“THESE increasing attacks have rather spoiled the great British tradition of the people openly meeting their elected politicians”
The now haunting words of Sir David Amess, killed today as he did just that – met the people he was sent to Westminster to represent.
Let’s be clear, no matter the political differences, there is simply no excuse for the horror displayed today, in June 2016 when Labour’s Jo Cox was murdered, in 1990 with the murder of Ian Gow, in 1984 and Sir Anthony Berry or 1979 and Airey Neave.
The British way spoken of so proudly by Sir David in his book was and has always been at the ballot box. Every four or five years, we the people cast our verdict on our MP and indeed of the Government of this land in free and fair elections.
It’s a process which has seen off barbarians at the gate before and will do so again, However in this age of social media and its frankly idiotic ‘desire’ to be in a state of constant aggression, the toxic nature of our politics puts us all in danger.
Even as I write this there are some sordid attempts to ‘weaponise’ this dark day for our democracy and our country into cheap, petulant attacks. Shame on them.
What do we want, police stationed at MPs surgeries? Constituents vetted before they can see their MP? MPs meeting voters behind a screen or with hired protection? How will someone who may be in desperate need of help from their elected Member of Parliament feel if such measures are introduced?
This must not become the ‘new normal’, somehow desperately legitimised ‘cos I don’t agree with their politics’ as that is a slippery slope none of us need explore.
Vote for whom your wish, challenge and debate those who you don’t and together we will build a better world.
My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Sir David’s family, friends, MPs of all sides and their staff.
May he Rest in Peace.