The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

Brexit: The shocking slaying of a young MP

Saturday, 18 June 2016, 08:06 Last update: about 5 years ago

As the Brexit polling day looms into view, Great Britain has been shocked by the tragic shooting of a young and talented MP – Jo Cox.

Ms Cox’s constituency was Yorkshire, a sleepy county where immigration is actually not that much of an issue. The only cities of note where this is a ‘relatively’ substantial presence of migrants is Leeds, and Bradford.

In the past, Yorkshire was a haven for migrants, largely from north of the border and from over the Irish sea as immigrants made their way over to work the wool mills in the dales, and the shipyards of Middlesbrough and Newcastle and the outlying coal mines.

Fast forward to two days ago. A 52-year-old male shot and then stabbed the young MP outside a library in Yorkshire. Many theories began to fly around, but it has now since been established that the perpetrator was linked to white supremacist movement in the United States. His brother has since gone on the record and stated that the man had a history of mental illness but was not violent.

What can we take from all this? There is no doubt that much like suicides, when violence makes it to the news, particularly the barbarity of the shooting in Orland this week, which left 50 people dead, can ‘inspire’ others to commit heinous crimes.

The UK does not traditionally have a high incidence of gun related crime, but it has been on the increase in past years, especially in gangland shootings. But as Europe grapples with the threat of rising extremism in terms of infiltration by foreign terrorists, it is very easy to lose sight of the reality around us. Te man who killed Ms Cox was also a terrorist. All too often, when a white person commits a crime, they are immediately labelled “insane” or “mentally ill”. This might be the case, but when a person formulated white supremacist ideas and guns down a liberal MP who advocated migration, that too is terrorism.

The Yes and No camps in the UK-EU referendum has suspended campaigning until matters calm down somewhat, as there is real fear that the violence committed in this attack might spill over. There is also real fear that British white supremacist groups might also take a cue from this person and become even more violent. Incidentally, the killer was heard shouting “Britain first” as he committed the attack, which is the name of a British supremacy group. It denied any involvement in the killing.

This, of course, seen against the backdrop of English hooligans getting drunk (we are not talking about innocent fans here) and picking fights with anyone they see in France. Britain is asking itself some big questions, most notably whether it wants to stay in the European Union or not. The biggest issue on the agenda is that of migration. Could a proud nation such as the UK compromise its future simply because of the acts of a lone white terrorist?

It is hoped that it will not and that the people will make a serene and informed choice about its future. There is far too much at stake to allow the actions of one man to derail the future of the European Union.

 

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