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The death of David Amess has no easy answers
Isabel Hardman
Isabel Hardman
The death of David Amess has no easy answers

Why has the political debate following Sir David Amess's killing moved so swiftly to focus on civility in politics? It's a reasonable question that a lot of people – including my colleague Sam Leith – have been asking. The police are treating Amess's death as a terrorist attack, and yet other MPs have been talking about the need to stop online abuse and to encourage a more open political culture. The link between people shouting at their MPs about how they voted and the motives of Islamist terrorists is, to put it politely, somewhat unproven. Politicians are always high-value targets for terrorists in any country, regardless of how mean or otherwise the rest of society is to them. People were much more deferential towards MPs when the IRA was busy trying – and in two cases, succeeding – to kill them.

The death of David Amess has no easy answers
Isabel Hardman
Isabel Hardman
The death of David Amess has no easy answers

Why has the political debate following Sir David Amess's killing moved so swiftly to focus on civility in politics? It's a reasonable question that a lot of people – including my colleague Sam Leith – have been asking. The police are treating Amess's death as a terrorist attack, and yet other MPs have been talking about the need to stop online abuse and to encourage a more open political culture. The link between people shouting at their MPs about how they voted and the motives of Islamist terrorists is, to put it politely, somewhat unproven. Politicians are always high-value targets for terrorists in any country, regardless of how mean or otherwise the rest of society is to them. People were much more deferential towards MPs when the IRA was busy trying – and in two cases, succeeding – to kill them.

The death of David Amess has no easy answers

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18 Oct 2021

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17 Oct 2021