17 June 2016 at 0:42 GMT
The slide from civilisation to barbarism is shorter than we might like to imagine. Every violent crime taints the ideal of an orderly society, but when that crime is committed against the people who are peacefully selected to write the rules, then the affront is that much more profound. The killing, by stabbing and repeated shooting in the street, of Jo Cox is, in the first instance, an exceptionally heinous villainy. She was the mother of two very young children, who will now have to grow up without her. It is also, however, in a very real sense, an attack on democracy. Violence against MPs in Britain is mercifully rare. Only three have been killed in recent history: Airey Neave, Tony Berry and Ian Gow, all of them at the hands of the Irish republicans. Two others, Nigel Jones and Stephen Timms, have been grievously wounded, the latter by a woman citing jihadi inspiration and rage about the Iraq war. Whatever the cause, an attack on a parliamentarian is always an attack on parliament.
Read full article at The Guardian