Ransom Note often concerns itself with the political. To our thinking, dance music doesn’t happen in isolation. The urge to dance is a radical act; most acts of joy are. So it’s little surprise that we planned to write something about Brexit – we’ve got near 30,000 people following us on facebook, so why not chuck in our tu’pence? Everyone else is.
The murder of Jo Cox has changed that. I don’t want to write about Brexit anymore. I don’t want to present arguments as to why we should or shouldn’t vote to stay a member of the European Union. I don’t want to staple together pithy one-liners showing that this camp or that camp are imbeciles, and that I, me, with my raging ego and echo chamber politics, I know best. I’ve got a 3 year old kid, and right now all I can think about is some poor bastard telling his uncomprehending children that their mums been murdered for precisely no fucking reason. And I’m feeling very, very low.
Jo Cox’s death was a symptom of a country thrashing in the grip of a psychotic episode. For fucks sake can we just get some love in the place? Can we stop kicking the shit out of strangers in the French sunshine? Can we stop screaming abuse at refugee kids? Can we stop spreading dull lies, violent rhetoric and bogus statistics? Can we stop jabbing our fingers, CAPSLOCKING our opinions and despising anyone who disagrees with us? Can we just chill the fuck out?
Jo Cox’s death is no more or less tragic than every single mum who has drowned in the Med trying to find a better life, than every single young man gunned down in an Orlando night club, than every single child collaterally damaged into nullity by a drone strike. But Jo Cox’s death has happened on our doorstep. And something similar will happen again unless we make a concerted effort to bring some fucking kindness into our lives. We need, collectively, to try a lot harder. There’s been a lot of talk of ‘we want our country back’. Well I, writing this, want my country back. I don’t want this staggeringly unfunny farce of flotillas, hooligans, and stabbings. I want the place that gave us Christopher Marlowe, Junior Spesh, Steve Davies and Voodoo Ray. I want Poly Styrene and Peter Cook, Chris Morris and cups of tea. I want the place that birthed punk and jungle and pasties and being polite. I even, God help me, want Boaty McBoatface. I want my fucking country back.
There’s a referendum coming up next week. We would like to stay in Europe, but whatever you feel about that is cool. There’s room for different opinions in the world, and whether we vote in or out, the only way that we, the British, can get a grip on ourselves is if we return to compassion. Let’s make it central to our lives. We’ve got such terrifyingly short spans on the planet, and we have a very tangible choice how to fill those spans. Spread a little bit less spite in the world, spread a little more joy. Act with love. Take our country back.