, because of the growing resentment and outspoken hostility to anyone who is not one of us, in a country that prides itself on tolerance, that all that happens in a vacuum.
There are two possibilities:
a) You either are in the UK and choose to ignore the destructive, hateful, spiteful, cheap political discourse in which this country, and thus you also, are caught up.
b) Or you are not in the UK, in which case you know nothing of what you are lecturing about and should have the courtesy to listen to those caught up in the middle of it.
The sooner the British understand that turning into a spiteful fascist state is not something that just happens to bad countries with bad people the better. Ignoring xenophobic, cheap rhetoric for the sake “journalistic neutrality”, that never was is a cop out. Even such seasoned politicians as Cameron an Osborne seemed to have grasped, that they have gone too far, and appear to rediscover something resembling their spines.
Jo Cox was clearly left leaning, not a Corbynite (given her age and the fact that she is not Old School traditional Labour this is not surprising). She was an outspoken feminist and voted for a woman (who had no chance of being elected), just as in the US there will be women who vote for Clinton, even if they might sympathise more with Sander’s politics.
The EU referendum was a bad idea, it was supposed to be a cheap trick to appease the Tory right and the UKIPERs. It has gone horribly wrong! And it doesn’t take a genius to recognise that.
On Wednesday with the ridiculous Brexit flotilla, it felt like we were merely caught up in a Monty Pythonesque futile posturing (the bit the British are so excellent at) but yesterday the whole thing turned really nasty and that was not just a stroke of fate. Words matter.
I for one need convincing that the alleged murderer had NO political motive, that he merely acted out of personal animosity, and that anyone could have been his victim. I just don’t believe that he would have pulled the trigger if Boris Johnson, or Nigel Farrage was standing opposite him.
EDIT: If you don’t want to except it from me, listen to James O’Brian on LBC.
Some more information is turning up it seems:
So yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Britain first” reports are accurate and that this was politically motivated.
Those receipts would also explain how he ended up with a home-made gun as well.
Nonononono. Crazed Loner. I mean, he was white, middle aged and male. Obviously,this has nothing to do with neo nazi groups and nasty politics. When does it ever? It’s always a crazed Loner. Eeeeevery time…
What insider knowledge do you have that the facts will ever be more established than they are now? Contradictory witness testimony isn’t going to change.
I’m sitting in London as I type this and all anyone wants to discuss is this event or the Orlando shootings. Pick one.
Well I’m not in the UK, and know nothing of what I am lecturing about. However, I am reminded of the way the American right tells us, after every mass shooting, the time isn’t right to discuss gun violence and we shouldn’t politicize tragedy and the facts aren’t all in yet. In this way, they derail every discussion of the (pretty obvious) link between having guns and shooting guns.
Now you don’t have crazy gun advocates in the UK, but it sure sounds like somebody has been studying the NRA playbook.
None. But I’m sitting just up the road from where the last MP’s staffer was killed (Andrew Pennington 2000) because of a mentally ill constituent. I believe the same was the case when Stephen Pound MP was stabbed. Nearly every case of this in the past that wasn’t connected to Irish terrorism (Ian Gow), has been the result of people with mental health problems, rather than being a politicised act. There are a lot of questions to be answered, and those people who, because it fits their political narrative, want to point fingers, would be well advised to wait until the facts are established. Remember what happened with The Sun and the Hillsborough disaster? Let’s not do that.
mental health issues are very easy as explanation, as if this disables the ability to form own beliefs and views. my uncle has a rather severe form of the Down syndrome and is totally able to express distinct opinions.
This is so far from what happened in the reporting of the Hillsborough disaster. Remember, back then, it was the Sun, the press, who were on the wrong side of history–because they colluded in a narrative which pretended that Hillsborough had nothing to do with politics–when in reality, it had everything to do with it. Really poor analogy.
I have lived in the UK since 2000, and the mood, the political discourse, has changed so dramatically, that Britain is no longer recognisable as the same country. Andrew Pennington’s murder was a lone, isolated act, there was no larger political context of hate and division, and no one argued otherwise, very different from what is happening now.
I know it is hard and unpleasant, but people like you, who live in Britain, engaged in daily life, need to try to understand what is happening in the name of “your country”, you shouldn’t allow self-serving, attention seeking politicians in collusion with the press, to get away with this divisive and hateful rhetoric, and the pretence that somehow it is not political.
There have been many practical changes that have accompanied the inflamed rhetoric of Britain First (really meaning England above all else). Immigration Law is a great indicator of how moods change:
One great example from our life: When my 19 year old child, who started school aged five in a London Primary and gained her A-Level from a London Comprehensive. When my child, who spent 14 years of her life going to School in London, applied for British Citizenship she had to take an English language exam to prove her English proficiency. Ridiculously, an English A-Level gained in England is not accepted as proof of English Proficiency £150 test on the other hand, (which was made a requirement in 2014) was. It has no other purpose than to spite EU citizens who legally reside in the UK, to give them a message.
Reportedly to the tune of $620 total, so it wasn’t just a passing fancy. The source for the receipts is the Southern Poverty Law Center, who given their surveillance of hate groups would plausibly have them.
The Telegraph reports that the alleged killer subscribed to S.A. Patriot, a pro-apartheid magazine. He also reportedly has a history of mental illness.
Another point about the obsession with mental illness when a fascist engages in a political killing is that there is no fucking way this guy would be below the threshold of criminal responsibility.
The tone and tenor of public discourse is dragged into the gutter by the mainstreaming of racist rhetoric by fascist sympathising newspapers, fascist politicians, and careerist opportunist politicians. Sad murderers like this guy are also victims of this process while BJ & co. hoover up the cash.
So all the focus on mental illness and social media in an attempt to remove the politics from a political act because it is inconvenient to the orthodoxy (which, even in the remain part of the tories has to pretend that their friends and colleagues urging against that stance are not either personally racist or using racism for personal gain and power) makes me angry every time.
Call it what it is: a political assassination by an extremist who has been radicalised by the racist rhetoric of the Brexit campaigners.