Last night we learned of the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess. No murder is acceptable, of course, and I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but my gut reaction was to note that I struggle to feel pity for people who champion greed and selfishness; who campaign to ensure the rich dominate the poor, and that the weak remain subservient to the strong; who find it just that historic inequalities remain unchallenged, in order that they and their wealthy friends can live as they always have, while so many others are left to suffer. The fact remains, however, that a man was murdered just for doing his job. Whatever your political beliefs, surely that cannot be tolerated. A man who had a family, who are now left to mourn.
Of course I feel pity for them – what human wouldn’t? Yet I struggle to divorce this man from his party, and the political from the human. The problem is, I’m not alone: since 2016 and since the advent of social media, people are becoming more and more furious politically, more and more partisan. People are increasingly forgetting that politicians are people, and reducing them down to what they and their party advocate – beliefs they may vehemently disagree with. When that happens, we see horrors like the one last night.
Upon hearing of this crime, my reaction was to see Amess as a tory more than a man. I could not forget, even for a moment, what he and his political party are doing and stand for and the suffering they have caused. I am ashamed to admit that, but it’s true. The problem is, when we are bombarded day after day with news that gets us ever more furious, how can one not feel that way?