As we stand here with our national political life in tatters and our hopes for a shared European future seemingly dashed we must stand together.
There is no need for argument and vitriol, no need for anger and threats. There is no time for further division and no time for blame. As sure as the Earth turns the difficulties we face will be faced by all. Poverty, homelessness, hunger, persecution, these things know no colour or creed and have no taste for justice. The calamity we face will not respect rank or status. We sink together or we swim together.
This is our central and vital truth. Our neighbours and friends may hold different views and opinions, but the only banner we can all gather under demands we stand together.
We must not fall victim to ideologies that say because our world view, the skins we’re in, or the gods we pray to are different someone is to be hated, abused and driven out.
Lessons from our recent history paint an all too vivid picture of what our future holds if we are willing to believe our differences are so extreme, the chasm so deep, that they are too dangerous to bridge.
Bring to mind the images of starving, beaten and abused inmates of the 667 detention camps of the vicious European civil war in Bosnia 1992, and then examine our collective conscience as thousands are currently held in detention camps and refugee centers in the very same places we spent our summer holidays just a few few short years ago.
Consider those Bosnian hell holes and consider the path of causality that leads implacably from hatred to dehumanisation to internment and deportation. Then consider the homeless we pass on our way home. How do we feel? Our answer must be to help them for one day we may be without a home.
Consider the family struggling with hungry young children. How do we feel? Our answer must be feed them for one day we may have no food.
Consider the man abused in the street because a belief system is different. How do we feel? Our answer must be a loud vocal condemnation for if we allow our differences to be a measure of judgement one day we will be judged as different.
There is no enemy.