17 Jun 2016

The murder of Jo Cox

What makes an ‘assassination’ rather than a killing in the general sense? When it is done as part of a broader continuous intent. And by that definition Jo Cox was assassinated.

No don’t talk to me about ‘crazy’ or ‘lone wolf’... That's just a tolerance for murder.
That's just cowardice and lack of willingness to take responsibility and pin accountability on the guilty. Even if you believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone for some vague political motive – and there is a mountain of doubt about that – it was still an ‘assassination’.

Jo Cox - the person - may not have been the complete target, but democracy as embodied by her being a professional politician surely was.
The commitment that we have to one another to run a decent society was what was being spurned.

“The man arrested over the killing of the MP Jo Cox bought books from a US-based neo-Nazi group, including guides on how to build homemade guns and explosives, according an anti-hate campaign group in the US. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published receipts that appeared to show Thomas Mair bought, among other books, a manual on how to make a homemade pistol from the National Alliance. The receipts, some of which date back to the 1990s, showed Mair spent more than $620 (£436) on literature from the group, which advocates the creation of an all-white homeland and the eradication of Jewish people.”

Any wiggle room there?
He was a radicalised Right winger. It doesn’t matter if he was mentally incompetent. He was used. Like a hacked credit card number is used by a criminal. Western fascism operates on the same principle as ISIS brand extremism... propagation of material intended to incite violence. Less random than an improvised explosive, it only explodes against specific targets.

This is where I want emphasize a point that gets deflected and diluted by moral confusion about what freedom of speech actually means.
It DOESN’T, in fact, mean that you can say ANYTHING you want, and stamp your foot afterwards like some petulant child that it is your right over any other right or consideration.
In point of fact we’ve never been able to say any ugly thing we want - we have laws about libel. We have laws about false advertising. And sometimes we have laws about hate speech.

We have them for a reason. Because genuine freedom comes with a measure of responsibility, and the condition that you WILL be accountable for your deeds and words.
That's what being a fucking adult means, people.

To quote Alex Massie in The Spectator today:

“Sometimes rhetoric has consequences. If you spend days, weeks, months, years telling people they are under threat, that their country has been stolen from them, that they have been betrayed and sold down the river, that their birthright has been pilfered, that their problem is they’re too slow to realise any of this is happening, that their problem is they’re not sufficiently mad as hell, then at some point, in some place, something or someone is going to snap. And then something terrible is going to happen.”

Genuine freedom means you aren’t free to crush the reasonable freedoms of others. And if we spend all our efforts defending the expression of hate, then you can kiss justice goodbye.

No these laws don't necessarily stop the hate speech. THAT'S NOT THE PURPOSE.
The purpose is to offer legal recourse to the victims and render punishment to the perpetrator.
Just like any other law.

Anyway the rhetoric did have consequences. Can’t ask Jo Cox about it anymore. Maybe you can ask Giffords.


  1. I am very sad to read of the assassination of Ms. Cox. The SPLC does a great job here in the US of tracking these twisted individuals and groups. It's too bad that isn't always enough.

    1. The bastard gave his name in court as "death to traitors, freedom to Britain" which puts it beyond all possible doubt what worm was turning inside of him.

  2. The guy had spent his life on the dole. What a sociopathic thank you.

    1. And in that lifetime he did nothing violent till the rhetoric of this political debate - which casts the EU as some kind of Lizard people tyranny instead of an attempt to break the cycle of war in Europe - set him off.