HAPPY NEW YEAR!
To all my readers and followers, thank you for making 2016 so rewarding (and challenging). A lot happened last year – a lot – and I’ve had to rethink my politics very carefully over the course of the year. I’ve had to come to terms with my failings and my shortcomings. I’ve had to educate myself on issues of which I wouldn’t otherwise have formed an opinion. I’ve had to change.
Of course we had Brexit, followed by the election of Donald Trump. There have been terror attacks, sieges, military coups and political dissent. At times, the left and progressive movements in general seemed to be on the verge of collapse.
However, rather than seeing these events as a defeat, we should see our persistence, our survival, as a triumph. We can and should mourn the people who have lost their lives. We should lament the state of politics and the dissolution of diplomacy, both in the West (with the rise of the far right) and in the Middle East.
Once we have mourned, the next step is to address our flaws, no matter which social justice movement we belong to. We need to consider why people find right-wing populism so appealing. How can the left – both here in the UK and elsewhere – mobilise effectively? How can feminists engage with the left and what should our role be? How do we solve the issues that matter to ordinary people?
Then we fight. We read and we research; we write and we speak. We protest, loudly and with conviction.
Treat 2016 as less of an inferno and more of a fuse. Let it burn inside your heart.