In England,  Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, has been killed after being shot and stabbed several times in her West Yorkshire constituency. Witnesses said the attack occurred after the MP became involved in an altercation involving two men near her weekly advice surgery. A 52-year-old man is under arrest. Police are also investigating reports the suspect shouted “Britain First”, a possible reference to the far-right political party, as he launched the attack.

I haven’t been this upset about a stranger’s death in a long time. Perhaps it is because politically I identify with Jo Cox’s politics – she believed that England had lost its moral compass, and she believed in the need for a credible policy that protected the civilian population and abstained in the vote on air strikes against Islamic State. She was for unity – unity of different people and yet she celebrated the differences between them. She was a tireless aid worker. As well as campaigning on development and humanitarian causes, Cox had a keen interest in social policy issues, including the future of social care. She was a committed feminist and had chaired the Labour Women’s Network. I can also identify with her as a woman, and as a wife and mother. She leaves behind two small children. This is an utter tragedy for them.

I can identify with her being on the political left, and I hope that this will wake people up, and they will say “we have to do away with the far right and extremism.” I want people to stop hating and being frightened of one another.

Here are more witness’s statements as reported by the Guardian: Graeme Howard, 38, who lives in nearby Bond Street, told the Guardian he heard the man shout “Britain First” before the shooting and during the arrest. “He was shouting Britain First when he was doing it and being arrested. He was pinned down by two police officers and she was taken away in an ambulance.” Eye witness Clarke Rothwell said that, as the man stabbed Mrs Cox, he shouted: “Britain First, Britain First, Britain First.” (From The Telegraph


Word has it that Jo Cox was attacked by an extremist who wanted no part of the Syrian refugee crisis. Jo Cox backed the Dubs amendment for Britain to accept 3,000 child refugees, and the attacker cried out “Britain First”, which is a rallying cry of the right.

This is just to show how tense things are in Europe right now. The extreme right is absolutely frothing at the mouth because of immigration. In England, today, it has taken a particularly nasty turn. I doubt that anyone will start calling for extreme right followers to be kicked out of England (or locked up, or whatever people were saying about the lone nutcases who happen to be Muslim and happen to blame their actions on Isis instead of on mental health, as it should be…).

It reminds me of the recent stabbing here in Mantes of the policeman and his companion. A lunatic kills two innocent people and claims the killings for Isis. This man shoots and stabs a member of Parliament and claims the killings for Britain. For some reason, I don’t think anyone will be saying, “There are too many of these extreme right political parties around. They are ruining the country.” I’d love it if someone said that about Le Pen and her ilk. It’s only a matter of time before the extremists kill someone here. As it is, we can see them in action in the streets, wearing hoods and throwing bricks through hospital windows or attacking police cars. Yes, we have our little right-wing thugs here in France too.

Tragically, Ms Cox succumbed to her injuries. She was killed because she was a good person. Here is an excerpt from her speech last year: “Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration,” she insisted, “be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. 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.” 

She was a brave woman. We probably won’t hear very much about her attacker. He wasn’t Muslim, so obviously he was deranged.