Brian Monteith: All murder is a crime. Period

Ian Gow, arriving at Stormont where he was due to hold discussions with the Unionists Grand Committee. Picture: PA
Ian Gow, arriving at Stormont where he was due to hold discussions with the Unionists Grand Committee. Picture: PA
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It is tragic when someone like Jo Cox can be murdered in the street for doing her job as an MP, for caring about others including people she had never met.

But let us be clear, it is no different from the murder of my friend Ian Gow MP who also cared about ordinary people, like I believe most MPs do.

He got up out of bed, had a shave, had his breakfast with his wife, gathered his papers together and got into his car outside his front door. He turned the ignition key and put his foot on the pedal and was instantly blown up, and then burnt to death in the inferno that was his car.

There were no flowers at the polling stations caused by his by-election, no gatherings in the local town square to honour his commitment to democracy and a decent way of life, but then his death was not in the middle of a referendum. It was just in the middle of a war with the IRA, his murderers.

His dedication and compassion was expected of him and other MPs, for that is what they do. It is tragic that Jo Cox was murdered in the course of her duty, but her commitment to all that is decent in our society is no greater or no less than most other serving MPs and should not have been turned into a cause célèbre for those campaigning in the referendum – as it was.