As you travel around Berlin, as I did before Christmas, you cannot miss the sense of history – and, to a degree, new-found freedom. A city once oppressed by Nazis and then in part by Communists (while the rest of it lived under effect siege) is somewhere which makes you think. And it makes you realise that freedoms we take for granted should never, ever be taken for granted.
The defence of those freedoms – of freedom of expression, of the Rule of Law, of representative and competent government – is being taken on in Northern Ireland and elsewhere by too few people. Too many are prepared to sit aside from it all, even making a virtue of their disinterest. That isn’t good enough.
In 2016, more people should resolve to get interested. They should stand up in defence of democracy and freedom. Because those who did not, for example in 1930s Berlin, failed us all.
Opting not to see the danger is no defence. It is time to participate, now more than ever.