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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Date with the devil

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Image S Sorrensen

In a bus near Alstonville. Tuesday, 3.10pm

Don’t you love it when a politician, like – say – the PM, tells you black is white. Or, at least, black should be white.

I love (not) the way a federal politician lies. He will puff himself up like a cane toad, furrow his brow and stare down the camera with all the sincerity of a five-year-old child with crumbs down his shirt, and tell you that, really, a bad man climbed in through the window and ate all the biscuits. Or that January 26 is for all Australians.

So, the puffed-up toad, all wart and toxin, suit and shave, constructs this convenient lie, using a tone in his voice which he believes is what a sincere person telling the truth would sound like but, working, as he does, in a place where honesty is the enemy, he has no idea what truth actually sounds like, so his put-on sincere tone rings fake to everyone but him. In reality, his speaking is a useful alarm that alerts the citizenry that what you are hearing is a fabrication, a concoction, bullshit. (Of course, if the newly minted truth suits you, you can choose to believe it. This is the modern way.)

The PM reckons that January 26 is a celebration for all Australians. Oh, come on. All Australians?

It’s a lovely thought, Scott. It’s a saleable dream. A one-nation fantasy. I can see it now through the wavy lines and overexposure… Happy people are gathered as one around the barby (Weber) in the suburban backyard, beautiful young people with really white teeth (dental plan), lamb chops sizzling, children laughing (not in detention), old people with sports socks (and superannuation), Aussie-flags flapping, beers clinking, and everyone singing, ‘We are young and free.’

Aw. (Sniff.) Lovely.

But wait, Scott. Aboriginal people don’t seem to want to join in. Aboriginal people don’t want to celebrate the anniversary of the invasion of their countries and the trashing of their cultures. But, being a master of fakery, you do ‘righteously indignant’ (a favourite in your repertoire), puffing up even further, the poison oozing from you: It’s unAustralian not to celebrate January 26.

But, I believe that, deep inside that grey suit of yours, Scott, between the Bible covers, under the juvenile hubris, is a heart. And heart recognises truth. You do understand that January 26 cannot be a celebratory date for all Australians.

However, as a federal politician, you have the ability to say anything – no matter how stupid – and still get paid well. And you will say anything – no matter how stupid – as long as there is a political advantage to be gained.

Only a man who, when asked about his values, answers, ‘…loving kindness, justice and righteousness on Earth,’ quoting the Bible (Jeremiah, chapter 9:24), but made the children suffer in detention, could say Australia Day on January 26 is for all Australians. It takes a certain skill: an ability to deny reality, to harden the heart, to put oneself above all others. It means you’re a bully.

Scott, PM and all powerful, seated on his golden throne (and entitlements) in the high tower of the elite, is now hurling down wrath upon the little people who don’t buy his lie; little people like Byron Shire Council people, who have decided that January 26 is not a suitable date to celebrate Australia.

That’s the thing about local governments: They still have some contact with reality. The federal government, though, doesn’t like reality – the reality of refugees, climate change or Aboriginal sovereignty. It prefers the lies of border protection, ‘coal is good’ and terra nullius.

So, good on you, Byron. You may be the flashy tart of the Northern Rivers, but you still got spunk.






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  1. What perfect vitriole. Hard to read without reaching for a bucket. The Abs you talk about are some, mainly those with their own agenda, 60% of the country under their belt and wanting the rest. Most of them however have their families, homes and jobs like anyone else. If you told a Frenchman that Bastille Day celebrated a viscious revolution, he would snub his nose. It’s not about a day. It’s about an ongoing psychological war, the bone is being pointed and the socialists also want to wear down resistance. Utopia waits.

  2. Your response to the PM’s comments is is unfair to him and those who support his view .

    Not all aboriginal people – the Guardian poll found a bit over half – reject celebrating Australia Day on 26 January. When you consider there are a large number of people of aboriginal descent who do not identify as such and that seventy percent of Australians wish to retain the date it is simply not possible to determine if the majority of descendants of those living here on 25 January 1788 agree with your view.

    That you introduce irrelevancies like the PM’s pay, coal, refugees and unsubstantiated claims that his view is “stupid” says much about the paucity of your arguments. You introduce stereotypes parodying the diet and dress of older people and imply there is something wrong with people who have accumulated super instead depending on welfare for their retirement. If Byron is a tart that is what you and others have made it in my long absence, but it does not stop me celebrating the day I was born in Byron Bay and reminiscing my time growing up in a town that did not need to slavishly follow like a tart the latest intellectual fashions.

    There can no longer be one day for all Australians. Taking pride in Australia might be as unpopular in all-too-cool Byron as sports socks, but many Australians believe that rejecting the date of Australia’s establishment denies our modern history, and denies our pride in our nation and what our families – convict, free settler and indigenous – achieved in establishing it. Let us instead pay heed to the PM’s request that we celebrate it respectfully, and do so without further racism or ageism.

  3. Thanks again S for pointing out exactly what I feel when I hear (and then quickly turn off) any of these dirt-mongering criminals parading as our ‘leaders’ is on the radio. The depth of their deceit is really sickening.


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