Friday last week was a dark day for politics. Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Member of Parliament for Southend West was stabbed whilst holding a constituency surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church Leigh-on-Seaand later died at the scene. Police said there were possible links to Islamic extremism.
This is only five years after the assassination of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox who was killed by white supremasist Thomas Mair whilst going to a surgery at Birstall Library.
Now I am no supporter of the Conservative party or their policies but I find the act of killing a politician a deplorable act which strikes against decency and democracy. As is normal in these circumstances the other major parties will not be standing against the Conservatives as a mark of respect, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have already said they will not be standing. At the by-election after the death of Jo Cox the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Greens and UKIP did not stand.
I do not want to rant at this point, but I think that any one who stands in the by-election which will follow the death if Sir David, and the parties they represent are a very, very serious threat to the country, the message they are giving out is that they think it is alright to alter the political outlook of parliament due to an assassination. If this idea got out it would be unsafe to be in parliament and the country would collapse. I ask all people who wish to enter parliament not to stand at the upcoming Southend West by-election, you will have other chances to stand. We must never set the precedent that the balance of power can be changed by assassination.
Please do not scapegoat all Muslims over the act of an Islamic terrorist, if that turns out to be the case. The average Muslim is as horrified by things done in the name of their religion as I am by people using the name of Jesus as the reason behind their ungodly acts.
We need to do something to make sure that MPs are safe to carry out their job, which is representing their constituents. constituency surgeries are a vital part of democracy, an MP needs to be in touch with those they represent. I can see them moving many surgeries onto Zoom, Teams and other internet platforms. We need more security at constituency surgeries, I am against the arming of police, but this is somewhere it could be allowed to preserve democracy, but it must not impede the access of the people to their representative.
My prayers are with Sir David’s wife and children.