I get close to despair sometimes.
And it’s not my life that makes me despair, I am extraordinarly lucky and always have been.
It’s what I see around me.
Yes, Trump looms large. The narcissistic, racist bully who is incapable of decency or telling the truth, scares me. To see a country a I love (well, New York is my favourite place on earth) being destroyed by this idiot drives me close to despair.
I look east and I see another narcissist running another country with which I have had a great relationship all my life. (My mother was born in England but wasn’t fond of it her dad having been conscripted into the British Army in World War I and having died at Ypres when she was just five.)
And then I look around the world at Brazil and Turkey and Hungary and, well, almost everywhere and hope seems distant.
How can we have three men on the planet – Mark Zuckerberg has just joined the club of men personally worth over $100 billion – who could rebuild Beirut in a flash and have change, but don’t, who could feed the starving in Yemen, but don’t, who could build however many hospitals are needed in the world’s poorest countries, but don’t.
But it’s close to home that frightens me most.
Yes, it’s on a smaller scale. But it’s right here, close by.
The shocking disregard for safety in meat plants. And yes, isn’t there history with some of the proprietors?
The scenes from that “restaurant” on Dame Lane in Dublin on Saturday night were not just shocking, but mind-boggling. Was there not one young person there with the courage to tell them to cop the f**k on?
And then there were the scenes from the Royal Canal where young people shoved a Chinese woman into the water having racially abused her – before laughing at her and predictably demonstrating their cowardice by running away.
During the week there was that video of a hideous thug in Galway racially abusing a young woman using the n-word on several occasions.
Last week, as I drove down Wolfe Tone Street in Dublin a young woman staggered towards the car in the middle of the road. She was out of her brains on something, carrying a can, and crying.
How can we have private hospitals where people can pay a small fortune to have their ingrown toenails fixed when we can’t help a beautiful young girl like the one I saw?
Oh, we have are “socialist” TDs – the ones who cheerfully pocket every single cent of expenses and allowances on top of their €97,000 salary and perks (all funded by taxpayers) while preaching about equality and fairness and the most vulnerable in society as they describe those they no nothing to help.
I call myself Christian which is a bit of a liberty bearing in mind how I’ve lived my life.
But you don’t have to be religious or believe in God to see that what Jesus said 2,000 years ago was right.
I mean what He said about caring for the poor and the sick and all those worse off than ourselves.
We’ve lost that. Whether we think the words were spoken 2,000 years ago by a deity or by a socialist 100 years ago campaigning for downtrodden workers and the homeless, we’ve lost it.
We get cliché after cliché and slogan after slogan and calls for action and calls for marches and protests.
But do you see our “socialists” handing back their allowances or expenses? No. Apart from Ivana Bacik (and I’m not always a fan!) nobody does anything but pocket the loot. OUR loot.
I have no idea how to solve these problems, how to make there is a decent world and country there for my daughter when she grows up.
If I thought marching would help, I would.
But the excuse for marching was always to publicise a problem, to raise awareness.
There are myriad other ways of doing that now.
So I’ll just do whatever little things I can to help here and there.
I’m still astonished that the little appeal I did for DEBRA on my birthday raised €2,000. (You can donate direct to them, by the way at https://debraireland.org/fundraising/donate/
I’d urge everyone to do the same on their birthday for DEBRA or some cause close to your heart.
But bigger things are needed.
I think of men like Brendan Corish and Frank Cluskey who, all right, may not have been left of left, but who were pragmatic socialists and men who cared and who knew what had to be done and what could be done. They weren’t for slogans or cliches.
Sorry for waffling on. But I am truly worried. I don’t want to end up despairing. I want to see hope.
But right now, it’s running down the road with its arse on fire…