Back in Sydney. Dismantling democracy.

Back in Sydney and recovering from more or less 1000 kilometres of bikepacking. Bushfire road closures blocking all accessible ways south into Victoria and didn’t feel up crossing the highest part of the great dividing range, and possibly only to find all roads on the western side also closed. So very reluctantly, turned back and cycled back to Sydney. Nearly because just on the north side of Nowra last night I chucked the bike on a train and got back to the suburbs of Sydney this morning. Damn and it’s depressing to be back where I started, but I suppose I’ve lost some weight, put on some leg muscle, and the brain must have benefited from daily doses of feel-good chemicals that come with intensive exercise.

Princess highway in the far south coast of New South Wales with bushfire-burnt forest, bicycle with trailer leaning against destroyed road sign.
Depressing riding through this bushfire devastation.

On a different subject,

OK and sitting in a couch watching the news for the first time in a few weeks was listening – yes – to Scott Morrison, our prime minister, talking about veteran suicide which there is no argument is a major problem here in Australia and elsewhere in the western world. Morrison in delivering his government’s planned response said that in any Returned Services League Club, you will find a plaque with the words “The price of peace is eternal vigilance”. What I suppose he was hoping to do was describe veterans as the selfless heroes who ‘keep us safe’. A bit of a twist on the actual meaning of the saying.

The person Morrison quoted was Baron Leonard Courtney, a nineteenth-century British politician but “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”, is the conclusion of what Courtney said which is,

“There is an imperialism that deserves all honor and respect — an imperialism of service in the discharge of great duties. But with too many it is the sense of domination and aggrandisement, the glorification of power. The price of peace is eternal vigilance”.

A bit different and what Courtney was warning against is loss of essential freedoms and the dismantling of democracy. Sounds a bit like Aus today.

Thomas Jefferson said near the same,

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”, or “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.

Whatever – the meaning is that there are ambitious and dishonest people who want power at any cost, and using lies – damned lies – and statistics will fool the honest citizen into delivering it to them.