Realty has overtaken science fiction. Governments serve multinationals that define themselves no longer as enterprises but as movements. Taxes are paid by the workers but not by those who make the profits. News are controlled by consensus. People and their lives become products, they are profiled using massive amounts of data about them. Ever more sophisticated algorithms are being used to predict our next moves, our next desires, our next purchase, our opinions and preferences. Political decisions are based on opinion polls, not on convictions or beliefs of what is right or wrong.

Does that sound like a conspiracy theory? Or is it reality?

I have been wondering for a long time, how people can allow ‘things’ to continue although they are so obviously wrong. Wrong to an extend that they violate the basic human rights of some of our fellow citizens. Knowing that someone is conscious but not offering constructive help and support? Instead offering what amounts to palliative treatment. The only reason I can come up with is fear. Fear of dissent. Fear of exposure. Fear of causing trouble. Fear of becoming the target of the might of the government and its agencies.

It was that kind of fear that allowed ruthless people to take over countries and to impose dictatorships – even in countries like Germany, known world-wide for its cultural achievements.

Never again can we allow fear to rule.

Pádraig today spent an afternoon eating cake, crackers and cheese, and sandwiches in the company of some of the most unorthodox and fearless people I’ve got to know in Ireland. It was an amazing afternoon, because of the company, but also because of the normality of him eating and drinking what we all ate and drunk. Something that would have been impossible not too long ago. Something that just ‘happened’ because we, his friends and himself, went for it. Leaving fear behind.