Murder of British MP Echoes American Politics at Its Worst

Earlier today, Jo Cox, a Labour Member of Parliament, was murdered on a street as she was conducting a “surgery” for her constituents. The facts surrounding the murder are unclear, and contradictory reports have emerged. The certain fact is that a 52 year old man named Thomas Mair shot and stabbed Ms. Cox, and was immediately apprehended.

Britain is, of course, in the midst of a heated campaign over its membership in the EU. The “Brexit” forces have pulled even, and likely a little ahead, in the polls, and Britain’s establishment, including the leadership of both Labour and the Conservatives, is in a panic. Ms. Cox was enthusiastically pro-EU. So the story line, within minutes after her murder, was that she was a martyr to racism, etc., as manifested in the beyond-the-pale opinions of those who want to leave the EU.

It was reported that someone heard Mr. Mair yell “Britain first!” as he murdered Ms. Cox, or afterward. “Britain First” is the name of a “far right” organization, i.e., one that isn’t crazy about mass immigration. At first this was reported as a rumor, although most news services headlined the claim. Eventually, someone was found who claimed to have heard Mair shout “Britain first.” On the other hand, the man who grappled with Mair immediately after he shot and stabbed Ms. Cox says that he heard Mair say something, but couldn’t make out what it was. It is hard to see how anyone else would be in a better position to quote Mr. Mair.

As for Mair, he is a prototypical “loner” who “keeps to himself,” seems rarely if ever to have held a job, and has a history of mental illness. His neighbors all thought him harmless.

His brother, Scott, 49, said he had “a history of mental illness”. Scott Mair told reporters he had wept when he heard about the killing of Mrs Cox.

He said: “I am struggling to believe what has happened. My brother is not violent and is not all that political. I don’t even know who he votes for. He has a history of mental illness, but he has had help.” …

Kathleen Cooke, 62, said: “I am really shocked. …

“He is just a quiet bloke who keeps himself to himself. He is very helpful and he helps local people with their gardens. There is one neighbour who is a bit frail and he keeps her garden tidy. He has helped me cut my hedge a couple of times.

“He has lived here for 40 years and has never been in any trouble and has never caused any trouble. …

“I don’t think he belonged to any political party and I never heard him express any views about Europe or anything like that. To us, he was just Tommy, a local bloke we all knew.

“He did not have a job but I think he went down to the Job Centre to help people on the computer from time to time – I think it was something he had to do to get his dole money.”

It is worth noting that, unlike Mr. Mair, we know what Omar Mateen’s political affiliation was: he was a registered Democrat. Has anyone suggested that the Democratic Party is therefore responsible for the Orlando massacre?

There is, at this point, little reason to believe that Mair’s murder of Ms. Cox was some sort of political assassination, but a ten-year-old posting on the web site of a group called the Springbok Club has fired up the Left:

The link between Mair and the Springbok Club goes back ten years when its online magazine, the Springbok Cyber Newsletter, was inquiring about the whereabouts of “Thomas Mair, from Batley in Yorkshire [who] was one of the earliest subscribers and supporters of ‘S.A. Patriot’ who has moved from his address in the Fieldhead Estate district of the town.”

So yeah, that’s a very tight link: they were trying to find out where he lived, ten years ago. Nothing since. That is the best the Left has come up with so far.

But that hasn’t stopped leftists from blaming Cox’s murder on the “Brexit” forces, with whom Mair had no known association, and trying to make political hay out of it. Countless examples could be cited, but let’s note this piece by notorious left-winger Polly Toynbee in the Guardian:

This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve, to dehumanise those with whom we do not readily identify.

Of course, Toynbee has no idea whether that “public mood” had anything to do with the actions of the mentally ill Thomas Mair.

Rude, crude, Nazi-style extremism is mercifully rare. But the leavers have lifted several stones. How recklessly the decades of careful work and anti-racist laws to make those sentiments unacceptable have been overturned.

Was Mair a Nazi? Not that we know of. This is just the usual Leftist yapping (to use Barack Obama’s word).

When politicians from a mainstream party use immigration as their main weapon in a hotly fought campaign, they unleash something dark and hateful that in all countries always lurks not far beneath the surface.

So immigration cannot be debated. We simply must accept the dictates of Leftists like Polly Toynbee, who, as best one can tell, represent a minority view.

The funny thing about Toynbee’s screed is that she never once mentions the man who actually murdered Jo Cox. Much like American liberals who try to blame the Orlando attack on guns without ever mentioning Omar Mateen or the creed to which he subscribed.

Speaking of American liberals, Hillary Clinton couldn’t resist weighing in:

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton expressed her condolences in a statement, calling the attack “a violent act of political intolerance.”

Possibly, but at this point there is little evidence that Cox’s murder had anything to do with politics. Mr. Mair was crazy and, as far as his neighbors knew, apolitical.

“It is critical that the United States and Britain, two of the world’s oldest and greatest democracies, stand together against hatred and violence. This is how we must honor Jo Cox — by rejecting bigotry in all its forms….

Again, there is no reason to think that “bigotry” had anything to do with Ms. Cox’s murder. Clinton, like Polly Toynbee, never mentioned the man who actually committed the crime. At this point, he apparently is superfluous. It’s all politics, now.