I didn’t know Jo Cox personally but knew people who did know her well and what a deeply lovely woman she was. After her death several Yorkshire friends I know mentioned how ashamed they were that this appalling tragedy happened in Yorkshire which is the friendliest place I have lived outside of Turkey. The Council of Europe report released today has highlighted again the dangers of xenophobic, racist commenting in the UK.
I was not particularly active with Hope not Hate then but a community building inclusive initiative has been started called #MoreinCommon. A few of us have started a fledgling Hope not Hate group in Sutton. We will be holding our first public event in late November. We can help others who are passionate about helping communities integrate and encourage different nationalities to spend time with others. One of the fantastic #MoreinCommon events held elsewhere was called “Blooming Foreigners” – a gardening project involving a mix of nationalities including those who previously had some very nationalistic views.
I learnt this song last winter from NHS campaigning friends in Leeds, taught to us by a South African musician, there are various version on youtube – this one from Hungary who also don’t appear to be hating people as much as the media make out. Positive messages of hope are always welcome.