16 C
Byron Shire
December 3, 2022


Latest News

NSW Forestry challenged over failed forestry practices in precedent-setting case

What makes bushfires worse, causes native species collapse and creates forest dieback?

Other News

First gig at Byron’s Green Room

By Simon Haslam It was certainly auspicious that the very first event at Byron’s new live music 1500-person venue, The...

Climate change a threat to local Gondwana rainforest mountain frogs

A new Southern Cross University study predicts that two species of mountain frogs located on the NSW/Queensland border are on track to be extinct by 2055.

Amazing Grace

Oh, dearest Hannah! (Letters, Hannah Grace, Echo 9 Nov). I am so glad that my very, very good friend...

Car drives into side of Byron homelessness cottage

A key homelessness service in Byron Bay is undergoing significant repairs after a car drove into part of the facility last week.

Education shaping up to be a key battleground in NSW election

There is a teacher shortage and both the NSW Greens and Labor are focussing their efforts on highlighting the situation the NSW public education system is in as they campaign for the next NSW election. 

Vehicles on beaches

Some Ballina councillors have their heads in the sand about vehicles on beaches! I ask them to think about...

Has enough time passed for comment on the ‘service’ Queen Elizabeth granted England over 70 years? Probably not, but I’m not one to stand on ceremony. 

My recollection is of a monarch who was, unlike her son Charles, devoid of relevant opinion on any subject. She had a neutral persona that allowed an adoring public to project upon her a range of fantasies that had little to do with reality. It was the secret of her success – she was as accommodating as a dress-up doll. I pity Charles for the obligation he will no doubt feel to follow suit. 

I remind readers that Her Majesty was compliant in terms of Gough William’s dismissal – nothing to see there. She was also a bit rough on Princess Diana, but the royal spin doctors soon took care of that. The topic of Baroness Thatcher sticks in my throat though; I’ve long wondered how a shopkeeper’s daughter not only acquired a bigger plum in her mouth than anyone in the royal family, but became a member of the aristocracy bearing the Queen-blessed title ‘Baroness’.

I’ve been reminded of Thatcher by the new British PM, Liz Truss, who apparently was a fan of Thatcher to the extent of even aping her very clothing. Now she has further aped the Baroness by granting tax cuts to the rich and privileged in order to ‘stimulate the economy’. Some things never change, especially class betrayal.

One of the Baroness’ most aggressive measures in the ‘80s was to try to impose a ‘poll’ tax. Everyone was obliged to pay £10 tax, regardless of income or means. It was, in other words, an existence tax, a tax on being alive in Britain at that time. 

So, I happened to be in England at the time the Falklands war broke out. I remember reading in the British press that Argentina had militarily taken over some islands off their coast, which Britain had long regarded as their own, part of their colonial empire. Press coverage was two or three paragraphs, meaning that no-one really gave a stuff; had never even heard of the place. 

Enter dear Thatcher, who was well down in the opinion polls at the time. Suddenly apathy turned into confected outrage; nothing like an external war to distract the peasants, eh! A fleet commissioned by a second-rate power called Britain then confronted a third-rate power called Argentina, with predictable results. My enduring image is of an old battleship called the ‘General Belgrano’ being pursued and sunk, with the gratuitous loss of 300 plus lives. A sacrifice to the Baroness. 

It was 30 years later that I understood this incident a little better. Older readers will be aware that Britain has long exercised military censorship via ‘D-notices’. For example, the Split Enz song ‘Six Months in a Leaky Boat’ was banned as a possible threat to morale. However, it was a documentary that was aired about five years ago that really lifted the lid on Britain’s military competence. Interviews with Argentine air force pilots revealed how much this third-rate power knew about Britain’s vulnerabilities; a total of 28 British ships were sunk, a couple courtesy of French-built exocet missiles. In other words, the hit on the Belgrano at a time when the war was all but over was simple old-fashioned vindictiveness – and seen as such even in Britain. Anyway, the Baroness in her various ways set back the feminist tide by a generation, demonstrating that fearlessness alone will not change the world for the better. Meanwhile I wonder whether Queen Lizzie awarded Maggie the title as a reward for killing on the high seas (long valued by Britain) or for their services to privilege and male ascendancy?   

Fast Buck$, Coorabell

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Urine sample test: new way to detect and screen for early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, an early diagnosis – one made well before signs of irreversible dementia are apparent – is key to providing effective intervention and treatment.

Gulihl Art exhibition – bringing First Nations artists and their connection to Country to you

Byron’s ‘pop-up’ Firefly Art Gallery is presenting the work of local First Nations artists in the upcoming Gulihl Art exhibition in Marvell Hall.

A gentle day for refugee and asylum seeker families

Promoting community awareness, assistance and support, for asylum seekers and refugees, the Pottsville Refugee Support Group recently hosted refugee and asylum seeker families from Logan at a fun day at the beach.

Brunswick, Belongil and Tallows wait for Emergency Response Beacons

In early November two men were saved from drowning at Dreamtime Beach, Fingal Head when a women activated the Emergency Response Beacon, alerting the Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre that the men were drowning. There are three waiting to be deployed in Byron Shire.