One of the favourite hobby horses on the Leave side has been the question of immigration and refugees, and I remember reading an article in the local paper a couple of weeks ago. Ashbourne wants to accept a quota of refugees, but voices have been raised strongly against the move, saying we should use our money to help our own people first.
‘Own people?’ I thought. ‘Who are our own people? People are people, surely, and decent people help other people when they’re in serious difficulty.’ I remembered what Jacob Marley said to Ebenezer Scrooge on that fateful Christmas Eve:
‘Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. ‘Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, how people rejoice in Scrooge’s rehabilitation, but when the real situation occurs, the mind shrinks and the pocket deepens?
And today matters took a nasty turn. A Labour MP called Jo Cox was murdered in a street in a little Yorkshire town, repeatedly shot and stabbed by a crazed man crying ‘Britain first!’ She was on the Remain side, you see, and by all accounts was a very beautiful person who campaigned to stay in the EU not so much because it favoured Britain’s interests, but because she wanted to ensure that Britain would still offer a safe haven for refugees trying to escape the hell in which they have lived for heaven knows how long. It seems she was a rare example of an honest and genuine politician who fought for the poor and oppressed, and for this – for being a good person – she was taken out, to use the Trump’s butler’s phrase.
Maybe the crazed murderer was inspired by recent events in Florida, but who can tell? Who can really get to the bottom of the madness that infects the human condition?
Jo Cox, bless her.