Friday, June 17, 2016

Eye of the Storm

It's like we're in the eye of a storm.  With campaigning in the EU referendum suspended as a mark of respect to Jo Cox, a curious peace has settled, at least temporarily, over British politics.  With arguments and the bigots silenced, for now, all the heat, hate, fear and anger has dissipated. Enjoy it while it lasts.  The sad thing is that it has taken a brutal murder to achieve this oasis of relative calm.  I say 'relative' because we already have some people, (on the right, of course), complaining that various columnists and commentators are 'politicising' Jo Cox's murder by playing up her alleged killer's possible extreme right links or by trying to place it in the context of the UK's increasingly angry and hate-filled political discourse.  They're aided and abetted by much of the right wing press, which have been trying to play up the suspect's supposed mental health issues, (the usual 'dangerous loner' nonsense - no doubt they'll highlight any 'weird' hobbies like building plastic kits or having a model railway, always good indicators of mental health problems for the tabloids), as it's always better to stigmatise mental health sufferers than neo nazis. 

One honourable exception was the Daily Star, which had a fantastic headline along the lines of: 'Killed by Brexit lunatic'.  But for the rest of the press, to concede that the suspect might have had political motivations, possibly fuelled by the extreme right wing agenda which also underpins parts of the Brexit campaign, would be to admit some degree of responsibility for helping promulgate this agenda and for stoking up the atmosphere of hate and fear which has characterised the referendum campaign.   To return to the point, it's impossible not to politicise these appalling events when the attacker shouts 'Britain first' and has extreme right wing links.  Incredibly, though, the crazy conspiracist wing of the 'Leave' campaign, (is there any other wing, I hear you ask), have already started claiming that the assassination of Jo Cox is in fact a 'false flag' operation, that the 'Remain' campaign actually arranged the murder and 'sacrificed' her in order to drum up sympathy for their campaign!  That's right - the killer is, like Lee Harvey Oswald, a patsy for an evil conspiracy by those shadowy political elites.  In many ways, I find these people even scarier loonies than the killer himself.

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Blogger Nasreen Iqbal said...

It was horrible.

Upon seeing the headline, I thought, "Oh God, don't let it be a Muslim!"

Then whent he facts came out, I really didn't feel any better.

What a horrible week.

2:14 am  

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