June 16, 2016 by Paul Goldsmith
To anyone who thinks that politicians are all the same, I give you Jo Cox. To anyone who thinks that politicians are just in it for themselves, I give you Jo Cox. To anyone who thinks that politicians are corrupt, selfish and venal, I give you Jo Cox.
I don’t just feel kinship with Jo Cox because she was (almost) 42 and had two kids, like me. I feel kinship with Jo Cox because she wanted to make a difference in the world. But Jo was so much better than me. All I do is teach politics. Jo Cox actually became a politician. Jo Cox actually made a difference, instead of just talking about it.
So, she became Head of Policy at Oxfam, campaigning to help the people most in need of help. She worked with Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah on maternity rights around the world. She had been places. Done things.
Then she stood for her hometown constituency in Yorkshire as a Labour MP. Once at Westminster she formed and became Chair of the all-Party Parliamentary Group for Syria. As part of this she worked with the former Conservative Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell. They wrote an article together for the Observer on this, for which she was (I kid you not, given the subject matter) told off by Labour’s Diane Abbott for ‘sharing a platform with a Tory’.
Jo was attending a constituency surgery in her constituency today when Tommy Mair allegedly killed her. As I write this we don’t know a lot about Mair, but I would bet he was just the type of person Jo Cox would have wanted to help.
What I will say is this: It is time for all of us to remember what a special democracy we live in. Our representives make themselves available to talk to us every week. We may not think much of some of those representatives, but sometimes one comes along like Jo Cox whom we should treasure.
It’s not easy being a politician. People automatically don’t trust you, think badly of you, make up their mind about you before they meet you. Politicians work long hours, spending a lot of time away from their families, and now we know that some of them put themselves into danger.
Yes, maybe some of them are venal, and in it for themselves. But one of them was Jo Cox.