The Mail and the Sun are both relentlessly banging away at the mental health angle which may, or may not, be an issue with the alleged killer of Jo Cox. We should be very clear as to why this is. But let’s explore what it isn’t about. Thomas Mair’s mental health is what these two squalid newspapers want the story to be about. Some of the most cynical newspapers in the history of the printed word are attempting to shape an agenda that fits in with their political viewpoint. I am still shocked by the terrible murder of Jo Cox and I am beginning to wonder, as the media narrative sinks from the gutter into the sewer whether the fissures that have been created in our society can ever be repaired.
“He begged help for depression,” says the Sun, referring to what we don’t know about Mair. Not that “it has been suggested” or “it is believed”, oh no. Mair “begged help for depression”. Has Rupert Murdoch’s repulsive paper suddenly gained access to Mair’s medical records (well, Murdoch’s cronies hacked a dead girl’s telephone, so don’t put anything past them) or has it just made up a story, based on hearsay, anecdotes, guesswork or did they simply make it up with none of the above?
The death of Jo Cox came at a terrible time in the EU referendum campaign anyway and neither the official Remain group or any of the Leave groups can have much to be proud of. What should have been an orderly debate has become a torrential downpour of fear. Suddenly, a young woman, a mother of two, who dedicated her life to making the lives of people better, was gunned down in cold blood. I am still shocked by what happened, still sickened by what our country has become. Not just that two young children no longer have a mother and that a fine man no longer has a wife, but that we have newspapers, read by millions, who are trying to spin the story. Let us be very clear about this: the Sun and the Mail are setting out a deliberate campaign to tell its readers that Thomas Mair, the alleged killer of Jo Cox, was a “loner” and that he was mentally ill, because they are terrified he might have killed her because he wanted to leave the EU and she didn’t.
If it is true that Mair suffered from depression – and we do not know this – then how can we possibly know this contributed to the murder of Jo Cox? It is a simple fact, backed up by mountains of evidence that people with a mental illness are far more likely to be attacked and harmed than it is for them to attack and harm others. They are far more likely to harm themselves. Many people who suffer from depression find it hard enough to get out of bed, never mind anything else.
I suppose we get the press we deserve. If people simply stopped buying the Sun and the Mail, their sick and twisted agenda would descend into irrelevance. And how much more of this filth do we really want to endure? The owners and the proprietors of sections of then press believe themselves to be above the law, just like super rich parasites like Philip Green can turn up to a House of Commons committee and treat our elected representatives with utter contempt.
The behaviour of the Sun and Mail is yet another reason why I believe it will take many years for the societal divisions that are being opened up by the so called EU debate and everything that comes with it.
The tragedy of a lost life is being exploited and manipulated by a section of the media which is immune to matters of conscience and common decency. This is a new low, even by the standards of the British press, but do not put if past them to sink even lower if their proprietors and owners deem it necessary.