Nothing learned from Jo Cox murder as Bishop speaks out over Brexit language – The Yorkshire Post says

Can the Houses of Parliament respond to corrosive use of language in politics?
Can the Houses of Parliament respond to corrosive use of language in politics?
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HAS NOTHING been learned from the senseless murder of Jo Cox, the Batley and Spen MP, on the eve of the 2016 EU referendum – and the promise of all politicians, in a very rare show of national unity, to use less inflammatory language?

The very fact that this proposition has to be raised, following an exceedingly thoughtful intervention by the Bishop of Leeds, is indicative of the extent to which the conduct of political debate has deteriorated in the past three years over Brexit.

Yorkshire MP Jo Cox was murdered a week before the EU referendum in June 2016.

Yorkshire MP Jo Cox was murdered a week before the EU referendum in June 2016.

Lack of restraint fuelling violent bile over Brexit as Bishop of Leeds speaks out

Time to stand up against toxic language corroding politics - Bishop of Leeds

And before the already emotive language surrounding next week’s European Parliament elections frays tensions between MPs and voters still further, they should read the speech by Nick Baines before considering their own choice of words. As the senior clergyman says, democracy is in trouble when politicians speak of the Prime Minister entering “the killing zone” – a crude reference made in the recent past about Theresa May’s future – or Carl Benjamin, a Ukip candidate standing for election on Thursday week, who, quite disgracefully, has used the word “rape” when expressing his views about Labour MP Jess Phillips. Anyone using such hateful phraseology to make a point is, frankly, undeserving, of any public platform.

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Yet Parliament’s abiding failure to stand up to such abuse risks normalising such language – another point made persuasively by the Bishop as he implores Westminster to lead by example by making “people who use such speech publicly accountable’, promoting a greater sense of responsibility amongst all public figures and offering counter-narratives to the more vindictive language being used by those seeking to ferment division in society. Three small steps, they are fundamental to the future of democracy if MPs – and others – are not to left fearing for their lives, and the safety of relatives and staff, when they do speak out in a measured manner on matters of public concern in a genuine bid to enhance the quality of debate and, ultimately, decision-making in a country once famed for the eloquence of its leaders, and their ability to make positive arguments, without denigrating those who put forward opposing views.