The sanctification of Jo Cox and the exploitation of her brutal murder look set to continue. Her widower, Brendan, won’t let up, I fear, until she is fast tracked to sainthood or until she overtakes Princess Diana in the public emoting stakes.
The MSM are offering him every helping hand. Yesterday they accorded top billing to Brendan’s call for Britain’s families to come together for the biggest street party ever to celebrate – uh, no, sorry – to mark the anniversary of her death. It was everywhere – on the BBC News, the Today programme, in the Telegraph and every other newspaper – announced as the biggest community event to be held across the UK since the Jubilee – involving a cool eight million people, no less.
No hubris there then.
Brendan, you see, has teamed up with the Duchess of Cornwall and other ‘charity backers’ to launch The Great Get Together on June 17 and 18, and it’s all about celebrating diversity in Britain. What else?
They hope to see communities across the nation come together for a weekend of BBQs, picnics and bake-offs and so heal ‘our divided society’. And what’s not to like with the backing of royalty, and who would flout that imprimatur? It certainly wasn’t going to be Sarah Montague, who introduced the virtuous Mr Cox with the obsequiousness of a Uriah Heep.
As much as it would be ‘nice’ and certainly ‘easier’ to do ‘a Sarah’ and go with the virtue-signalling flow, be sympathetic, be enthusiastic and endorse his ambition to use her death to ‘bring our communities closer’, I can’t.
To start with, I feel for his kids while he’s getting off on his ego jaunt. They are never going to be allowed to forget, get on with their lives or get their remaining parent’s attention.
Secondly, all this public emoting and ‘celebrating’ is as unhealthy as it is false.
Thirdly, Mr Cox’s manipulative milking of his wife’s murder for his own political agenda just dismays me. Her killing, he told Today’s Sarah Montague, was ‘designed to tear us apart’. Was it? How does he know?
It was without doubt appallingly brutal and cruel. But it was at the hands of a nutcase, not a terrorist. Nor was it the considered plan of a far right organisation. It was Mr Cox alone who successfully elevated her awful death to ‘a political act of terrorism’. These were not words the Judge ever used. It was Cox’s conclusion that was reported. And it was this, his unsubstantiated private verdict, from which we are still meant to interpret the meaning of her death.
I can only then assume that it is this non-existent and manufactured white supremacist threat and a society divided by bigotry that Brendan believes needs the antidote of street party healing. Or his idea that: “We are tapping into something here…a huge desire from people who are frankly a bit sick of the tone of some of the political debate – the sense that we are all supposed to hate each other”. Who is saying we do? One Mr Cox. He, like the rest of the Left, is doing his best to turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The ‘coalition’ of groups from the Church of England to Help the Heroes supporting him have fallen for it.
Those of us who don’t turn out to join in the hug fest risk being branded by Brendon again as dividers and haters – for not falling into line.
I wonder how many Muslim women with or without their full burkas will Brendan get to join in – will they be allowed out on the streets join in with the fun without their senior male escorts? Will he check that?
Will he boldly confront those Deobandi men who don’t allow their women (wives and daughters) to go further than 2 miles from their homes without their permission in the name of bringing his wife’s beloved communities closer together?
She, he says, believed in closer ties – and I am sure she did – and worried that this closeness was under threat “from a whole range of things, whether it was the social media bubbles that push us deeper into our own echo chambers, or the changing nature of economics, leading to more insecure and atomised working environments, or the extremists, of all sorts, who fixate on difference and who seek to divide us”.
My question to Mr Cox is who does his category of extremists include? Those Muslim neighbourhoods where the senior male determines their household’s votes? Those like Labour Party colleagues in the Stoke constituency who are prepared to exploit Islamic fears and superstitions order to make the voting go their way?
I rather doubt it but am happy to be proved wrong. Mr Cox’s planned memorial street party ‘coming together’, I fear, is aimed at those of us “in politics, the media and our own communities” who don’t quite share his world view and therefore by definition “seek to divide us”. Ukippers for a start. We have to be ‘united’ on Brendan’s terms and his alone. In Stoke that would mean not voting Ukip, but voting Labour.