If you read no other article this weekend, read this by the Fleet Street Fox. It says what I was trying to say in an amateurish way yesterday, it talks of Jo Cox’s death as a wake-up call to those of us who care about society to get up and vote at the referendum and connect with our British society.
My blog yesterday ended
Yesterday I wrote on this blog that I would vote to remain in Europe reluctantly. I was reluctant because I felt bullied and that both options were dismal.
Jo Cox supported the “Remain” campaign during the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
I will no longer vote reluctantly.
This has been interpreted as me campaigning for Remain, it is not. It was me waking up to my responsibility to participate in the social enterprise of voting. Jo Cox thought it worth going into parliament and President Obama thought it worth phoning Brendan Cox from his aeroplane.
A man is in a prison cell, his life ruined for ruining a life of another -for many others. Hate does not solve anything and hating the man who killed Jo Cox will not solve anything, that is why I admired what Brendan Cox said on the day of his wife’s death.
The hate we are seeing on the Euro-terraces is not solving anything , nor is the violence on social media , nor is the abuse being dished out between politicians. Anyway – read the article.
This referendum is not turning out well.
Infact it is turning out to be a disastrous political mistake by the Conservative party (now the Government). I guess that they saw the vote as a way of bringing the conservative party and the nation together but it has done anything but.
It has not created reasoned debate, instead it has polarised people. On the one hand are those who rightly see Britain’s economic interests best served by remaining. On the other, those who see our capacity to determine our future without recourse to our European partners as paramount. Both positions are reasonable and we should be able to decide in a reasonable way.
This bitter civil war of words, is not being conducted in a reasonable way.
It is being conducted through bullying by the big beasts (mostly men) who warn us of the dire consequences of not following them. Neither can admit that this decision is finely balanced. Because of that, people are drawn into confrontation and it is not fanciful to say that the violence in the language is reflected in violence in actions.
The mistake of having this referendum was that we do not have the political leadership in place to conduct this debate in a reasonable manner. Our political leadership has been so destabilised by the various frauds exposed over the past few years that Gogglebox has replaced Question Time as the voxpop of our household!
We seem to have two ways of responding – violent laughter and violent abuse. The middle way of reasoned debate – the way of Jo Cox, simply doesn’t get airtime.
Why I am not campaigning.
I was asked, by someone in parliament , to use this blog to promote the case for Remain (on economic grounds) and I haven’t. I don’t want to influence other people’s decisions though I am happy to put my own position on the line (see above).
Whatever the decision of the country, I will accept it as my decision. That is because I am part of the British Society. If we vote to remain, I will abide by European rules as we will be part of European Society too (in a judicial as well as social sense).
I have great sorrow when I think of the death of Jo Cox and I have cried over her death, for her family and for the vulnerability we all have to senseless hate.
I would urge those of us who believe in the things that Jo Cox believed in not to raise our voices but be more eloquent by being quiet.
This hatred that has manifested itself in Birstall, is latent in Britain and we know it. We need to pacify and restrain it, not fuel it with angry words.
When we walk-and I hope we will all walk- into the booth in five days time, I hope we will bring to our decision the conviction of Jo Cox. Whichever way we vote, let’s vote. If we don’t we’ve called time on the values this woman represented.