I was busy heading to Piccadilly Railway Station to meet my Auntie who has travelled north for a family get together this weekend when I heard about the unfolding events in West Yorkshire. It was lovely to see my Auntie and we are looking forward to a few family days ahead of the celebrations. It made the shocking events that have unfolded today even more horrific.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected but most importantly to the family, friends and colleagues of Jo Cox. I have watched some of the coverage and am sure many people, like me, will have been saddened by the thought that two young children will grow up without their mum.
MPs are public servants like many other professions. It means they have to be accessible to people and able to hear people’s problems so they can try and improve the situation. But as with many people in public service we often don’t see behind the job title, or the uniform, and we forget that they are real people with lives and families. This is the tragedy of today, that in doing her job and trying to help others she put herself in a vulnerable position and has lost her life.
Like many of the commentators and broadcasters discussing what has happened for me there is an added dimension that makes it feel like an attack on democracy and modern life. MPs like local councillors and other elected officials, as well as those working in public services, are working to improve lives, communities and society. If they are doing their best then they will be putting others before themselves. The fact that the attack took place as a constituency surgery was taking place is extremely disturbing. People step out and go to work in these roles and we expect them to return. When they don’t in such tragic circumstances it is a shocking reminder of how much public service workers and public servants give.
Today we need to remember all of these people who put themselves in harm’s way or in a vulnerable position and say a thank you to them. Above all my sympathy and love goes to Jo’s family and as I spend time with my family this weekend I know I will be thinking of them.