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Let’s make 2022 a Year to Remember
Good bye 2021 and hello to a bright new dawn. Well here’s hoping…
Every year we hope things are going to be different, some of us make a resolution, others start a fitness campaign and, if the sun is shining as it is today then optimism is easier to adopt. But looking on the bright side without taking positive action can be no more than a short turn boost, a smiley emoji in your own head.
I must admit; it strikes me as being a little strange that we wait to the very last day of the year to decide we’re going to make a change. If we know something isn’t quite right by July, why wait for another six months before we do something about it? So this year, let’s keep the momentum going and try to make an impact on our community, work and the housing sector, day after day and week after week.
And there’s work to do in the global sphere too. In HDN’s 12 predictions for 2022 we had some heartfelt hopes for continued progress, as brilliant people effect change for the better of every member of our communities, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion or beliefs. We also took a cheeky swipe at one or two public figures, hoping for a change in governmental direction, in one instance relating to the migration crisis sweeping across the world.
People from war-torn territories and dictatorial regimes are fleeing persecution and risking all to find a safe place to live and, last year, a record 28,431 migrants made the perilous journey across the English Channel. Each was desperate to pay all they had; and the scourge of people-smuggling reached huge proportions as the treatment of the refugees became gradually worse. Governments across Europe must work together to help these people, who are all too often ill treated on the continent and unwelcome in the UK. Authorities say they should travel by legal means, but how so, when bureaucracy builds walls too high to climb? The hoards turn to flimsy boats forced to travel in danger by ruthless gangsters.
The sight of leaders pointing an accusing finger at each other in a transparent attempt to win votes is unedifying to say the least. We are better than this and it’s about time we started to show it. That 27 poor people died in an attempt to reach England in November was enough, surely, to wake everyone up to work together or change.
Polarised opinions are of no use to anybody
The rights of people to have a safe life or to travel for asylum are undisputed and, on that, there is no disagreement. Similarly, racism in all its ugly forms is wrong, no debate. But there are other issues in society and, indeed, in the realms of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which are much more nuanced, and the ability to understand and respect another’s point of view is vital if we are to make progress together.
Preaching to the converted is nice; but, in many ways, pointless. So to convince a wider audience we need to listen and learn.
Here in the UK, the trend of the extreme flanks to merely shout loud insults, via social media, to anyone who questions them, gathered frightening momentum after the EU referendum. To call remain voters ‘traitors’ or leavers ‘racists’ is playground stuff; there were plenty of reasons to vote on either side, but the monster was unleashed and irrational rants emanated from both extremes.
And lately, the attacks on JK Rowling have reached fever pitch once again as the most successful author this century has been ‘cancelled’ by people incensed by her 2020 comments around transgender issues, which she made in part due her personal experiences of domestic abuse and sexual assault, and her insistence that women at risk should have safe single-sex spaces. Activists began a campaign against Rowling after she tweeted her thoughts on the use of alternative terms to describe a woman and, thanks to social media, it quickly got out of hand as some of the actors who she worked with rallied against her.
So here’s my point. Rowling is clearly a good person who has the safety of women at heart. LBGTQ+ people need and deserve respect, care and the kindness we all crave, but it seems some deafening zealots have done little or nothing to help either cause.
Surely women’s safety and transgender rights are not mutually exclusive.
So this year let’s work with, speak to and listen to those who are willing to engage; and leave those who are totally indisposed to questioning their own world view to fight it out among themselves.
That way we can make 2022 a memorable, and hopefully peaceful, year.
Written By Stuart Wilkin
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