The naivety of so many well-meaning commentators conveniently glossing over the racial nature of the Voice proposal in the Uluru Statement is baffling. Are they Machiavellian fifth columnists seeking to undermine Australian democracy? Or just useful idealistic fools?
To have a special race-based powerful voice for a tiny minority is profoundly unsettling, frightening in its prospect, and dangerously divisive.
As many constitutional lawyers and judges have pointed out, there is not only a risk that a constitutionally enshrined Voice will be an effective veto over all parliamentary legislation, but it is inevitable that the Voice will become a platform for activist High Courts.
Is it worth the risk to potentially emasculate the working of the country’s government when there are multiple organisations, such as the $4.2bn funded National Indigenous Australians Agency, who have been doing the job as proposed without constitutional enshrinement? This is insanity, potentially seriously undermining national security and sovereignty.
If you read the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which I suspect most haven’t, you will realise it contains an unequivocal demand for power.
You can forget about the niceties. In my opinion, political power is the ultimate aim of the new elite. Given the construction of the Voice proposal, it can mean nothing other than a measure of control over the way this country is governed. And if you read further into the document’s aspirations, the ultimate outcome is self-determination, and by implication, segregation, reparation, and the retaking of Australia by stealth.
It’s about time this country woke up to the real agenda and stop allowing so-called white guilt to affect their perception of reality. Having said that, you will find that pretty much anyone you ask about the proposal will have no understanding either of its construction, meaning, or implications for governance in Australia.
Albanese has tried to lead us into thinking that the Voice is a modest change, a perfectly reasonable one whose time has come. If not now, when? Well, herein lies the obvious dichotomy. The Uluru Statement from the Heart demands a power transfer to a racial minority. Do we want the country thrown into this sort of ungovernable, chaotic charnel house of democracy?
The statement further claims the existence of sovereign nations. Where would you even begin to draw that line? There were an estimated three hundred tribes roaming over this land when Europeans came here and settled. There was no governance structure with whom to negotiate. There were no roads, bridges, buildings, or agriculture. How do we define then, this concept of sovereignty? The Statement also claims that sovereignty is a spiritual notion that has never been ceded. You have to ask who would be in a position to give effect to the ceding? Again, the concept is incompatible with rationality. But then, with ‘substantive constitutional change’ we are being asked to accept that sovereignty can shine through. How, is not addressed.
The reference to the Aboriginal people being the ‘most incarcerated people on the planet’ is disputable. There are a myriad of people incarcerated in many countries under far worse conditions and justifications. It is unfair to make that claim against Australia. Like it or not, incarceration in Australia is a product of laws being broken. The rampant anti-social behaviour in Alice Springs is an obvious example while the sanitised version Albanese saw on his stage-managed visit does not reflect the reality on the ground. What blatant sickening hypocrisy. The reason for the dysfunction will not be solved by a Voice. Any rational examination of the Uluru Statement reveals that it is an open demand for power by activists clothed in various emotive statements of dubious fact and logic, not a solution for community dysfunction.
We are invited to ‘walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future’. To where? And with whom? For whom? What are we actually expected to do? How do you define ‘a better future’?
It is the government’s job to provide for those unable to adequately care for themselves. But how many organisations are doing this already? Literally thousands, most run by Indigenous people.
Much of the dysfunction stems from the choice to live in remote communities. City facilities are expected, yet when provided they are not maintained and become run-down. Housing is provided and then it is destroyed. Vehicles are run into the ground. Yet somehow the claim is made that this is the fault of the Australian people and a Voice is going to fix it!?
How many land councils have been questioned over the distribution of funds and record keeping? In countless cases, a small number of community organisations are getting the bulk of public money. The Australian nation has bent over backwards to help the dysfunctional communities. At some point, these communities and their citizens will have to take more responsibility. Only residents can make the decision to control their drinking, turn away from violence, and stop child abuse.
As Jacinta Price and Warren Mundine say, the solution must come from within. It’s up to the elders and Aboriginal people themselves to address the issue. You cannot blame the wider Australian community for local issues.
$39bn is provided every year, administered through 1,200 Aboriginal run Land Councils and hundreds of advocacy organisations specifically set up to provide material support for those identifying as Indigenous. A Voice to Parliament, which will inevitably become a vast bureaucracy, will do no more than those organisations are now doing. If, it is argued, it will, then the very clear implication is that it will have the power to interfere in the running of the country. Is that right for unelected representatives of 3.5 per cent of the population to have control of the country’s legislature? Clearly this is untenable.
Does anybody understand what is meant by ‘a journey of reconciliation’? What exactly are we reconciling? And with whom in particular? I have not seen a satisfactory explanation of what it means to the average Australian. There is an air of fabrication about a lot of these lofty ideological slogans, yet we are cornered by the fear of racism.
This debate, costing tens if not millions of dollars and enormous amounts of time, should not be happening. The mere discussion of this racist proposal is divisive. On one level even the flags are divisive, but we dare not say so. We should be one nation united under one flag.
Most people of Aboriginal connection today are integrated into the mainstream of Australian life. Clearly it cannot be argued that they weren’t here before us, but we never conquered the nomadic people here. As water finds its own level, so also did the English as they moved in. If they hadn’t done so, somebody else would have. It is astonishing that no one had, there was plenty of room for all, in this vast continent.
What is the point in bludgeoning the current generation for sins of the past if not to induce guilt and acquiescence over the plight of the relatively small percentage of dysfunctional communities who are being used as an excuse for grasping more power by another bureaucracy?
The Voice referendum is a menacing Orwellian nightmare where we the people, are up against a Machiavellian government, ill-informed idealists, and rent seekers who manifestly don’t give a damn for the national interest.
Dr Bryan Phillips BEc, MBA, DBA is an independent writer and author. He is a Director of Asia Link (China) Pty Ltd a China resource company and Ascot Learning (Australia) Pty Ltd, an education services company based in Brisbane Australia.