So sad to hear the tragic news of the cruel and pointless death of Jo Cox, the MP who died after being shot and stabbed in West Yorkshire yesterday.
The 41-year-old wife and mother’s death serves to remind us of the sacrifices brave people make every day to make the case for compassionate, inclusive humanity in the face of anger and division.
My friend Bob Geldof was fortunate to know Jo and her family, with her husband and two children alongside him on the Thames flotilla earlier this week. As Bob told me: “If you knew her, you know she absolutely would want to make her pointless death into something useful.”
As Brendan Cox put it: “She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”
I really hope this senseless and cruel killing of a young woman, mother and public servant shocks people into realising what a dangerous road the UK is traveling down as a country. What has made Britain Great is its diversity. The country is becoming divided by hysteria and malice, with angry rhetoric becoming a standard feature of political debate.
Some are looking backwards and inwards for inspiration and hope - when they should be looking forward at a wide world of opportunity. Jo Cox stood not for Little England but for Great Britain. And Great Britain has always stood for democracy, compassion, justice and inclusion. Let the arguments of the day not diminish its place in the world.
As Jo Cox herself put it in her maiden speech to the House of Commons: “While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”