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Byron Shire
November 27, 2021

Radical conservatives

Latest News

COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

Other News

Stop logging core koala habitat at Cherry Tree State Forest 

If it was private land it would be considered core koala habitat so why are the NSW government allowing Cherry Tree State Forest to be logged?

Why we should vote with preferences in council elections

Preference can make a difference when we vote in the upcoming Council elections on Saturday December 4th.

Public access to Bruns foreshore reduced by Reflections, say residents

Brunswick Heads residents are concerned that the managers of the Terrace Reserve Holiday Park are failing to stick to a court-ordered plan for the park, resulting in a potential loss of public access to the precious Brunswick River foreshore.

Anthony Walker wins Bluethumb award

With over 6,542 entries, the Bluethumb Art Prize was the perfect platform for stay-at-home artists during the pandemic lockdowns.

Sprinkling the fun and fundraising in November

If you didn’t know before, then now you do – November 24 is Fairy Bread Day and 100s and 1000s manufacturer Dollar Sweets is taking Fairy Bread to the next level.

Firearms and drugs charges – Bilambil Heights

Tweed–Byron police say that a man has been charged with firearm and drug-related offences following a search...

Con-serve: (transitive verb) – protect something from harm or decay.

Just as the political terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ lost their currency, so have the names ‘conservative’ and ‘radical’. There may have been a time when conservative meant steady as she goes – business as usual. But times have changed and ‘business as usual’ is a death warrant for so much of the planet.

It’s natural that the rich and powerful don’t want to change, because it’s by maintaining the status quo that they became rich and powerful. But with resources being squandered on unsustainable consumerism and the planet being cooked, maintaining the status quo is now a very radical act.

For many of us old-school lefties, being radical means opposing the excesses of the status quo and trying to sustainably conserve the planet while retaining the best of being human – so many radicals are true conservatives.

Our ‘conservative’ prime minister wants ‘economic growth’ to head the G20 agenda, ahead of that annoying blowfly – the environment. In Canada ‘wilful blindness’ is a crime. To have a prime minister and most of his cabinet indulging in wilful environmental blindness is infuriating.

Now our commander in chief has taken us into another war, supposedly funded by cutting back on foreign aid, while Syria haemorrhages millions of refugees. As the northern winter closes in, it would be far more humane to deploy the war budget and personnel to feeding and sheltering displaced Syrians. Then perhaps we Australians won’t draw the fire of vengeful IS fighters.

There are a couple of lines in a W B Yeats poem The Second Coming, written on the eve of WWI, that resonate today: ‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.’

Every time I see our knuckle-walker of a prime minister, I am reminded of the final lines of that poem: ‘And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?’

I hope the best can find some more conviction.

Michael Balson, Upper Wilsons Creek


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