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Guardian wastes no time in turning tragedy into politcal capital


Less than 24 hours after the violent death of the Labour MP Jo Cox, the Guardian has unleashed two editorials that seek to pin the blame, not on the suspect currently in custody, but on the people campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.

The first, by Polly Toynbee, is closed for comments (for the author’s sake, you would think…but we’ll get to that later) – it is tasteless, evidenceless and manipulative:

It’s wrong to view the killing of Jo Cox in isolation.”

…she says, and having quickly and efficiently removed the need to talk about the specifics of the murder, or any of the tragic details, she proceeds to use the killing of a 42 year old mother as a platform for attacking her political opponents and ramming home some Guardianista agenda.

This poor woman was not killed by the apparently mentally ill man, currently in police custody, but by the “mood of the country” in which we are “encouraged to mistrust elected officials”. In a sense, Polly Toynbee says, everyone who doesn’t like the government is responsible for Ms Cox’s death…and especially, of course, all those who want to leave the EU:

…there are [anti-EU campaigners] whose recklessness has been open and shocking. I believe they bear responsibility, not for the attack itself, but for the current mood: for the inflammatory language, for the finger-jabbing, the dogwhistling and the overt racism.

She contrives and twists to somehow make the murder of a white woman at the hands of (allegedly) a white man somehow an act of racism. She cites Oswald Mosely and Adolf Hitler and Nigel Farage as somehow equivalent, and levels the blame for the actions of one man firmly at everyone who disagrees with her about Europe.

It is political manipulation of the worst sort, and it is truly disgusting.

But then the “Guardian View” goes one step further.

It too tries to conflate Brexit supporters with racists, and tries to suggest that this somehow an inevitable consequence of “the mood”, rather than the actions of a single man. On a day when both Leave and Remain campaigns mutually agreed to stop campaigning as a sign of respect, the Guardian felt itself above such niceties:

The idealism of Ms Cox was the very antithesis of such brutal cynicism. Honour her memory. Because the values and the commitment that she embodied are all that we have to keep barbarism at bay.

Vote Remain, it’s what Jo would have wanted.

It makes your skin crawl, doesn’t it? It certainly seemed to raise the ire of many commenters, through whom the moderators cut a broad swathe. That so many should be censored under a column ostensibly defending Britain’s freedom and democracy does not seem to register on the Guardian’s irony meter.




  1. John says

    Readers may want to note:-
    ‘Pound sees biggest daily percentage gain since September 2008’.
    ‘The FTSE 100 also rose, with shares trading 3% higher on Monday. ‘
    Some people and organisations may well have made a financial “killing” subsequent to the shooting of Jo Cox?

  2. Mick McNulty says

    This tragedy is unlikely to change the votes of most people who want to leave the EU – people are more sophisticated than being emotionally manipulated on so important a political issue – but our government is probably desperate enough to try and change the perception that such a tragedy can change enough minds.

    It’s easier to get away with rigging a vote that’s around 50/50 than it is to rig a vote showing 80/20 in favour of leaving, as polls consistently do in which the participant volunteers a vote, as opposed to those who were asked by a pollster. They can’t swing enough minds from 80/20 back to 50/50 to rig the vote, but if they can persuade us something big enough changed enough minds to swing it back then they can try. This tragedy enables that perception/deception.

  3. Simon K. says

    The crime was clearly motivated by fear of a flood of immigation to the UK. The murderer swallowed whole the idea that leaving the EU would somehow stop this. The message put out by the Brexit campaign will not address the problem that concerns many British people. The British must instead face the fact that their government’s support for Anglo imperialism in the Middle-East and elsewher is the sole cause of the chaos causing people to flee their homes in Syria. The EU itself is not the cause and Brexit is not the solution. People are being mislead. Demogogory is manipulating people’s fears, just the same as the US and British government’s use fear to drive their imperial fantasies. The guy would murdered the young idelistic MP is as much a victim in this sense as the MP herself. Personally, I hope the Brexit campaign is hurt by this murder and the real causes behind the flood of refugees from Syria (and in the future from Climate Change) will be addressed.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      The murder is so very convenient for the Remain campaign, isn’t it. Would they stoop to unleashing a half-wit to maim or kill a convenient victim to keep the neo-feudal EU project trundling along? Silly question, really.

  4. The message heavily pushed across much of the mainstream media and particularly on radio phone -ins:
    Racist Brexiteers are responsible for creating the climate in which such a crime could happen.
    Vote Brexit. Vote Racism.
    Amazingly an almost identical crime occurred before the Swedish EU Referendum but it didn’t change the result. It is difficult not to sense the presence of the brave (and very ‘establishment’) Intelligence Services in these crimes.

  5. Johnny Hacket says

    Breaking news … well sought of . Toynbee is interviewed and it’s show on german news at halftime at Portugal vs Austria .The German tv has pushed the line that the murder was basically to be seen as the result of the hate filled Leave campaign this line has been pushed from the get go , they did have someone at one of the vigils saying that they did not think the murder would make any difference to the referendum but the underlying message is that it will , the question was asked so that the question is out there , once out there it just needs to be asked repeatedly, it is irrelevant as to what answer is given .
    What I find disturbing in the msm coverage of this brutal murder is the knowledge that there are undoubtedly people managing the reaction to this murder in order to spin the event in the direction that the goverment so wishes .
    There seems to be little concern as to the size and current threat level that the far right pose to the country, I have seen no analysis or investigation into this but I do live abroad and may be missing this .Judging from the Graun so far they have not dealt with this as they are too busy manufacturing the image of the suspect as a manifestation of the Leave campaign rather as a member of the fascist right.
    We all need to double down on our inclusive non confrontational skills and not to be too concerned about right wing nutters who are out there some of which are now back from their hols in Ukraine, the line between the state and such people is blurred to intermittent.

  6. alan bruce says

    I also found the events surrounding Jo Coxs death disturbing. Why a white supremacist would kill a white person, why they would shout the name of a known white supremacist political movement, why the first witness never heard any such shouts, why a foreign campaigning organisation would have the assailants receipts for far right literature to hand.
    I also posted this on the guardian and sure enough it was deleted.
    Simply put, the guardian is a mouthpiece of the government agenda. I didn’t read toynbees article as hitting women, even in my imagination, is bad.
    Notice how most remain articles do not allow comments any more.

  7. Yonatan says

    Apparently a pensioner was also stabbed in the attack whilst trying to defend Cox. Not much has been said about him. This whole story has been pimped up because the primary victim is an insider, a New Labour Rising Star no less, not a pleb.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Cox (whose ghastly death was undoubtedly a tragedy) was apparently an advocate of a ‘no-fly zone’ in Syria, even if not approved by the UNSC. Not only would that amount to ‘aggression’, the ‘Supreme Crime’ under International Law, but with Russia there bombing Cox’s jihadist friends, the risk of thermo-nuclear war would be ‘non-trivial’. And then there is the hideous recent experience of Libya and ‘humanitarian intervention’ there, with its ghastly consequences that one would have thought might cause some reflection. I wondered why Cameron and May spoke so warmly about her.

  8. Joe Staten says

    Good God guys, what do we make of this. Marteen’s apartment “accidentally” left wide open and unguarded less than 24 hours after the shooting. No crime tape. No guards. And the press free to just wander round filming stuff and doing what the hell they like. And wouldn’t you know, right there in the kitchen counter is his expired gun permit and some printed info about Islam. Is it me or is this just nuts? What in goodness’ name is going on?

  9. Joe Staten says

    Different shooting, but equally weird back story for the alleged shooter. Omar Mateen was an actor with an IMDB page – now scrubbed. His dad is a prominent Taliban politician and frequenter of the State Department. This vid features what is supposed to be a segment of a “documentary” film in which Omar features, not as an actor, but as a regular security guard. You decide if you agree with the commenter on the channel. I know what I think.

  10. kevin morris says

    I too was appalled by Toynbee’s comment piece in the Grauniad but I want to take a very different line to the conspiracy pieces both here and elsewhere, to look at the murderer and wonder what led to his actions.

    Two days on from the murder, the police are following the ‘extremist right wing nut’ line and it seems that the entire story is sewn up. On the day of the murder, the Grauniad had a piece from the Huddersfield Examiner featuring him extolling the benefits of volunteering. Clearly not your typical right wing nut and in any case, when the UK had something close to full employment, when we still actually made things, the general view was that political creeds of the far right were unthinkable here because they were a symptom of economic despair and we didn’t do economic despair. For some strange reason that idea is little talked of nowadays.

    The truth is that there are thousands, nay- hundreds of thousands of Thomas Mairs, all over the UK. I first started noticing them around 1983 shuffling the streets. For many of them, the dominant mood is one of hopelessness and very rarely does that ever overflow into violence.

    Birstall in Batley and Spen is part of what used to be called the ‘heavy woollen’ district of the old West Riding of Yorkshire. It owed its economic success to rags- woollen rags carefully ripped apart and the wool recovered used in the manufacture of carpets. A little of that still remains, but like many areas of this country, unemployment is high.

    I cannot comment on Thomas Mair’s ‘mental illness’ but having been brought up and lived my life less than ten miles from Birstall, I would hazard an intelligent guess that did we still have a manufacturing economy in this country, it is highly likely that there would never have had to be a Huddersfield Examiner story about the benefits to Mair of volunteering because he would have been in employment. The saddest thing in this story and in the wider political debate is the unwillingness of all sides, left right and centre to see that the great majority of our problems would be solved overnight by the availability of real work. The heavy woollen industry was labour intensive with jobs available to all but the most unfit. Back in the mid to late seventies I remember a meeting with the manager of a social security office in Bradford. Back then unemployment was around half a million and that number was described by the manager as ‘the unemployable’. That number has grown exponentially as the number of those whose sole experience of work has been schemes- many of them nowadays punitive in nature, interspersed with long spells of isolation. Many of those deemed unemployable- even ‘lone nuts’ would likely be different people entirely if they had been open to the conviviality that work means for the majority of those who still have it.

    There is a huge reservoir of despair in this country at the ravages that it has faced since the 1970s. Must we ignore the lessons by demonising one hopeless individual whilst at the same time sanctifying another? Polly Toynbee’s response to this pointless murder was shameful but I fear that as a country we shall not learn the real lessons.

    • I hesitate to describe the mere questioning of the media narrative as a “conspiracy theory.” If we keep on broadening the definition of that phrase there’ll be no permissible discourse left beyond total assent to prevailing dogma.

      The fact is we all saw a certain picture of this man emerge immediately as the the first reports of the shooting began to be broadcast, and we then witnessed, in real time, that picture begin to change as the corporate media suddenly united behind the story that he was a right wing “extremist” or even “terrorist.” On cue the Southern Poverty Law Centre “obtained” a package of incriminating data linking him to right wing groups, and this became the centre of the unrolling narrative.

      I have no way of knowing which version is true at present, but the narrative switch is manifestly quite odd. Yet very few, even in the alt media, are currently questioning it. No one is asking – to give one example – why a US-based NGO would be the first to obtain and release a host of documentation about an obscure man in Yorkshire. No one has yet asked or been told where the SPLC “obtained” these documents. Who collated them, and managed to ship them all to the USA within a day of the crime being committed. Why they thought this was more important than informing the proper authorities. Until these and other questions are answered, scepticism is the only rational response, and to call it “conspiracy-theorising” is simply smoke-blowing, intentionally or not.

      Your points about Mair’s potential motives are valid. But as yet we don’t even have any evidence he committed the crime. Back in the day this was considered quite an important first step before rushing to judgement or further analysis. They were probably wiser times.

    • Jen says

      Dear Kevin,

      At this stage as Catte says, there’s no real evidence that Thomas Mair committed the crime. All evidence so far is circumstantial evidence.

      Yet as you say the police are following the notion that he is a neo-Nazi fascist within two days of the murder. You have to ask, how did the police come to such a quick summary of Mair and on what evidence this is based on. You have to ask how the Southern Poverty Law Center – an American organisation, by the way, which normally concerns itself with issues of racial hatred and bigotry WITHIN the United States, not outside – was able to obtain so much information on him so quickly, right down to details of invoices for books and manuals he supposedly ordered.

      How did the SPLC even know what Mair was supposedly buying unless it was practically stalking him?

      It is this narrative being spun about Mair that the police and the mainstream media have swallowed before a proper police investigation has been carried out that should be the real concern. If indeed a story is being created that throws the chase off the real killer or killers then in this context Polly Toynbee’s article is to been as running interference on behalf of those who stand to benefit from Jo Cox’s murder.

  11. John says

    ‘Britain First’ Shout Eyewitness on BNP Membership List
    The eyewitness who insists Jo Cox’s killer shouted “Britain First” before murdering the MP was on the leaked British Nationalist Party (BNP) membership and contacts list.
    Britain First and the BNP are known to be openly hostile toward one another.
    As a result of eyewitness Clarke Rothwell’s claims, the media have been quick to link the Labour MP’s murder to Britain First, a hard line nationalist group. Much of the press has also linked the killing to Britain’s European Union (EU) referendum, and Germany’s Chancellor Merkel has claimed the Leave campaign is to blame for the murder, for using “radical” language.
    Mr Rothwell, who witnessed the brutal attack on the mother of two, told BBC Newsnight: “The words I heard [Cox’s attacker] say were Britain first, or put Britain first,
    “I can’t say exactly what it was but definitely Britain first is what he said, what he was shouting. He shouted it at least twice.”
    Gas fitter Mr Rothwell, who was working near to the murder scene yesterday, appears on the leaked BNP membership and contacts list. Britain First was founded as a splinter group of the now effectively defunct, far right BNP and there is known hostility between the two groups.
    The gunman, named locally as Thomas Mair, has a history of mental health problems.
    His brother, Scott, told reporters: “My brother is not violent and is not all that political.”
    The original claim for the “Britain First” shout was local dry cleaner Aamir Tahir. In the following hours, however, Mr. Tahir has told other news outlets that he “wasn’t there [at the scene]” and simply heard the allegation as second-hand information. Another witness, Hicham Ben Abdallah, has said that he heard no such claim.
    There is no record of the last witness named in the Guardian – Graeme Howard – living in the area, though they claim he lived on Bond Street, just minutes away from the site of the murder. Breitbart London visited Bond Street – a tiny road – last night, and could not find Mr. Howard.
    A sign in a shop window close to where Mrs. Cox was killed insists that “no one shouted Britain First” at any time.
    Other eyewitnesses also denied hearing it:
    Eyewitness tells reporters he didn’t hear anyone shout “Britain first”, saying: “Never heard that”.
    Britain First spokesman Jayda Fransen distanced her organisation from the attacks, which she called “absolutely disgusting”. She told LBC radio that Britain First have “a very strict code of conduct” and that there is “no violence tolerated at all”.
    “We’re a registered political party and we hold legal protests. We absolutely condemn this kind of behaviour. We think it is disgusting in fact. Attacking an MP is an attack on democracy.”
    Where – I wonder – is the missing witness Graeme Howard to be found?

  12. Brian Harry, Australia says

    I am increasingly disappointed with “The Guardian”. It used to be great, but now it has been “white-anted” from within, and unless readers comments are ‘acceptable’ to the Editor, they vanish.

  13. I posted this earlier today; I had to leave it as a comment on John Harris’ piece about the divide between Labour and the British working class:

    “Thanks for this John; calm, reasoned and not one bit offensive – in stark contrast to Polly Toynbee’s disgusting attempt to use the murder of Jo Cox to score points in the referendum debate, lower even than Geldof’s sneering two fingers at the fishermen. I do not know when the moratorium on campaigning will be lifted but woe betide the person on either side who tries to marshal news of this dreadful deed behind their cause. For Toynbee, it is already too late and the Guardian might have paused for thought a little before publishing it.”

    My comment was deleted not long afterwards. I avoided any doubts I might have had about Cox (as a mark of respect and because they would have been in bad taste so soon after her murder), indeed any mention of my position on the referendum itself. This afternoon, I logged on to Facebook and discovered numerous people, including many friends who should know better, eulogising Cox for her love for Syrian children as evidence of her readiness for beatification and linking her death to the referendum. Sorry, I can’t stay stumm for the 72 hours that might have been decent had the “other side” reciprocated.

    Others here have suggested this may have been a false flag operation. That much is possible though it may never be proven. What does not need proof is that Cox was objectively, if not an actual asset, an agent of Clintonite/US exceptionalism under the same cloak of the doctrine of “humanitarian intervention,” replete with attendant no-fly zones and a determination to tear up the UN charter and provoke war with Russia.

    A further pointer is provided tonight by the BBC who inform me that Cox’s family have set up a fund to raise money for three charities. The RVS, Hope not Hate (whose CEO has also used the murder to argue a position against Brexit) and The White Helmets. Readers of Off-Guardian will be familiar with The White Helmets and the internet is awash with examples demonstrating that they are not at all what they seem!

    It is inconceivable that Cox was unaware of UK secret services role in the creation and running of this organisation, given that she was arguing in the Observer last September for direct UK military action against the Syrian government and set up (with Andrew Mitchell) the all-party Parliamentary Group Friends of Syria.

    Cox was one of those that nominated Corbyn but then voted for someone else (the most Blairite of the candidates, Liz Kendall). The day after the local elections in early May, Cox used the pages of The Guardian to launch an attack on Corbyn.

    Of course I think her murder by a mentally ill person with fascist leanings is despicable but the fact that this shenanigans is developing so quickly makes me think also that there is more to this than meets the eye.

    • Penny Fulton says

      I read your comment earlier , Im totally shocked it was removed , It only commented very reasonab’y that Poly’s article was bit rich , (to paraphrase )
      I wrote that it seemed illogical to honour an MP (described as ‘passionately democratic).’ s memory with a closing down of public debate and that she would be ulikely approve of such a ‘tribute’.
      After about an hour and may recommendations later , it was deleted !
      Neither of our comments were in the least offensive , and it just adds to the conviction that the killing was afalse flag op.
      It also confirms my belief that a Brexit vote wll have a fast domino effect in Europe rendering the EU a lame duck .
      Only desperate death throws warrant such extreme action as the sacrifice of one of their own .

      • Richard Le Sarcophage says

        Penny, the murder of Cox must serve some other purpose than merely vilifying the Brexiters. They would have simply rigged the vote counting, in any case. There was NO chance that the Brexit would ever have been allowed to happen. None.

  14. Johnny Hacket says

    ,I would be surprised if this was a false flag op , not because I think that the powers that be would not do such a hideous barbaric act but simply due to the timing , a month back remain were ahead and nobody had reckoned with this surge in support for the Leave contingent. This being so it hardly gives a believable time line to get this particular nutter up and running .Also he is still alive , if he is found dead in his cell I might become more paranoid but until then I will consider it to be what it looks like mainly an act of terrorism perpetrated by a nazi.
    It remains an act of savagery against a young woman , a gut renching horror that is truly traumatic.
    I do not see it influencing the result , simply because the MP in question was universally admired , by all decent people across the country who find themselves on one side or the other in this referendum.
    If the Graun sees fit to spin this tragedy and introduce it into a context where it does not belong , then they have no shame , it will not work as like most brexit people I prefer my Labour Mps not to be struck down in the streets by fucking nazis , I prefer them being elected and doing their jobs like this brave young lady did.
    Time will see if the Graun bothers to check out the UK nazis , after all they did such a nice fluff job on the Ukraine nazis last year they may ,if they look too closely find that there may be a connection between them and then where are we ?
    It may cause the Graun a serious headache keeping the good nazis separate from the bad nazis .

  15. JJA says

    Not to mention the ‘Guardian’s view’ that the football violence in France is all caused by Dr No mastermind Putin, cackling while stroking his white cat and funding all the Brexit and other anti EU parties.

    • Johnny Hacket says

      very true , your comment made me laugh , Russian hooligans are “well trained ” as well as “trained to fight” where as England’s own bunch of losers are what exactly apart from over weight , most of them are hardly real fighters more like hooligan tourists.

  16. Excellent article, except:
    ” … the apparently mentally ill man … ”
    He was a nazi (racist-fascist). This doesn’t mean he’s mentally ill, just a nazi.
    As for Toynbee, I write it off to Polly’s evil twin. I think real Polly has gone, never to return. Ever since the coup that destroyed the Graun’s nominal independence and turned it into an agent of the neocon hegemony there’s been no sign of real Polly, it’s all evil twin all the time. Shame. 10-20 years ago I used to enjoy reading her columns.

    • Mair has been described in several MSM sources as having suffered from mental illness or as having received treatment for mental illness. If this is now disappearing from the official narrative, don’t blame our writers, blame the changing story 🙂

      • Simon K. says

        Mair is mentally ill. And has had treatment for it. Obviously volunteering and helping neighbours with their gardens wasn’t enough to overcome his sense of social isolation. He was most likely vulnerable to suggestion, and therefore if it is shown correct that he murdered the MP, then we must conclude that he took the Brexit campaign of fear more seriously than others.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      They ALL sell out, if required. In Australia our Government broadcaster, the ABC, was thoroughly turned Right under Howard, one of the flunky aggressors against Iraq. In the twenty years since it has become a simulacrum of the Murdoch cancer, with many Murdoch stooges moving across or being regular guests. And a number of the now superannuated hosts of various shows made the shift, from a pleasant even-handedness, to Guardian-like service to the Empire, without missing a beat, and even becoming quite febrile reactionaries as the years went by. Almost anything to feed their egomania.

  17. passerby says

    In 2003, a few days before Sweden voted upon euro membership, someone stabbed Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister, to death. Same scenario unfolded: newspapers spinning the news to manipulate public opinion. Didn’t work though; Sweden voted to stay out of the euro.

    • Despite all that the Swedes are still a gloomy bunch.* There’s no pleasing some people.
      And we still don’t know why Palme was assassinated.

      *Come to think of it that might explain why they have so many great thriller/crime writers.

      • Richard Le Sarcophage says

        We know PRECISELY why Palme was murdered. Just ask Carl Bildt.

  18. Alan says

    The script presented by Mrs Toynbee reflects the callous opportunism so many editorials resort to. Any loss of life is devastating, our sympathy natural. One would like to imagine all share such sentiments. In the case of those who capitalise upon others misery, whether by hiding behind journalism or voting for sanctions/bombing/war targeted at civilians, ones belief is shaken.

  19. John says

    It must surely have entered the minds of others that this could be a false flag operation, being resorted to by those desperate to ensure a remain outcome for a referendum at a time when all opinion polls are showing a leave outcome?
    The individual who perpetrated the murder could have been manipulated into carrying it out, as no rational supporter of the leave outcome could surely have thought this would enhance their cause?
    Killing a young woman in this brutal fashion and allegedly shouting “Britain First” as he did so is hardly designed to buttress the case for leaving the EU – is it?
    If anything – as on this occasion – it simply provides fuel for the anti-leave campaign – does it not?
    There have been far too many of these “lone nut” jobs even in all our recent histories for this not to be self-evident.
    I am still waiting to learn of the full facts of the San Bernadino and Orlando events before coming to any conclusions.
    There is far too much of this “rushing to judgment” in this country and elsewhere.
    People should wait until the police have completed their investigations before penning anything on the subject.
    That includes Ms Toynbee too.

  20. “It too tries to conflate Brexit supporters with racists” did you see the poster that Farage came up with yesterday? Or the time Sked the founder of UKIP talking about the time Farage wants ex-National Front people to join UKIP & talking about nig-nogs & niggers. Farage is a fucking racist & congenital liar – I fail to understand why you do not understand that?

    • I said “Brexit supporters” not “Nigel Farage”. I don’t know whether Mr Farage is a racist or not, it is immaterial to my point.

      The attempt to simplify the EU debate into decency and tolerance on the one hand, and racism and bigotry on the other is dishonest. Do you not agree with that?

  21. Amer Hudson says

    As a reluctant Remainer, I have to agree with you.

    That a woman politician was the unfortunate victim of an apparently deranged individual seems to have exercised them greatly. You can see the analogy in their facile suppositions to that of their yearning for a ‘Safe Space’ for women in society. What next, a ‘Safe Space’ for politicians where no dissent is allowed from the orthodoxy? Whose orthodoxy are we talking about, that of the Guardian? The establishment in general? To take another of the Guardian’s increasingly bizarre and authoritarian campaigns, the ‘Web We Want’. I expect this man’s internet activity to come under microscopic analysis to point out the dangers of people seeking information from ‘discredited’ sources, or of posting ‘hate speech’, as they interpret it, on blog sites and public forums. Perhaps yet another excuse to censor opinion, to ‘no platform’ certain people or ideas. Apart from taking shameless advantage of this murderous act to bolster their agenda in this campaign, you can almost predict where the Guardian will want go with this. And it does not sit comfortably.

    The fact that a deranged individual, as far as we yet know, chose to murder a young mother of two children does not represent this society, nor does it represent a faction of our society. I’d argue it’s representative of nothing: no political or social movement, no sea change in society, or nor how we view our politicians (as an oldie, I’m aware that the public’s view hasn’t changed much in sixty years, probably for a long, long time).

    Indeed, I’d argue that these very rare acts of individual madness, or extreme violence, don’t tell us much about society at all. They tell us, if anything, that the human mind is a frail, sometimes disturbed place where reality and fantasy often cohabit. And that the vast majority of people are well aware of that frailty. Well aware of the potential for too much hate, a very human emotion, in our lives and in our attitudes to people. Our minds are more often filled with empathy and sympathy for our families, the people we know, and society in general, than they are with hatred.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      The Guardian’s authoritarianism fits neatly with the Israeli push to ban the BND movement, and even criminalise it, and the even more sinister moves to ban ALL criticism of Israel as ‘antisemitism’.

  22. The Out and Abouter says

    Off-Guardian wastes no time in turning Guardian news coverage of tragedy into obvious dig.

    • Editorials are not news. Should we tolerate the use of false information and emotional manipulation to spread a political agenda?

  23. This happens everyday in the USA. Horrendous tragedies being used by special interest groups for political agendas. The strategy of creating fear in order to rule has become commonplace in the west now just as much as it had been mainly in the east before. We as a species are not long from extinction by default.

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