Saturday, June 18, 2016


Now, I realise that what I am about to say may find disagreement with some who read these pages and I confirm absolutely that it is not my intention either to diminish the significance of recent events or to lessen the discomfort felt by any right minded person faced with the news of the wanton murder of Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen.

Of course, on any scale, the fatal attack she suffered on the streets of Birstall is a tragedy for her family, her friends, colleagues and constituents and I certainly add my condolences and my sympathy to them.

But, it takes "a matter of major national importance" for the Government to ask the Speaker to recall parliament - something that has happened only 28 times since 1948, the last being in September 2014 to discuss events in Syria   But parliament is being recalled on Monday so that tributes can be paid to Jo Cox.   It is, of course, well meant and doubtless sincere but it might just call into question the wisdom of doing so for, admittedly, a much respected MP, a strident campaigner and, most important of all, a wife and mother, but who has only been an MP for a little over a year. 

With all respect to Jo Cox, the last time parliament was recalled in order to pay tribute to an MP was when tributes were paid to Baroness Thatcher.  The Party Leaders are perhaps right in describing Jo Cox`s murder as `an attack on democracy,` so it is also surprising that the Conservatives have decided not to contest the by-election for the vacancy in Batley and Spen caused by this tragic event, thus arguably compromising the very democracy they claim is `under attack.`.

Virtually every day someone somewhere in the UK gets murdered;  most go unnoticed, some even unrecorded in the media and most are dealt with quietly and with dignity by families, friends and by clubs or societies of which the deceased was a member.   And so I just wonder whether, on this occasion, the `club` that is Westminster might be a little misguided in their reaction to the appalling loss of one of their own? 

Not for the first time, I suspect I may be in a minority and possibly out of sync with the national mood.   Maybe I`m just getting older and older.....maybe it`s just me.

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