Opinion: Fidelma Cook – For 2021, I wish you the best. And don’t lose faith ever… If we do this, we get lost.



I start out with the same feelings every year about this time, predictably. I don’t make resolutions because I don’t believe in a challenge to destiny, but I’ve learned the hard way since then that fate does its own business whether or not you look it in the eye.

And I still look at the year ahead as though I were staring at an unmarked snowfield – wild, untamed, sparkling with incredible possibilities.

So, why not? If the past year has taught us something, it’s that there’s nothing we can trust—we’re all collateral damage to people and the planet. It’s hard to write this because it goes against everything I have ever believed in certain respects.

Although death and devastation haunt us and cynical, self-serving politicians make fools of us all, barely able to conceal their disdain, the miraculous possibilities seem pretty far away.

The world itself has turned against humanity; the creatures, us, are fleeing from their killers; the seas are boiling and fermenting, and emaciated animals are scattered over feeding grounds that are increasingly scarce.

Our own greed has unleashed the plague, and without turning a hair, we have allowed political corruption to take place, because that’s just the way life is.

We hear ministers talking nonsense and not questioning them anymore.

We used to have a press that did that once —a good press.

The press was once the bulwark against corruption, the last defense when good men turned bad; its pimped-out pretty-boy columnists are now vying for television time.

His/her opinions were and are, frankly, uninteresting. Facts are sacred, views are so often an exercise of how intelligent I am when my favorite government special counsel gives you the real truth as leaked to me.

Better than trying to dig up what you don’t want to know.

What was lost in my world, of which I was once so proud, hurts my heart in favor of honestly disgraceful, manipulative arguments that suit a ruling party scenario.

I wonder sometimes why we’re not marching to protest in droves, but then we’re so mired in apathy, in seeming helplessness, that all seems pointless.

But if we go down that path, that’s the way it’s going to be, and I don’t think we’re all there yet, somehow. Nearly. Almost.

Ok, that is what I wanted to use this week to divert you from my own issues. Ha!-Ha! Yet we seem to be surrounded with problems and seeking joy in their midst seems like a lost cause.

But we must not give up, no matter who leads us into a pit of desperation sometimes.

I refuse to believe that there is a long survival rate for these second-rate leaders, whose real motives become clearer every day, while their mismanagement becomes more visible in every aspect of national life. I’m already peering into the new year over the parapet as I write this, unable to see the muddy footprints already taxing the frozen crust.

I like to recall when there were no terrors roaming the land at the beginning of the year; no masked, worried shufflers; no fear of calls coming in the night, no fear of children being canals – the breakers of our defenses.

I tend to recall simpler, happier days and delete the proud Tory faces of power and supremacy from my memory.

I like to think, in their ignorance, of their unwitting gift to us all—United Ireland, an independent Scotland, and probably a free Wales.

And I also believe that expectations for vaccines are rising and only insanity can prevent them from being introduced again.

So many say they’re not going to take them in France now – too many side effects. My ambulance driver even told me that she didn’t want to be a guinea pig.

And, indeed, she said that she was young, safe and not in danger. And she’s an expert.

Anyway, I can only wish you all the best for the coming year in the meantime, and pray that it leaves you and yours unscathed, and that there is real light around the corner, and that decent men and women are waiting to lead us out of this stinky pit into which we were thrown.

Sometimes… And always… Don’t lose faith ever. If we do, then we’re lost.

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