When I attended the Beach Hotel for breakfast this morning (as I do most mornings), a person – who made apparent his support for the Belongil Beach rock wall – remarked: ‘If you don’t like Byron Bay or Council – you should get out of town’.
Rather irrational suggestion – if you don’t like the actions of a minority group and/or outcome of a Council vote, leave your home, family and friends.
This was not the first time that I have been falsely accused of not liking Byron Bay (the entire town) and/or it has ‘suggested’ that I ‘get out of town’ – simply because I voiced objections to the practices of Council and/or minority political interest groups (such as tourism lobbyists).
Obviously, if I did not like Byron Bay, I would not have moved to Byron Bay or continue residing in Byron Bay – despite being subjected to bullying by a minority.
While I ‘do not like’ some of the voting patterns of councillors, it is inaccurate to state or infer that I ‘do not like’ the councillors who vote in a manner that they believe represents the desires of the citizens who elected them into office – rather than vote in a manner that represents the desires of this individual who did not vote for them.
Democracy is not about what I “do not like”, it is about citizens feeling free to express differing political points of view – without fear of being subjected to false allegations and/or other forms of bullying.
Becoming a resident of Byron Bay has been a ‘unique experience’. No person in any other town in Australia has reacted to my exercising the democratic right to express political opinions with the suggestion that I ‘get out of town’.
I was raised to believe that if you ‘do not like’ the politics of your home town, you do not ‘leave town’, that is, desert your family, friends and fellow citizens – you attempt to implement change via lawful means; such as writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper and participating in council meetings – respecting the rights of others to hold differing political views.
Morgan, Byron Bay