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Byron Shire
August 16, 2022

Comment: Everyone knows the trouble I’ve seen

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A Chinese saying goes: ‘Better to be a dog in times of tranquillity than a human in times of chaos’.

I’ll certainly woof to that.

The muddy disaster of Splendour in the Grass was another symptom of the chaotic times we now live in.

Retired NSW Democrat, then Independent, MLC Richard Jones. Photo supplied

While people desperately tried to enjoy themselves despite everything, not so far away were families camping out, beside their uninhabitable homes destroyed by floods a few months earlier.

There are literally thousands of people who are essentially homeless, and not just from those floods, but also from the giant fires – you know, the ones that destroyed millions of acres of forest while our then Prime Minister was holidaying in Hawaii.

The pandemic closed Splendour in the Grass for a couple of years, and the organisers were determined to go ahead this time, and even jacked up the attendance capacity to fifty thousand to cash in on the pent-up demand for live music and fun.

NSW Greens MLC Sue Higginson represented the community, when she was a lawyer, trying to prevent the organisers using this fraught site for the festival as it is a sacred place for local Indigenous people, with priceless wildlife habitat – and it’s flood prone.

Eventually, the State Liberal Nationals government overrode the community in favour of the site’s owners. Splendour in the Grass organisers trumpeted that you wouldn’t find a throw away cup at the festival, in a vain attempt to gain green credentials.

Now there are throw away tents, sleeping bags and gum boots, but hey, let’s not get picky. Then there was the no-small-matter of performers flying halfway around the world to be there, and fifty thousand people flying and driving there.

Has anyone estimated the total carbon footprint?

While this is taking place in our swampy back yard, there are deadly serious issues looming large. Australia is facing a dire shortage of critical pharmaceuticals for treatment of diabetes, stroke, leukaemia, and flu and colds. A pharmacist in Byron Bay waved his hands in the air and said ‘It’s end days’ when my partner attempted to buy Panadol and fill a script for a common antibiotic. He didn’t appear to be joking.

There are 320 drugs listed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as currently in short supply and another 80 may soon be added to the list.

Just what is going on? We used to make lots of our own drugs before the mad drive to globalise. Remember we used to make cars in Australia too?

All that changed when the fanatical globalists took over.

We’re beginning to pay a heavy price. Our pharmaceuticals are now mostly made in China and India. Not only are covid shutdowns causing supply disruptions, but huge increased demand caused by people falling sick is mopping up supplies.

It’s likely a significant number of people will be put at risk by not being able to buy their life-saving medications.

While many are already suffering in Australia from the effects of the climate emergency, the situation globally is not looking good either.

You’ve seen the houses and forests burning in Europe, but have you seen how twenty million people are facing starvation in the Horn of Africa? Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya have had the fourth inadequate rainy season in a row. It’s the worst drought in forty years. Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Congo, Haiti are all hunger hotspots.

This has been made so much worse by Putin’s war on Ukraine.

Twenty million tonnes of wheat are stuck in silos, penned in by waterways strewn with mines. Putin finally realised it would be a bad look to cause the deaths of millions of people by blocking desperately needed wheat. He reluctantly signed an agreement to allow it to be shipped, but showed his displeasure at being forced to sign by lobbing four cruise missiles at the Port of Odesa. Two were brought down by Ukrainian defence forces, and people sunbathing on the beach clapped when they saw it. Two got through, unfortunately.

How on Earth does one cope with all this? I don’t know about you but I’m quite traumatised.

When I saw Mandy Nolan on TV the other night and they showed footage of Lismore at the height of the floods, tears started coursing down my cheeks.

Even as I write these words, my eyes are filling with tears.

I’m deeply sad and I’m certainly not alone. This is a very difficult time for many, and it’s a time for compassion, understanding and real tolerance. Those shocking floods brought out the best in our community. We came together and helped each other. Groups of young volunteers went from house to house offering help.

We need this wonderful community spirit to continue. The future of our young people is at risk, and we need to do everything we can to harness our energies – planting trees, making our living spaces safe from future floods, and doing what we can to secure our local food security. Working together as one united community we can overcome so many obstacles.

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  1. Poor old RJones.
    Classy concert goes remember that Bob Dylan concert ‘in the mud’
    No one complained, no one cared and everyone enjoyed.
    I say when Echo & others throw about the mud, it signals yet another slow -as news day/week.
    Further, Echo has the cheek to beg for funds.
    Echo’s founder would be rolling in his muddy grave.

  2. Richard has squared his targets thoughtfully. We live
    in a time and age of rainy day sitcoms – fire storms and
    rage along with throw-away people plus tents that are
    all about tatters. It’s the age of Aquarius on-hold. Maybe
    we could attempt to ‘trick’ it back to useful understand
    -ing rituals.

  3. The organisers of Splendour stuck their heads in the mud, while the patrons had the boot stuck in.
    Hear no see no feel no empathy.

  4. Well written Richard
    I think you need to do a little more research into (Putins war on Ukraine) and the starving people through out the world the majority of these tragic events have been brought on by actions from NATO AKA (Nazi American Terrorist Organisation) and the IMF International Military Funding Organisation)

    • I have done heaps of research on Ukraine including open source intelligence and from on the ground in Ukraine. Putin thinks he’s a reincarnation of Peter the Great and has a giant painting of him in his office. He never accepted the break up of the Soviet Union. He’s now lost nearly 40,000 soldiers in Ukraine including 10 generals.
      It’s a disaster for everybody.

  5. Thank you for your compassion and wisdom , we all need to do so much more in community and world wide to address these issues. Hopefully we will.

  6. Nice read – thanks Richard!

    As humans we are living on the earth’s crust (5 – 17klms deep). Beneath this crust, it’s 6,300klms to the centre of our “ball”, through molten rock and lava. There’s nothing safe about where we live and things will always change. Any tranquility will always be fleeting.

  7. I’m not trumatised. We have been warning about the things you are seeing unfold in the world. We were quoting political and economic scientists. You all called us conspiracy theorists and crazy preppers. You are learning the hard way, and you ain’t seen nothing yet. The BRICS+ alliance is going to make Australia a third world country. Are you ‘prepped’ for that? You’ve been warned for years. But that could never happen here, could it.

  8. I’m afraid the future of our young people has been squandered, and all the tears and even, “this wonderful community spirit ” is impotent and irrelevant in face of the government ineptitude and inability to even entertain the idea, that the nation should serve the best interests of the people. Sue Higginson’s best efforts proved how little science, logic and safety concerns matter in today’s world of profit at ANY cost.
    It is the old dilemma of whether the last Bengali tiger is worth more alive or as a tasteful rug and a few assorted body parts for some magic/traditional nonsensical ‘medicinal’ industry.
    The new Labor government, while spruiking reducing carbon pollution, is subsidising new foreign, private profiteering in fossil fuels , coal and gas for export, while the domestic users are locked out of the supply chain. I don’t believe this is political incompetence, this is wilful sabotage on behalf of numerous traitorous governments sworn to serve the English queen.
    It is not enough to blame Putin or globalisation, this is down to failure to provide for the interest of our Nation, which most would assume to be the first consideration of an honest political system.
    Cheers, G”)

  9. June 7, 2022
    Russia says two Ukrainian ports ready to ship grain but Kyiv must demine coast.
    That was the message in June 2022.
    Two corridors were cleared of Ukrainian mines by the Russians and opened, grain has been leaving Mariupol Ukraine for quite some time.
    As yet the Russians have not liberated Odesa and had to negotiate to have the Ukrainian mines removed from the port.
    The two missile strikes that hit Odesa surgically destroyed a warship repair shop and the storage facility housing the Harpoon anti-ship missiles supplied by the U.S. to the Kyiv regime.
    No grain was damaged.


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