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A few thoughts on the murder of David Amess – MPs and journalists just do not get it

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 18 October 2021

The murder of Tory MP David Amess is shocking and horrible and, naturally, one thinks of his family. But the reaction of the media and political class has been telling, a sign of just how completely and utterly out of touch they are with we dirty plebs. The same could never have been said of East End born David Amess but he was an unusual fellow inside the Westminster bubble.

The BBC kicked off with a note of surprise observing how popular Mr Amess was despite his views which it viewed as somewhat extreme. Mr Amess took a tough line on law and order and was a staunch Brexiteer. I suggest such views are not extreme but are shared by most folks, certainly most folks in Southend, Essex where Amess was an MP. That the BBC views them as extreme is just a sign of how out of touch it has become.

The narrative changed and MPs and the media quickly started talking about how careless language costs lives. Calling Tory MPs “scum,” we were told, encouraged the murder of Amess and the recent attack on Iain Duncan-Smith, just as some of Nigel Farage’s language in the Brexit referendum was blamed for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox five years ago. In all probability the two different murderers never heard any comments by Angela Rayner or Farage respectively. They were not swayed by the hate pumped out on twitter and in chat rooms by anonymous keyboard warrriors.

Do not get me wrong, as a victim of such bile and death threats and late-night harassment myself, I am all for social media sites and newspaper comments sections forcing folks to post in their own name. That would make the world a less coarse and aggressive place. But, surely we can all see that the murderer of Jo Cox was a clinically insane Neo Nazi while the murderer of David Amess was an Islamic extremist.

Islamic extremists have targeted not just MPs but also kids attending pop concerts and innocents on the underground and elsewhere.  What the public wants is for such folk to be dealt with and dealt with harshly, for the State to address what is a threat to all of us. The way that MPs are talking about dealing with threats made on twitter or what Angela Rayner said seems to many of we dirty plebs a deliberate attempt NOT to talk about the real issue. It is what those in the Westminster bubble always do.

And then we are told that MPs must be protected with more cops and other measures. As a dirty pleb I might ask, when I get a death threat of dozens of menacing midnight phone calls why is it that because I am just a journalist, the Police refuse to act? Surely, we should ALL receive protection.  And, again, we come back to the specific issue of Islamic extremism. Almost all of the targets of jihadists operating in the UK have not been politicians. Yet the politicians think they merit additional security and refuse to address the elephant in the room which threatens all of us. So MPs become safer and we are more at risk because the real threat is not addressed: are you, as a dirty oik, happy with that?

Finally, I note that the family of the suspect appear to live in a £2million council house in a street where most houses are private and owned by TV stars and the other sorts of folks who can afford to buy such a pile. I have nothing against the wider family of the alleged murderer but make the wider point of wondering why on earth cash strapped councils are putting up folks in such accommodation.  Surely the local authority should be selling that house to help balance its books and rehousing the folks in far cheaper accommodation in a less salubrious neighbourhood. There are almost certainly other counciil houses in that street occupied by white families. For the avoidance of doubt, they too should be decanted and thdir houses sold. 

As an ordinary taxpayer facing another steep rise n council tax charges, I find such profligacy horrifying yet the media and political classes seem not to be bothered. Perhaps that is because they live in even posher houses and being in the top 2-3 percent of earners they will not worry too much about the increased council tax they must pay.

On all these matters the media and political elites think one way and, I suspect, we sans-culottes regard their platitudes as quite simply from another world. Pro tem, as folks consider poor Mr Amess and his family, it seems rude to call out the elites but the past few days shows that the chasm between them and us gets ever wider.   

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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