Before the traditional plethora of ‘what I thought of 2017 – what I want for 2018’ begins, I’d like to summarise some of mine.
2018, like every year, must be about social justice. And social justice for one has to mean justice for all. You cannot, with any conscience, stand for repeal the 8th or defend it’s current position from a social justice point of view and not stand for other social justice causes. Social Justice is not à la carte nor should it be allowed to fade into that of champagne socialism!
You cannot consider yourself a believer or supporter of social justice in any way and then pick and chose the causes you decide to read up on or support. This doesn’t mean you can get behind and fully support every single cause out there but it does mean you can, as an absolute minimum, see the legitimacy in fellow social justice cases.
Unfortunately this was not the way in Ireland, or beyond, in 2017 or any other year for that matter. Just look at the numbers who attend pro-life and pro-choice rallies. The numbers who came out to vote for Gay marriage (despite the fact that the Irish constitution never prevented it!). The numbers that eventually come out to protest Israel’s umpteenth bombing of Gaza and, as soon as people saw what way the wind was blowing, the numbers that got behind the campaign to free Irishman Ibrahim Halawa from an Egyptian prison. All worthy causes, all about justice.
So why do some prove more popular than others? Why don’t other Irish political causes generate the same outrage and support? Where are those numbers when an Irish Republican is arrested and imprisoned without as much as a court hearing? What do these people have to say about The Craigavon Two or Tony Taylor? Very little so far it would seem, so why is this?
Justice is justice surely? Surely it is as necessary for The Craigavon Two and Tony Taylor as it is for women who want to decide, Palestinians and children who can’t, gays who now can and Ibrahim who is finally free. Time to make 2018 your year of social justice and social justice that applies equally to all. Anything less is à la carte champagne socialism.