June 18, 2017

Jo Cox remembrance, The Walks Lynn Saturday 18 June

Something written by the photographer, my friend Bhas Allan, says it all for me:

"Do not let how she died overwhelm you. Remember how she lived instead.

I felt that I had to be at The Walks today for the picnic in remembrance of Jo Cox. I'd never heard of her until her untimely death, but everything I heard of her life reminded me that there was still hope in this country - that there are still some few people out there who represent their constituencies and are more than worthy; rather than toeing the party line, whipped into place, in safe-seat-jobs-for-life, all expenses paid, any and all donations welcome, cynical and self-serving, cronies and old-boys, clowns and old Etonians, filibustering fools, frauds, fake smiles and faker concern, blind eyes, silent tongues, hearts as dead as stone, and all their paltry souls sold for empty promises of power.

As we sat there, sharing our food and drink, I thought that the flames of hope are kept alive by participation. If we just sit back in complacency we're investing in ashes."

I am very glad we were there with Bhas and other community spirits in a Lynn park in the summer sun. As organised by Jo Rust for Jo Cox.

Jo Cox reminded me of the dynamic political idealism of the 60s. She was a much-needed reminder for me that politics isn't a priori corrupt and that political enthusiasm isn't always just a way of perpetuating social and international chaos. It can be instrumental in establishing a real brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity.  She was a good politician, a timely reminder that there are of course good politicians, that by extension that there are of course good teachers, priests, doctors, lawyers, journalists, social workers etc etc - who pursue their calling in a spirit of service, who don't almost by definition (as much news coverage would have you believe) abuse their positions or the people they should serve. She put the breath back into the lungs of idealism. She was a reminder that the terms 'politician' and 'good' aren't mutually exclusive. She died in this cause and it is almost unbearable that she did so but she is also very much alive.

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