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Byron Shire
June 18, 2024

Queenie

Latest News

Greens Councillor Dr Nola Firth is running for council again

Dr Nola Firth has announced that she is again running for Tweed Shire Council in the upcoming 14 September...

Other News

Mullet fishers destroy dunes and native plants at Gawandii Beach, Shaws Bay

Locals and Tuckombil Landcare have expressed concerns over damage to the dunes at Gawandii Beach at Shaws Bay by fisher people who are accessing the beach for the mullet harvesting season. 

Volunteer groups get funding

Fourteen projects led by volunteer groups have been awarded $300,000 through the Community Building Partnership Program, says local Greens MP, Tamara Smith.

Labor announces its councillor ticket

Labor councillor, Asren Pugh, and South Golden Beach local, Janet Swain will head the Byron Shire Labor team to contest the Byron Shire Council elections on September 14.

Ongoing roadworks

In response to Scott Wilson (Echo 29 May) questioning Byron Council’s spending on roads and infrastructure, the truth is...

Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.

A deeper dive into plans to abandon Mullum’s local water supply

With Council seeking community input on its proposal to disconnect Mullumbimby’s local water source and instead be reliant on water supplied by Rous County Council, local Greens candidate and water engineer, Elia Hauge, has added her concerns around the lack of meaningful consultation and process.

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


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Labor announces its councillor ticket

Labor councillor, Asren Pugh, and South Golden Beach local, Janet Swain will head the Byron Shire Labor team to contest the Byron Shire Council elections on September 14.

16-year-old Mullum boy summits Imja Tse

Back in 2017, nine-year-old local boy, Finn Marshall-Rosato, became the youngest Australian to trek to Everest Base Camp, unaided and carrying all his own gear. 

Volunteer groups get funding

Fourteen projects led by volunteer groups have been awarded $300,000 through the Community Building Partnership Program, says local Greens MP, Tamara Smith.

Wilsons Creek Public School scoops NSW Landcare award

Wilsons Creek Public School was honoured with the Woolworths Junior Landcare Award on June 3 at the NSW Landcare Awards.