A month of tragedy: France, Orlando and Jo Cox.

It has been a month that has shocked the world. The stupidity of the football hooligans in France, the horrific homophobic attack in Orlando and now the murder of Jo Cox MP. It is a time that people would like to forget.

But we must not forget.

We started the month as we would any other, apart from perhaps an enhanced sense of optimism if you are from one of the many countries competing in the Euro 2016 football competition.

Fans have travelled in their thousands to France to enjoy some of the best football our continent has to offer. France, of course, still scarred from the horrific terror attacks just seven months ago that claimed the lives of 130 people in the Paris.

Now, with a heightened threat of terrorism and fifteen (yes, fifteen) recent plans foiled by European police, a number of moronic ‘hooligans’ are wasting police time and money.

The countless nights of rioting and fighting is something that the French police could of course do without – their focus should be on keeping fans safe from real terror, not intoxicated football fans with a hint of racism about them.

The month has since continued on a downward spiral.

Early on Sunday morning in Orlando, Omar Mateen shot dead 49 people in a gay nightclub in the worst terror attack in the US since 9/11.

The homophobic attack, which also wounded 53 others, was too easy. It was too easy for this man, who had previously been investigated by the FBI, to own a gun.

Men and women were out enjoying themselves, being who they truly were and having a good time, and there lives were stolen from them by a sick and twisted man. A man who by law was allowed to own a gun. That’s 2016 America for you folks.

We can only imagine the fear inside the nightclub.

Picture the last time you were in a club – how packed together everyone is. Within seconds they were on the floor, covered in blood, lifeless. It is a cruel and needless way to go. What a waste of intelligence, beauty and quite simply, a waste of good life.

Since the attacks, the world has mourned. Vigils were even held here, across the pond in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Of course it would be though – we Scots are a solid but caring bunch, and are happy to stand in solidarity with our counterparts across the world. Whether that be Orlando, Paris or elsewhere.

It was something that made me incredibly proud to see. Glasgow has very little in common with Orlando, but our spirit was equally as strong. The coverage of the attacks hit hard, and we helped show the victims’ families and even more so the survivors that the world stands by you. Love is Love.

And then, the pain really hit home.

On Thursday, 16th June, Labour MP Jo Cox was “shot and stabbed” while in a street in her constituency in West Yorkshire.

I couldn’t really comprehend the news when it first came up on my phone. An MP, in the United Kingdom, being murdered for simply doing her job? It is unthinkable, but unfortunately true.

What makes matters worse is the apparent reason behind her death. It has been argued that her strong, open opinion for the “Vote Remain” campaign in the upcoming European referendum was the reasoning behind her being targeted. In a nation where democracy is taken as a given, her freedom to opinion was ripped away.

It has truly been a horrible month. A month filled with violence, hatred and blood.

Little can be positively taken away from the events, but the statement released from Jo Cox’s husband, Brendan, has put across a strong message.

Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.

We cannot forget the weeks that have passed. We must remember them, learn from them and move forward.


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