Our strict gun laws failed to prevent the murder of Jo Cox, MP. After shooting her three times point-blank, the killer stabbed her a few times as well, to emphasise the point that a crazed murderer may use a gun if it’s handy, but he doesn’t have to.
Tommy Mair justifies both parts of that designation. He’s a murderer and a madman, with a long history of mental illness. As a manifestation of his condition he’s believed to have links with neo-Nazi groups, those only a fanatical libertarian wouldn’t wish to see banned.
One would think that Mair’s medical history should be viewed only from a psychiatric perspective, not a political one. Even qualified psychiatrists can seldom predict what may set a madman off, inspiring a violent act.
It may be politics or football or traffic – it may be anything. That’s why it takes sheer fanaticism to attach any significance to Mair’s screaming ‘Britain first’ as he pumped bullets into his victim.
Yes, Miss Cox was a Remain campaigner. And yes, Britain First is the name of a party dedicated to leaving the EU – and one wishes this right cause didn’t attract such wrong champions. And yes, it’s even possible that some switch was flicked in Mair’s fevered mind, and he thought he was committing a noble rather than monstrous act. Yet only an idiot or a cynic will link the Leave campaign with the act of a lunatic.
Yet Neil Coyle, another Labour MP, did precisely that, indirectly blaming UKIP’s new Leave poster for the murder. The poster, probably a pastiche of the iconic 1979 Tory ad saying ‘Labour Isn’t Working’, shows a long queue of immigrants heading for Britain. The headline says ‘Breaking Point’.
Speaking on BBC’s Newsnight, Mr Coyle suggested that the Leave campaign ought to be ‘careful’ about the kind of material it publishes. Presumably he believes that saying anything against the open door policy mandated by the EU is tantamount to incitement to murder.
It has to be said Mr Coyle isn’t alone in being unhappy about this hoarding. The poster has drawn vitriol from all the predictable quarters.
The predictable quarters described it as ‘fundamentally racist’, while one resident of those quarters, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, chose the adjective ‘disgusting’ instead. UKIP and specifically Nigel Farage have thereby revealed their ‘vile xenophobia’, according to Treasury Minister Harriet Baldwin.
No one has so far accused Mr Farage of xenophilia, a more plausible charge to level against an Englishman married to a German woman, but that may yet come. But I do wonder how this poster testifies to UKIP’s xenophobia or that of the whole Leave campaign.
The poster isn’t racist in that the depicted crowd shows a broad demographic cross-section, although Muslims do seem to feature more widely than any other group. Yet it’s hard to argue against the visual statement on those grounds because Muslim immigration is indeed huge and, more important, potentially more damaging than any other.
Moreover, HMG’s commitment to having Turkey admitted to the EU means that our continued membership in that pernicious organisation would increase our already vast Muslim population by orders of magnitude. At what cut-off point does Miss Sturgeon think objecting to Britain’s Islamisation stops being xenophobia and becomes common sense?
Currently we have about four million Muslims in the UK – officially. Let’s conservatively estimate the real unofficial number at four million or thereabouts. If that number tripled over the next few years, which isn’t just possible but assured should we stay in the EU, would one be within one’s rights to suggest that 12 million is too many?
What if we got to 20 million, which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility either, especially if 75 million Turks get automatic residence privileges? Most Muslims, after all, don’t assimilate easily. They tend to expect the host country to adapt to their customs, rather than the other way around.
For example, they often insist that Sharia law be recognised as equally valid with English Common Law. The fervour of that insistence is directly proportional to the number of Muslims in the community, and in many places with a large Muslim population Sharia law is already in force. Is it possible to argue this is wrong without being called a Nazi?
Love of one’s country, its historical, moral, religious and cultural foundations, doesn’t ipso facto presuppose uncontrollable fear of foreigners. Sturgeon, Baldwin et al may believe, and are welcome to argue, that such affections aren’t in conflict with welcoming millions of people alien to our civilisation and, typically, hostile to it.
But arguing the opposite point doesn’t make the person – or party – either ‘disgusting’ or ‘xenophobic’ or anything else disagreeable. What’s truly disgusting is trying to score political points off a horrific tragedy, as Mr Coyle did.
Both Remain and Leave campaigners had the good taste to suspend political activities in honour of the late Miss Cox. But fanatics, especially the leftie variety, won’t observe the civilised niceties. That’s why they’re called fanatics.