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  • Writer's pictureBlake

Guiding Light

Like most people, I was horrified at the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox. Finding out more about her life and the things she cared about in her all too short political career made the loss seem even greater. I ended up writing a song called 'Guiding Light'.

Jo campaigned for more to be done to protect children trapped in refugee camps across Europe, especially those who had become separated from their parents and carers, and who are vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse. 10,000 children have gone missing in Europe according to and there are 95,000 unaccompanied children in need of help. Jo spoke to the Commons in April in favour of the Dubs amendment to the Immigration Bill which proposed for the UK to give sanctuary to 3000 unaccompanied children. Labour’s Alf Dubs was one of the 669 children rescued from the Nazis through the Kindertransport actions of the late Sir Nicholas Winton and he called on the Government to show the same compassion for refugee children in Europe today. Jo said,

“I recognise that this is not easy, but tonight we are being asked to make a decision that transcends party politics. Any Member who has seen the desperation and fear on the faces of children trapped in inhospitable camps across Europe must surely feel compelled to act…In the shanty towns of Calais and Dunkirk, the aid workers I spent a decade with on the frontline as an aid worker myself, tell me that the children there face some of the most horrific circumstances in the world. Surely we have to do the right thing tonight and support the Dubs Amendment.”

Shamefully, the Government defeated the amendment by 18 votes.

I heard Jo’s husband Brendan speaking on the radio after her death and he talked about how he wanted to remember the ‘real Jo’, a mother to two young children, who was always annoyingly late but also tirelessly enthusiastic. He said people had in their heads an idealised version of her but I don’t think he meant this as a criticism, just as the way it was. My song is about an idealised version of Jo, but this is the one that I am sure most of the people who have been so moved by her passing also share. Not knowing her personally, it’s all we have. However, it’s undoubted that Jo was a person of principle, someone with great moral integrity, who cared about the weak and the vulnerable, and, more importantly, acted upon her convictions. She worked for Oxfam for nine years before becoming an MP. In the three days subsequent to her death, the GoFundMe page which is raising money for three of her favourite charities hit the £1 million mark. Brendan Cox wrote,

"Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

The Twitter hashtag ‘#MoreInCommon’ is being used in her memory. Donations are still being accepted on the fundraising page set up in her name where it says, “Let's come together and give what we can to help create that better world.” Jo Cox will remain a guiding light.

Guiding Light

If you asked me what was true

I’d say that photograph of you

The joy in your eyes in your smile

And I don’t know when

But we’ll see that smile again

Cos you’ve only gone away for a while

So farewell our friend

But it’s not the end

Cos we’ll look again

To our guiding light

And I’m gonna fight

For all that is right

For all that you stood for in your life

We’re broken but then

With time we will mend

Cos love doesn’t end with a bullet or a knife

So farewell our friend

But it’s not the end

Cos we’ll look again

To our guiding light

You had so little time

Cut down in your prime

But the light that burned within you will continue to shine

Yes the light that burns within you will continue to shine

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