Nigel Farage’s comment about Jo Cox’s widower shames us all

Nigel Farage puts forward his viewpoint on LBC radio [Image: LBC, published on the Independent’s website].

This is genuinely sickening.

You may be aware that 12 people have died, and 48 were injured, when a lorry was driven into a Christmas market in Berlin in what is believed to have been a terrorist attack. A man, believed to be an immigrant into Germany from Pakistan, has been arrested.

Here’s Mr Farage’s comment:

It inevitably provoked a backlash on Twitter – as Mr Farage undoubtedly hoped. Most prominent among his detractors was Brendan Cox, who tweeted this:

Farage’s response – on LBC radio – defies belief:

“He would know more about extremists than me.”

Brendan Cox is, of course, the widower of Jo Cox – who was murdered by an extremist in the run-up to the EU referendum earlier this year.

It was a referendum nobody wanted other than a few Tory backbenchers who had threatened to oppose David Cameron on his legislative programme if he didn’t organise it.

But – thanks to the efforts of Mr Farage and some extremely compliant national news media – the issue very quickly set neighbour against neighbour as opinions polarised.

And then Mrs Cox died.

Mr Cox’s tweet may be interpreted as a warning that Mr Farage was victim-blaming Mrs Merkel for the Berlin incident – and, by extension, blaming his late wife for her own murder.

But that sailed right over Mr Farage’s head, because he wanted to make a petty point about an organisation Mr Cox supports – Hope Not Hate.

He said the organisation, and those like it, “masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means”.

Do you think it is just a coincidence that Hope Not Hate has a history of opposition to UKIP, which organisers regard as a hate-spreading, extremist political party.

Hope Not Hate has responded to Mr Farage’s accusations with the following statement: “We are aware of a serious and potentially libellous statement made about HOPE not hate by Nigel Farage on LBC radio this morning. We have no idea on what Mr Farage bases his outrageous comments. HOPE not hate has a proud history of campaigning against extremism and hatred. We will not be making any further comment until we have had the opportunity to consult with our lawyers.”

The following appears to be a more straightforward response from Mr Cox:

(You may have to visit YouTube to watch the clip).

Feel free to consider how you would respond – if, for example, you were unlucky enough to meet Mr Farage on the street.

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8 thoughts on “Nigel Farage’s comment about Jo Cox’s widower shames us all

  1. NMac

    Farage is a nasty spreader of prejudice, division and hatred. He has nothing positive to offer to anyone, and that includes the people who vote for his rotten little political party.

  2. peterbatt

    Hmmmm. On balance, I supported remaining in the EU, so my comments that follow do not represent those of a right-wing, Brexiteering nutter. But this article said a couple of things which are obviously not true, and go to the heart of a deeper malaise for those of us on the Left: 1) ‘It was a referendum nobody wanted other than a few Tory backbenchers’. This is obvious bollocks. Okay, the referendum was unnecessary, but it was ultimately called because of a calculation Cameron made about silencing his Eurosceptic wing and his attempt to head off UKIP. But the only reason he felt the need to do this was because the whole issue threatened to destabilise the Tory party, and such a threat could only exist because quite a lot of people wanted a referendum. 2) ‘Thanks to the efforts of Mr Farage and some extremely compliant national news media…’ I think saying ‘extremely compliant’ is to completely miss the point. They weren’t just compliant. They created the conditions and led the campaign. Had it not been for agitation by the right-wing press, the momentum towards a referendum would not have been as strong – and neither would all the fearmongering around immigration and refugees. Now, these two points might seem secondary to Nigel Farage and his typically odious politicking, but we on the Left have a responsibility to accept and appreciate why what he says has power for many people. And brushing all this stuff aside, as you have, in my opinion betrays why the Left no longer speaks authoritatively for large sections of working-class Britain.

  3. Zippi

    Sometimes, it is really better to say nothing. If Mr. Farage wants to combat extremism, surely he would want to know what the root cause is? What is it that makes people want to cause such pain, fear and death to people whom they do not know, have nothing to do with and apparently delight in? That’s not normal.
    I must say, however, that to say that this was a referendum that nobody wanted is a major and incorrect assumption. There are many people in this country who have wanted a referendum on this issue for many, many years. There are many, many people who have been unhappy with what the E.C. became and a referendum that we were supposed to have was taken off the table. This issue was about far more than a few Tory rebels, even though they may have been the reason for this referendum, it was about our country as a whole.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re quibbling about percentages, I think.
      The fact is that most people didn’t care about our membership of the EU. A poll of young people in late 2014 showed that only seven per cent would definitely vote to leave the bloc.
      A poll of the issues most concerning people – carried out around the same time – put the EU 18th out of 20.

  4. Barry Davies

    I met Mr Farage on the street he is a highly intellectual man, he is correct the number of these attacks is likely to increase because Merkel opened the doors to anyone who feels like coming from the middle east Pakistan and Africa, on the premise that they are refugees. I don’t think anyone with 2 working brain cells linked by a viable synapse would expect the hard line fundamental muslims not to use the route to place their “soldiers” into europe. Cox is correct Haters will hate and that especially refers to the inaptly named hope not hate. Blaming politicans for the rise of extremists is more often than not the correct place to lay the blame, after all one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      How do you know that Germany does not have effective measures to locate terrorists among the refugees and weed them out?
      Mr Cox IS correct – haters WILL hate.
      Haters including Mr Farage and, it seems, you.

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