|Nigel Farage racist #Brexit poster|
Yesterdays court appearance of the man arrested for the killing of MP Jo Cox apparently leaves no one in any doubt as to his movitions. Thomas Mair gave his name as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain", when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court. His actions must surely make a lot of people take a long, hard look at what they are doing and what they aare saying. Whilst this statement makes it clear Mr Mair is a fanatic, the word has been misused and mispplied to all manner of people in the course of this campaign. Sadly, the right wing press, lead by Rupert Murdoch, labels anyone who supports European integratition as "Euro fanatics". The Cambridge dictionary describes a fanatic (disapproving) as "a person who has very extreme beliefs that may lead them to behave in unreasonable or violent ways:". Now I am not aware of anyone who has been labelled a Euro fanatic as ever perpetrating violence. This label is solely applied because such people disagree with the right wing press and their agenda.
When it comes to #Brexit fanatics, we now have a graphic demonstration of exactly what they are. Thomas Mair is not alone on the fringes of the hard right Anti Europe movement. Many are notorious for extremely violent, cowardly and unpleasant man. Organisations such as the National Front, Britain First, The BNP and Combat 88 are all known for violence. All are rabidly anti Europe. The difficult truth for many in the Brexit campis that they are sharing a bed with some very unpleasant people. I know many Brexit supporters who are sane and rational and abhor violence. They sadly find themselves in the same position as moderate, reasonable Muslims, who are forced to apologise for the behaviour of fanatics, who don't represent them or even the mainstream view of their campaign. Last week, we had the awful massacre at a night club in Orlando. Donald Trump used it to announce that he was right about Muslims. Sadly when a deranged Muslim goes on a rampage the Republic Presidential Candidate sees fit to demonise a whole religion. This is about as fair and honest as blaming every Brexiteer for Mr Mair's alleged behaviour.
It is not unreasonable however to point out that the hard right in the UK are 100% pro #Brexit. It is also fair to point out that the main theme of the #Brexit campaign is anti immigration. Nigel Farage unvelied a clearly racist poster, full of non white faces, as part of his anti immigrant scare campaign. The Leave campaign have generated a lie machine, denouncing every warning about dangers to the economy from the #remain campaign as project fear. This is truly dishonest, given their vile campaign to whip up fear of immigrants. As the son of a Commonwealth immigrant, who came to the UK to fly bombers for the RAF during World War II, I find such scaremongering vile and distateful. The hard right demonises Eastern Europeans, whilst forgetting the brave contribution of Polish and Czech servicemen during World War II. It is entirely feasable that without Polish Pilots, Great Britain would have lost the Battle of Britain. How did we repay Poland? We allowed them to be ruled by the USSR for a generateion.
I raise these issues, because I am aware of the bravery of millions of Eurpopeans, Africans, Asians and Anzacs who served in the UK armed forces, fighting the toughest military machine in the world at the time. My father was a prisoner of war in Bucharest, Romania. He always told me that the Romanians were the finest and most honourable people he ever met. The Romaanian Air force, gave his rear gunner a decent burial and alowed my father to attend unescorted. They gave him hospitalily before returning him to the POW camp. As such it breaks my heart to see the way "Romanians" are demonised for the bad behaviour of a small minority of immigrants from that country.
Mr Mair, given the name he now calls himelf, clearly thinks of himself as some sort of right wing warrior, fighting a war of liberation. Why did he come to this conclusion? Does Mr Farage and his nasty poster feel responsible? I would hope so, but I dount it. Does The Sun and The Daily Express, with their anti immigrant rants and their "A week to Save Britain " style headlines? Again, I'd hope so, but I doubt it. Does it not occur to the editors of these rags, that some people are actually taken in by the crap they write? Some actually believe that Britain will disappear if we remain in the EU. Some are taken in by claims that immigration will stop and this won't damage the economy. Whilst most people are not violent or dangerous, if you make armageddon style claims about EU membership, it is not hard to see how a disturbed and deranged man may react.
But there is another side to Mr Mair's apparant behaviour that hasn't been commented on. The victim was a woman. Mr Mair may see himself as some sort of freedom fighter as he seems to want from his statement of name, but the person who died was an unarmed and unprepared woman. I was brought up to believe that hitting women was unbritish. I was brought up to believe that women should be treated with respect. I was brought up to believe that any man who strikes a woman is a coward and a bully. So I have to ask, what sort of a man attacks a woman in the street. What sort of a man can ever claim to be anything other than a low life scumbag for such behaviour. I don't believe that unprovoked violence is ever acceptable. When it is perpetrated against someone with no means to protect themselves it is even more vile. I suspect that Jo Cox was chosen because she was a soft target. She was someone he could take out without much risk to himself. Like every man who ever attacks a woman, he did it because it was easy for him. He clearly wants to be veiwed as some sort of hard right soldier, who he hopes will inspire further acts of violence. My hope is that everyone from acorss our community simply rejects him as coward who attacked a defenceless woman in the street.
As far as I am concerned, bravery and fighting for freedom is what people like my father did in world War II. They put on a uniform and took massive risks for a causes they believed in. The man who murdered Jo Cox simply lines up with every thug everywhere who has ever attacked a woman. I have utter contempt for thm all. I just wish a few more commentators would stand up and call out the killer for what he is, a cowardly man who attecked a defenceless woman in the street. Him and his like deserve only our contempt and scorn.