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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Searching for respect

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Dear Simon Richardson: more than any council I’ve observed for more than three decades the one you preside over is obsessed with ‘respect’, ie everybody being nice to each other. Yet you yourself can be quite disrespectful, can’t you?

Last year, for example, you lashed out at me for ‘using the council as (my) playground’. I let you know then that I found this very disrespectful. It implied that I was there simply to have fun at the expense of others. It also implied that I was little more than a naughty schoolboy and that it was your job to put me in my place. Let me make it clear that whenever I am in the council chambers it is you who are the pupil – if you only had the sense to realise it.

More recently you showed further disrespect by telling The Echo that you had abolished question time because ‘certain persons’ used that forum to ‘bully’ and to ‘grandstand’. What is this but a disrespectful personal attack?

Your problem, Simon, is that you simply have no idea where I’m coming from so you seek to psychologise me away. This tactic is called ‘playing the man’ or ‘shooting the messenger’.

Hans Lovejoy also recently purported to psychoanalyse me, I’m told. I point out to you both that while David Lovejoy and I did have our differences he never once questioned my motives; he always focussed on the issues as raised.

I would ask Hans and Simon to accord me one basic respect: I am entitled to the presumption that I’m acting in good faith until such time as evidence to the contrary emerges. That is the respect with which I have treated you both; our deeper motives should be irrelevant.

I have made my knowledge and experience available to those who purport to represent the public interest.

My black humour is not frivolity. It is what makes it possible to deal with those who egotistically believe they already know it all. And will not hear.

Fast Buck$, Coorabell

 

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