Friday, 17 June 2016

UK: JO COX: A rising Star in British Politics

Jo Cox, who was killed in her constituency on Thursday, was considered to be a rising parliamentary star. The 41 year old, who leaves behind a husband and two young children, represented the area she grew up in and had the plight of refugees close to her heart and her killing ends what looked to be a promising political career. She was due to celebrate her 42nd birthday next Wednesday. Weapons, including a firearm, were recovered from the scene.

Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron let tributes, describing her as a ''bright star, no doubt about it''. Former Labour Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said his memory would be ''forever scarred'' by her killing.

Her husband Brendan Cox was an adviser to Gordon Brown and they lived with children Leija and Cuillin on a converted barge on the River Thames in London. Jo Cox was representing the constituency of Batley and Spen in west Yorkshire, northern England.

Her father, Gordon worked in a toothpaste factory and her mother Jean was a school secretary. She graduated in 1995 from the University of Cambridge, where she first got interested in politics. She went on to help launch the pro-European campaign organisation ''Britain in Europe'' and spent two years with the European Parliament member Glenys Kinnock in Brussels.

She then spent a decade working for Oxfam in New York, Brussels and war zones as the head of policy and of humanitarian campaigning. Jo Cox was also the national chair of Labour Women's network for four years and worker with Gordon Brown's wife, Sarah Brown on galvanising international action to stop babies dying during pregnancy and childbirth.

A tireless humanitarian, goodhearted person, Jo Cox also worked with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation before standing for parliament in the May 2015 general election. In her maiden speech in parliament last year she claimed to be proud of the ethnic diversity in her constituency. She abstained in last year's contentious vote on allowing Britain military action in Syria, insisting a more wide-ranging attempt at a solution to the conflict was needed.

Jo Cox was among the 36 of Labour's lawmakers who nominated veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn to get on the ballot paper in last year's Labour leadership contest. Corbyn subsequently won a landslide. Like the vast majority of MP's in the left of centre party, Jo campaigned for Britain to stay in the European Union in the June, 23rd referendum.

Jox Cox had complained to police earlier this year about ''malicious communications'' she received.  A man was arrested in March 2016 and was cautioned by the police, but he is not the man in custody for Thursday's attack, a statement from London's Metropolitan Police said.

The Times newspaper reported that police were considering putting in place additional security for Cox when she died. Witnesses said Cox was repeatedly shot and stabbed in Thursday's assault in the Yorkshire village of Birstall.

A 52 year old man, named by the British media as Thomas Mair, was arrested shortly after Cox was attacked. Neighbours describe him as a loner, mentally unstable, with extreme right wing ideologies.

A star is fallen. A mother and wife was taken away from her children and husband prematurely. The British Parliament is deprived of a refined lawmaker. The Labour Party lost a strong voice. The Batley and Spen constituency  lost its ''pioneer''. The world hast lost one of its humanitarian champion.

Jox Cox killing left a sense of void in all of us and makes us question: WHY? Although Jo Cox is no longer with us physically, her godly and charismatic spirit will continue to shine in our hearts.

By Guylain Gustave Moke