These are strange times. Times for reflection in a week when the small minded hatred of others has cost many lives. If I was a pessimist I suppose I would say ‘No change there then.’
My father is terminally ill. He is 80 years old and until recently has been very fit- I can’t really recall him ever being ill. Born right beside Ibrox, the home of the (in) famous Glasgow Rangers, the son of a Irish migrant/immigrant/economic refugee and a local lassie. This year, he was inducted into the cycling hall of fame. He started on the Clydeside as a 14 year old apprentice and educated himself at night school to become Chief Draughtsman at the biggest crane builders on the Clyde. Many of his designs and creations are now in China, South America and Korea. Clyde built means well built. He has seen his children go onto university and be successful. His grandchildren/step grandchildren are bright, intelligent young men studying subjects like theoretical physics, playing in bands and being champion golfers.
People keep asking me how I feel. My answer is philosophical. He has lived a good life. In my job, I see the other end of the scale. A friend lost a child at 2 years old. Another friend died two weeks ago, of a very brutal cancer. She was 55. She had been retired for two weeks from her busy surgery when she fell ill. That was cruel.
And yesterday we watched the news at the hospital. MP Jo Cox was stabbed in the street, shot three times with a pistol. Her attacker had pulled her to the ground by her hair and was yelling Britain First as he attacked her. (Britain First is a far-right political party formed in 2011 by former members of the British National Party.)
She was airlifted to hospital and initial reports suggested that she might pull through. She didn’t.
She was part of Corbyn’s new ( small n) Labour. She was popular, witty and a kind hearted MP with a huge social conscience. For our own selfish interests, she was a vocal opponent of l the planned library closures planned by this government. She had also been outspoken against the rise of the Neo Fascist movements that are in full voice with the Brexit debate going on.
Her children are 3 and 5 years old.
The gunman was later arrested, and reportedly has been suffering from mental health issues.
As a mark of respect, I believe that all Brexit debate and campaigning has been suspended for 24 hours.
Her kids will grow up without the support I had as a kid. I wish them well.
I’ll leave the last words with her husband.
‘She would have wanted two things above all else, one that our precious children are bathed in love, and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn't have a race, creed or religion, it is poisonous.' Brendan Cox, husband of Jo Cox, murdered this day. ‘Terribly, terribly sad.’
Caro Ramsay 17 06 2016