The murder of Labour MP Jo Cox has led to widespread shock and horror, which Socialist Worker shares. The Batley and Spen MP was shot and stabbed yesterday, Thursday, in Birstall, west Yorkshire.
She later died in hospital.
Jo Cox had spoken out in favour of immigration and in defence of refugees. Witnesses say that her suspected attacker, Thomas Mair, shouted “Britain First” during the attack.
Britain First is a Nazi party founded by ex-members of the fascist British National Party.
Records show that Mair supported the National Alliance (NA), which was once a prominent neo-Nazi organisation in the US, for decades.
Mair bought a manual from the NA in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol. A Thomas Mair with an address in the area also subscribed to a white supremacist publication called SA Patriot.
Mair is also linked to the hard right pro-apartheid Springbok Club. Its online magazine, the Springbok Cyber Newsletter in 2006, inquired about “Thomas Mair, from Batley in Yorkshire [who] was one of the earliest subscribers and supporters of “S.A. Patriot”.”
The Springbok Club held meetings with speakers including the man who is now Ukip deputy leader Neil Hamilton.
Mair’s order for National Alliance hate magazines and armaments instruction manuals (Pic: www.splcenter.org)
It isn’t yet completely clear why Jo Cox was killed. But it is clear that Mair had connections with Nazi organisations. And it is clear that the killing took place in the context of vile, relentless racism against migrants and refugees.
This racism has been ratched up since the European Union (EU) referendum campaigning got underway. But politicians and right wing rags were spouting it well before that.
They have consistently encouraged ordinary people to fear and hate refugees, and blame migrants for all of their problems. Some, such as the leader of the racist Ukip party Nigel Farage, predicted that tensions over immigration would lead to violence.
It is no surprise that, where such hatred is whipped up, violent attacks will follow.
Many ordinary people have condemned the killing and the hatred that fuelled it.
Hundreds attended a vigil at St Peter’s Church in Birstall to mourn her death. Another group held a vigil in Leeds city centre, while others have left tributes outside parliament. Jo Cox’s husband, Brendan Cox, pledged to “fight against the hate that killed Jo”.
Politicians and newspapers are making much of mourning Jo Cox. But some are gross hypocrites. They have whipped up the racism and fear that make violent attacks more likely.
Their daily diet of hatred produces horrific results.
On the day of Jo Cox’s death the Daily Mail ran a front page declaring that “another lorry load of migrants” had arrived in Britain.
We need to keep resisting this hatred and stand against attempts to divide us. We should redouble our campaigning against fascism and racism.
Thanks to www.socialistworker.co.uk for this article