Someone said :
Mário Soares, former Portuguese President died today at 92.
More than just being a President, he was active in the resistance against the former fascist government, spent years in exile and when he came back helped shape the new democracy as well as helping prevent a communist coup that could have turned Portugal into the only western European communist state.
A decade ago, I did a masters in equality studies at UCD. Our first class was a seminar, but as it was the first class, we had not got readings he week before to have read in advance for the seminar. Instead, the professor used the session to get us to introduce ourselves to each other: not just our name, but what kind of academic background we had, what our engagement with equality and social justice was. And so it went around the room: one woman worked in the Combat Poverty Agency, another in the Free Legal Aid Centre. One man worked in the National Office for Equity of Access to Higher Education. It got to be a bit of a very inegalitarian 'bidding war', with one man explaining how his equality background was not in high-falutin policy but at the coal face as an adult literacy tutor.
The last woman in the ring was older than the rest of us. When it came to her, it turned out she spoke with a foreign accent. She worked in art history (for an auction house if my memory is correct). But her equality and social justice background ended the unofficial competition in the best way possible: "I participated in the 25th April revolution that ended the dictatorship in my home country". (As they say in darts, "winner alright".)