Upon Jo Cox’s passing last year, the whole of Britain seemed to unite, with the public, and her fellow politicians, bypassing differing political stances to show solidarity with her family. Recent events seem to have reemphasised this suggestion, with a commemorative plaque unveiled in the Commons chamber acting as a remembrance of Cox; whilst naturally this may highlight her vast credentials as a politician, as she seemed to make a productive impact on both the people she represented and her colleagues, it may be more poignant to focus on her vast achievements as a human being. In campaigning for a solution in Syria, and as an advocate for women’s rights, her desire to accomplish equality for all seems clear, and the plaque’s engravement of, “more in common”, solely serves to reiterate her overarching quest further.
Cox was educated during her younger years at a state school, before attending Cambridge University. Whilst this seems to showcase her intelligence, which may have contributed to honing her abilities as a politician later in life, attending schools with varied backgrounds may simultaneously have enabled her to understand, and ultimately be able to resonate with, a vast array of people, a key trait necessary to become elected as an MP. This seemed to come to prominence in 2015, where she was elected as the Labour representative in the Batley and Spen constituency and, although deemed a safe seat, she successfully managed to extend her party’s majority in the area. Her victory seemed to enable her to become a more balanced and accomplished politician, providing her with the platform to enforce the innovations she desired.
When the predicament originally arose, all politicians from a smattering of parties seemed to showcase solidarity versus the perpetrator and his actions, with these influencers utilising their high status to encourage the rest of the country to follow suit. With the perpetrator also alleged to have far-right ties, it seemed also poignant the parties on this side of the spectrum vocalised their support for Cox, and in taking a similar stance to their colleagues it seems contrasting political viewpoints were bypassed as remembering Cox took precedent. This cohesion seemed to incentivise the creation of Jo Cox’s Fund, which raised over £1 million in the aftermath, showing how Cox drew people together, and perhaps proving how one politician may be able to make a difference, and influence the masses.
In her maiden speech in Parliament, Cox focused on ethnic diversity in her consistency, utilising her platform to advocate the benefits of a cultural mix in society. The design of the plaque therefore seems to have been influenced by this, with the engravement utilising a phrase from this speech: “more in common”. These words seem to hold precedent in current state affairs, and by highlighting these phrases it may prove the increasing necessity of a stable future. Her vocal support of diversity across all occupations and areas may have acted as the catalyst in her crowning glory: influencing an influx of female MPs’ to enter Parliament, and strive to productively impact the country themselves. The 2017 election saw a record number of female MPs’ entering Parliament, perhaps aiming to continue Cox’s work, utilising the foundations she lay to produce a more innovative, tolerant future.
With this unveiling, Cox’s legacy as both a politician and a human being seems to have been ensured, yet perhaps it may be her work itself, which contributes to this legacy superiorly. This may also be the ideology behind the plaque as, whilst her political stances, and the renovations she may have produced, may be pivotal, her speeches focusing on the benefits of diversity, and her ability to unite the public under a common cause, may enable her to be held in higher stead. With the announcement also occurring as part of a ‘family day’, during which politicians were encouraged to bring their children into Parliament, it may have also motivated these MPs’ to strive to improve Britain to provide a more stable future for their children, and perhaps the most beneficial manner they may achieve this is by utilising Cox’s work.
How may this plaque ensure Cox’s work may be continued?