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RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: The killing of David Amess is a human tragedy… we have lost the best of Essex 

Ultimately, it’s the sheer pointlessness of it all. Sometimes there are no rational explanations.

For the past few days, people have been attempting, and failing, to put the horrific murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess into some kind of logical perspective. Words are all we have, but in cases such as this, words are hopelessly inadequate.

Rolling news, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Which is why, since Friday, the airwaves have been filled with talking heads trying to make some sense of what happened. 

Aside from the genuine, heartfelt tributes to Amess from across the political spectrum, most of it has been a waste of breath. Noises off.

David Amess and wife Julia, with their children David Jr., Katherine, and baby Alexandra

We’ve heard endless arguments about whether politicians should be given armed bodyguards whenever they leave the Westminster bubble

We’ve heard endless arguments about whether politicians should be given armed bodyguards whenever they leave the Westminster bubble

Yesterday, a female Labour MP — I can’t be bothered to name her — turned up on the BBC to declare that the murder of Amess was not all about her, only to spend the next ten minutes explaining why, actually, it was all about her.

Having listened to said MP justifiably slagging off the sewer of social media, Twitter in particular, the newsreader then concluded the interview by inviting her viewers to post their comments on, er, the BBC’s Twitter account.

You couldn’t make it up.

We’ve heard endless arguments about whether politicians should be given armed bodyguards whenever they leave the Westminster bubble. Should constituency surgeries have airport-style security, complete with metal detectors?

There have been assorted efforts to apportion blame, to deflect responsibility for Amess’s death from the actual perpetrator.

Yes, Labour’s gobby, potty-mouthed ‘Am I bovvered?’ deputy leader Angela Rayner shouldn’t have called all Tories ‘scum’. But, no, she didn’t wield the knife.

Hate preacher Ram Jam Choudary may be a two-bob, Toytown rabble-rouser, but he didn’t kill Amess, either — even if his sticky fingerprints eventually show up, as they did when a couple of Islamist headbangers beheaded Trooper Lee Rigby in Greenwich.

Julia Amess (left), the widow of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, arrives with friends and family members to view flowers and tributes left for her late husband at Belfairs Methodist Church

Julia Amess (left), the widow of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, arrives with friends and family members to view flowers and tributes left for her late husband at Belfairs Methodist Church

And if Ram Jam is such a threat to national security, why was he released halfway through a five-year sentence for inciting terrorism? Answers on a postcard to the Lord Chief Justice and the Home Secretary.

Soft on terror, soft on the causes of terror. This circular, self-obsessed debate is a sideshow, which only serves to distract attention from the main event — the senseless killing of a thoroughly decent man, who dedicated his life to his family and public service.

What we are dealing with is a black swan event, out of a clear blue sky. It’s a very human tragedy. And that’s all it is. It’s not an occasion for political grandstanding and point-scoring, even though that’s probably what I’ve just been guilty of myself, in relation to Rayner and our lily-livered ‘we are all guilty’ criminal justice system. See above.

In which case, mea culpa, too.

But nor is it an excuse for rubbishing the security services or the misguided Prevent programme, which was set up with the best of intentions to steer impressionable young people away from the path of terrorism. Stuff happens, to put it politely.

We’ve been here before and we’ll be here again, tragically. Where do you want to start — London transport, July 7, 2005; the Manchester Arena; Fishmongers’ Hall; Borough Market; the House of Commons; the Bull Ring in Birmingham; Harrods; Warrington? At least the IRA had a tangible political goal — the reunification of Ireland — whether or not you agreed with it.

Mr Rumpole and the sub judice laws stop me speculating about the motivation of the individual who killed Amess, but if this was an Islamist-inspired attack, what the hell was it supposed to achieve?

Britain is not about to become a sharia state. We’re still extricating ourselves from the European courts, so I can’t see us submitting to rule from Mecca any time soon.

How does killing a Conservative MP in a Methodist church in Essex further the cause of global jihad?

There’s always a danger that a column like this turns into ‘the David Amess who knew me’. But I can’t claim any such familiarity.

For the past few days, people have been attempting, and failing, to put the horrific murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess into some kind of logical perspective

For the past few days, people have been attempting, and failing, to put the horrific murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess into some kind of logical perspective

Did a few radio and TV shows with him in the dim and distant, and always found him jovial and with great generosity of spirit.

Despite being a devoutly religious man, he wore his Catholicism lightly. And although he was a committed Brexiteer, there was no hint of sour Little Englander about him, just a warm patriotism, a love of country and, above all, family.

He was the best of Essex, the embodiment of the spirit of Trevor Bailey, and a direct descendant of Plaistow Patricia, if not the full Ian Dury.

Southend all the way through, from the cockles and whelks to the queue for the loo — as my grandmothers taught me to sing on the beach at Shoeburyness.

I defy anyone to look at the picture in yesterday’s Mail of a beaming Amess with his lovely wife and gorgeous daughters without being overwhelmed by despair and grief at the sheer pointlessness of it all.

Just as I’ve always assumed that there’s a Government committee which meets every Monday to give me something to write about, so there must be a quango devoted to coming up with something for Gary to draw.

How else do you explain the Old Bill Tasering sheep, the depressed river mussel and, most recently, the greenbottle blowfly maggot?

Creepy Crawlie Corner has been keeping Gary in Sauvignon Blanc for as long as any of us can remember.

What can I say? This has got Gary written all over it. Bring on the depressed river mussel!

What can I say? This has got Gary written all over it. Bring on the depressed river mussel!

He’s never met a four-legged friend or insect he can’t caricature. Do you recall the £650,000 bat bridge on the Porthmadog bypass on the A487 in Wales, designed to let lesser horseshoe bats cross the road without getting run over?

That fell down after about five minutes in the first serious storm, but not before Gary got a cartoon out of it.

Not to be outdone, the Canal and River Trust has opened a 100-yard long bypass along the Bevere Weir, north of Worcester, to give free passage to fish on the River Severn.

What can I say? This has got Gary written all over it. Bring on the depressed river mussel!

The latest cynical John Lewis advert has stirred up ‘controversy’ over a little boy in a frock, make-up and his mum’s shoes prancing round a house causing mayhem.

It has incited a social media ‘storm’ — yawn, yawn, yawn — among so-called feminists and traditionalists. Apparently, the ad is a ‘glorious antidote to toxic boys-will-be-boys messaging’ and pays homage to the gender-neutral trans agenda.

Beam me up, Scotty.

All it reminds me of is Life Imitating Curb Your Enthusiasm, an extension of this column’s regular Life Imitating Minder feature.

In the season finale from Series Eight, Larry David is confronted with his latest girlfriend’s seven-year-old son, who exhibits, er, feminine traits and is obsessed with the U.S. fashion TV show Project Runway

In the season finale from Series Eight, Larry David is confronted with his latest girlfriend’s seven-year-old son, who exhibits, er, feminine traits and is obsessed with the U.S. fashion TV show Project Runway

In the season finale from Series Eight, Larry David is confronted with his latest girlfriend’s seven-year-old son, who exhibits, er, feminine traits and is obsessed with the U.S. fashion TV show Project Runway. 

Larry concludes that the boy is ‘pre-gay’ and buys him a sewing machine for his eighth birthday. The boy is ecstatic, but needless to say the mum goes ape and Larry is banished from her bedroom ad infinitum.

Still, I’m told John Lewis wants to buy the rights for next Christmas.

Further to Friday’s column about Exeter Chiefs supporters being warned off wearing Red Indian head-dresses at Wasps on Saturday, I’ve heard from a number of rugby fans wondering where that leaves the Saracens, who have clearly culturally appropriated the name of a tribe of Islamic warriors living in the Sinai peninsula from the 7th century onwards.

More to the point, how long will Wasps be allowed to call themselves Wasps, given that it’s shorthand for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants?

RAY-CIST!!!


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