YP Letters: Jo Cox's selfless spirit was an example to all

From: Jeremy Spillane, Syke Road, Tingley.

A floral tribute to Jo Cox.

I DIDN’T know Jo Cox at all, although I had heard of her name. However I felt compelled to lay some flowers in Birstall, along with hundreds of others.

I have never felt moved to do this before in my life, even when famous people I liked have died. Her violent death has sent shockwaves around the world and it happened in a place we would all think was as safe as anywhere.

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What has been brought home to me so vividly is the tremendous, selfless spirit that Jo, and indeed the vast majority of MPs nationwide, possess in helping others and serving the people who voted them into power. Most of us wouldn’t have the energy and tenacity to do what MPs do. Unfortunately in the last few years we have all grown cynical about politicians, due to a small minority who have been dishonest.

This seems to be a worldwide phenomenon, maybe not helped by social media which allows anyone to make ridiculous comments and threats to people who are human beings, trying to do a very difficult job.

In order to do their job, our elected representatives have to come into regular contact with us, the public. Their security is at the mercy of who happens to be there: if someone is so minded, awful things can happen.

I have had dealings with my local MP twice in the last few years. Ed Balls was incredibly helpful in resolving a seemingly unresolvable problem for me and my family a few years ago. I will be forever in his debt. Unfortunately for him, democracy meant he was to be kicked out of his job last year when Andrea Jenkyns ousted him at the General Election. I needed help earlier this year from her, and was similarly impressed.

She came into politics in the wake of a tragedy that had hit her and her family hard: her father had died after contracting MRSA after a routine procedure at Pinderfields Hospital.

Would any of us have the guts to do what she did? She sold her house to fund her own election campaign for two years. She won the election and now lives with her mother – I think that’s real commitment.

Most of us would agree the recent EU referendum campaign has been terrible. Jo Cox’s death brought the campaign to a sudden halt with just days to go until the vote. In honour of Jo Cox and all the MPs who work so tirelessly to try and make this country better for us, the general public, we must all use our vote, hard-won over the decades and centuries, whatever our political allegiances.

When we vote on Thursday in a referendum that is more far-reaching than any General Election, we must do what we feel is right. The facts are thin on the ground, or even non-existent, but we have to go with our gut instincts. If we don’t vote, we can’t bemoan the outcome if it’s not what we would choose.

Maybe one of Jo Cox’s legacies can be that she shakes us out of our cynical complacency and makes us all respect our fellow human beings, whatever our party allegiances and maybe we can follow her example by working across the party political barriers, in order to make positive things happen.

From: Austin Mitchell, Former Grimsby MP.

I CAN’T add anything to the wave of sadness and misery which Jo Cox’s killing has produced.

Perhaps I shouldn’t either, because it’s too upsetting to see the loss of that rare jewel, an MP so committed to her constituents and causes rather than her ego and slippery pole climbing. Goodness always shines through in Parliament but is rarely lauded.

From: Anne Simpson, Richmond.

YOU published an article from Jo Cox MP (The Yorkshire Post, June 10) explaining why Brexit does not answer real concerns on immigration. You can still read it online.

It is the best case for ‘Remain’ that I have read during the whole EU referendum campaign. Let this be part of her legacy. Read it, and then go to vote on Thursday.

From: The Rev Louise Colvin, Graymount Gardens, Belfast.

I’M a Northern lass based over in Belfast. My heart is broken over the obscene murder of Jo Cox.

City’s long and steady decline

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

PHIL Hanson (The Yorkshire Post, June 17) was right to ask Bradford’s Labour Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe to “take off the rose tinted glasses and look at the city from the taxpayer’s point of view”.

Ask long-term Bradford residents if the city has improved since the late 50s or early 60s and the majority view would almost certainly be that it has continued a long and steady decline. One really dreads to think what it will be like in 50 years’ time. A new shopping centre and central paddling pool will not really improve that overall perception.

Stand up for constituents

From: Michael Tanner, Nawton.

WHEN Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake came back from his visit to Pennsylvania, he declared he was satisfied fracking could be safely carried out in Ryedale.

He called for the following four protective measures: A single regulator; an industry bond to cover the clean-up of disused wells in the event of companies going bust; a maximum distance to frack from houses; guidelines for well density. As none of his proposals have been adopted, perhaps he should now be standing up for his constituents and opposing the expansion of fracking.