I’m not sure I recognise this country any more. Characteristics that I grew up with have been eroded to the point of disappearance. What were those characteristics? I’d say they included a certain doggedness – an indefatigability, a quiet strength and resilience. Where did they go?
A little over two years ago, when Sir David Amess was murdered, I remarked here on the appalling ‘tribute’ that his colleagues paid in the parliamentary session given over to eulogies to their recently butchered colleague. Of course the MPs all spoke warmly of the man, but you might have come away with the idea that he had died of natural causes. Nobody saw fit to mention that his killer – Ali Harbi Ali – was an Islamic extremist. Nobody saw fit to call for the rooting out of this ideology. Instead they wittered on about the ‘Online Safety Bill’, which had absolutely nothing to do with Sir David’s murder.
Of course some people said then – as they always do – that it would be wrong to jeopardise a trial or tar a whole community. This despite the fact that when Jo Cox was also brutally murdered nobody had any problem describing her killer’s foul ideology, or of tarring all Brexit voters with her murder. Anyhow, the killer’s trial came and went and nobody has had anything more to say after it than they did the day after his murder.
Then came the news last week that the Conservative MP Mike Freer was stepping down from politics after threats. The MP listed a number of causes. It turns out that he was one of several MPs Ali Harbi Ali had been thinking of targeting.