LETTER: We have lost our moral compass

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The milk of human kindness was the dominant theme of the columns of the County Times last week.

And how refreshing it was to read - following a period of the very worst political mud-slinging during the weeks and months leading up to the Referendum.

The ever cheerful courage displayed by MND victim, Andy Spriggs and the outstanding generosity of the public towards the local MND Association is an example to us all. Tom Osborn of Horsham Lions also brought good news of another local collection - with rewarding results. This at a time when we are still recovering from the worst recession since the War.

The contribution by our two Conservative MPs echoed the positive impact made by the vicious murder of Yorkshire Labour MP - Jo Cox. Although representing an opposing political party to the late Ms Cox - they were united in extending the hand of friendship and goodwill to all comers. This was an example British politics at its very best.

And here one must also mention your Portuguese columnist, Pedro Martin - who brought to our attention the horror of the recent Orlando massacre - with an appeal for us all to work together for the common good - on the basis, ‘live and let live’ - whatever one’s lifestyle. On a recent visit to East Surrey Hospital, I chatted with a nurse who spoke perfect English applying her professional skills in a calm and measured manner. She too came from Portugal.

Inspiring words indeed. But what was reported confirmed that we live in a increasingly violent world that in many ways, we as a nation have lost its moral compass. Was it always thus?

As one grows older, it is tempting to look back to the days of one’s youth when the likes of PC George Dixon patrolled our streets on foot offering friendly advice and direction and helping elderly ladies across the road - on film, at least! We may have endured ‘smog’ and rationing and compulsory military service - but vicious crime like that of Jo Cox was not high on our agenda. Or were we kidding ourselves?

We tend to think of the post-War years of austerity through rose-tinted specs. But it must be remembered that some of the most violent crimes were committed by gangs of hardened criminals during this period - culminating perhaps with the so-called Great Train Robbery of 1963. Romanticised in book and film - but most certainly not an example of civic pride.

It would certainly be a very sad day when our elected Members of Parliament had to be escorted by the Police to their constituency surgeries - or indeed to the local farmers’ market.

Should that ever come about, it would confirm to me that we as a nation have certainly lost our moral compass. Jo Cox’s murder and her example is most certainly a wake-up call for all of us. Let’s not ignore it.

Robert B. Worley

Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham

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