Thursday 8 December 2016

We have lost our soul and lost our way in the political divide

Published 23/06/2016 | 02:30

Senseless killing: Jo Cox (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire )
Senseless killing: Jo Cox (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire )

The kind of hatred that issued in the recent brutal and senseless killing of Jo Cox, one of the most inspiring members of the Westminster parliament, did not fall from the sky but had its roots in the amplification of bitter and often bogus political antipathies.

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This appalling murder was set in the context of the deeply divisive and sometimes irrational outbursts between the main protagonists in the intensely adversarial exchanges about Europe. The sense of national guilt following the killing of Joe Cox forced us to put into perspective the mutual demonisation and the shameless parade of self-interest that has defined the debate on Europe. Ireland, too, can lose its political soul.

Too often and too easily we can become spectators, not participants, in political life. We continue to reap the whirlwind of years of subservient obedience to church and state. We have unwittingly colluded in structures of hierarchy, authority and domination that dilute our sense of responsibility for our own lives. The practice of politics often undermines our freedom, unsettling our world in the quest for power. Beliefs presumed to be true because they are so widespread, are invoked to nurture a limited view of ourselves, our world and our capabilities.

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