War and Unpeace

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A police officer stands by the Belfairs Methodist Church following the stabbing of Conservative MP David Amess as he met with constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, England, October 15, 2021. (John Keeble/Getty Images)
If these are the best of times, why do they hurt so much?




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I
n the eventful years between 1822 and 1922, nearly 1 million British subjects died in war, but not a single member of Parliament died in a political assassination. After the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson by Irish republicans in 1922, there passed more than a half century before the next assassination of an MP: the murder of Airey Neave, also by Irish republicans, in 1979. Those were bloody years, too — nearly a half-million British dead in World War II, more than 1,000 dead in Korea, 1,200 in Indonesia, hundreds in Palestine and Malaya, and more in other, smaller conflicts.

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