Now to Make the Best Use of Victory

When searching my mind for some suitable quotes regarding the referendum result, I first came up with “The victory fell on us” from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. However, this seemed a little crudely simplistic and lacked the nuances the situation deserved. Horatio Nelson’s “First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can” was more appropriate, for we now must work together as a nation to create the best country we can for all who call Australia home.

“Don’t gloat, dear,” my grandmother used to say. “Gloating is unladylike, unseemly and un-Christian. Just smile sweetly and move on.”

This memoir appears in the latest Quadrant.
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Now that the referendum is done and dusted, I’m having great difficulty controlling my sinful desire to gloat. Surely just a little victorious gloating wouldn’t hurt? How about a small smirk or a teensy touch of smugness? Maybe discreetly behind the closed bedroom door? Those of us who have been working for a long time to bring down Albo and his gaggle of Yes cronies deserve some leeway here. Not only have we been victorious, we have been unequivocally victorious.

My small contribution to the No vote began in October last year when Quadrant published a satirical fictional story of mine, “Saving Australia, One Bumper Sticker at a Time”. Readers wanted Josie’s non-existent stickers, fiction became fact, and my husband Lindsay and I eventually distributed 7300 stickers across Australia. I wish to thank Quadrant for publishing my articles and images of the stickers online, and all those who supported the cause by purchasing stickers. Your efforts must surely have made a difference. Feel free to gloat a little.

The road to victory was not problem-free. We received threats and lost friends. When volunteering at our local polling booth on referendum day, I learnt that not only was I a Nazi, but a “f***ing racist Nazi”. I smiled sweetly and moved on. Those of us on the right side of history must expect the occasional slings and arrows. In that long day of handing out how-to-vote cards, I never once heard any racism or malice towards Aboriginal people, only disappointment with a system that is not working and which requires a huge shake-up.

The need for proper accounting of the money going to the Aboriginal industry was often mentioned and I was told that “those rich, pale-skinned city activists need to get their fingers out of the money pot”. The referendum was considered by some to be a costly indulgence for a few people seeking fame and fortune. Adjectives used to describe the Prime Minister were varied and creative, but unfortunately cannot be included in this reputable publication.

Many excellent writers have elaborated on the reasons the referendum was not passed. Peter O’Brien quite rightly describes the “relentless ‘Aboriginification’ of community life” which has been foisted upon us for years and never fails to get up our noses. As well, I believe that many just wanted our wonderful Constitution left alone. Marcia Langton didn’t do her cause any favours by slagging off at those who disagreed with her. The PM lost most of his few fans when he said he couldn’t be bothered reading the complete Statement from the Heart, that apparently sacred feel-good text upon which the referendum was based. The squabbles and lies about how many pages made up the Statement were a real turn-off to serious voters, as were Stan Grant’s and Noel Pearson’s hissy fits. Linda Burney remains a puzzle. Perhaps she is unwell. When Alan Joyce plastered our once-loved Qantas planes with Yes advertising, he insulted more than half the population of Australia, as did many other leaders of industry and sporting bodies with their craven support.

Australians don’t welcome lectures from the rich and famous. That contrived interview with Shaq O’Neal was cringe-making, and Thomas Mayo and Lidia Thorpe were scary, albeit in different ways. Burning an Australian flag doesn’t sit well with the Australian psyche, and accusations of simmering colonial hatred, racism, prejudice, and being poorly educated, bedwetters, dinosaurs and dickheads failed to impress the electorate. Industrial-strength bias from much of the media was predictable but offensive nonetheless.

On the vote No side we had the stand-out Jacinta Price, fine speeches from Gary Johns, Warren Mundine’s heartfelt words, and One Nation’s clever cartoons (and Referendum Rum) that made us smile when gloom threatened. Some journalists and politicians came out strongly against the Voice right from the start, when it was not looking like the winning side, including our member for Bowman, Henry Pike. They were not for turning, and more power to them for that.

Quadrant’s relentless push for truth, logic and common sense inspired us all. The special August edition became a valued reference source for Australians seeking reliable information both for themselves and to share. One of the few good points to emerge from this unpleasant time is the increase in general knowledge about Aboriginal traditional culture, our history and our Constitution. 

While some supporters wrote of our stickers being ripped off, I heard of only one incident where a car was damaged slightly. However, at the tag-end of the fight, my husband and I had a small run-in with the law. Three days before the vote, we decided to go into Brisbane and put up our remaining stickers. All went well for a while and we busily put them up in every bus shelter and appropriate place along the way. Then we spent a few hours in a huge shopping centre. You would have been forgiven for thinking we had a bad case of the runs, because every toilet had to be visited (and decorated artistically with our stickers). We moved boldly on to waste-paper bins and, throwing caution to the wind, balustrades and seats.

Then, oh dearie me, we met our comeuppance! As we limped along a passageway (dodgy joints and a combined 158 years of good living), we were surrounded by five uniformed policemen with all sorts of bits and bobs hanging from their belts. (Guns! Tasers! Exciting!) They were all trying not to smile.

“What larks,” I thought. After all, we were the good guys. Lurking in the background were two women whom we were told were “management”. These two were not smiling. Oh no! They looked very snarky, very angry. They had been watching us on security cameras and seeing that we were up to no good, had called in the police to sort us out. The policemen carefully stood between us and them. I wasn’t sure who was being protected from whom.

So we all had a friendly chat about the stickers while they checked us out on their laptop. Nothing, not even a parking fine, came up. Lindsay suggested tentatively and ever so politely that “management” might be Yes voters for them to be so incensed. After all, our stickers are easily removed and cause no damage. It was inopportune to mention that we were educating the populace and protecting the country from a racist, divisive takeover of our democratic system, so I held my tongue.

The centre is privately owned, and we were to be charged with defacing private property. We pleaded innocence, pointing out that we had not placed stickers on shopfronts or anywhere that might interfere with businesses or public safety. The policemen conveyed that to the cranky women and, after some considerable time, persuaded them that we were not as dangerous as they had reported, and hadn’t actually damaged any property, so maybe it wouldn’t be necessary to charge us if we went back and removed all the stickers. They grudgingly agreed. So we did, and all was well.

And now it’s all over, and the recriminations are rolling in like a tidal wave of sewage. Some began even before the start of counting, which indicates a weak commitment to the product. Those Yes voters are sore losers, that’s for sure, blaming everyone but themselves. Troy Bramston (in the Australian) joined the chorus of those bleating about misinformation, prattling on about naughty No voters “sowing confusion, resentment and fear”. Misinformation is the latest buzzword being used to control those who disagree with you. In the end, the Australian people saw through all the furphies thrown at them, and thank goodness for that.

The government has given an extra $10 million to assist those not coping with losing, and indigenous leaders committed to a week of mourning with flags flying at half-mast after the unbearable shock of the defeat. I guess they’re only referring to their cuckoo flags, not the Australian national flag, our real flag.

I presume also that the thousands of Aborigines who voted No won’t be joining this orgy of victimhood. Some Australians are supposedly so traumatised by rejection that they got time off work to “culturally heal”, whatever that means. They need safe places to do this of course, away from the threatening presence of gloating No voters. Maybe going fishing would help, or to the Melbourne Cup?

In Queensland, every public servant was offered five paid days off work to mourn. What a potential rort. Can you imagine anyone refusing those extra five days? Who’s going to run the state while all the public servants are off culturally-healing themselves down at the pub or the beach? Such government actions (using taxpayers’ money) only encourage a victim mentality. This great country was not built on the backs of the weak and wimpy whining brigade. My mother would say, if we children fell over, “Are there any bones sticking out? No? Then wipe that blood off the floor and get to school.” She made us resilient, for which we are forever grateful.

This country now needs some strong leaders, conviction politicians who will stand up and say No to treaties, makarratas, claims of sovereignty, land rights and reparations, and never-ending guilt-tripping. They must stop pandering to this small group of activists. Get rid of those cuckoo flags and welcome-to-country ceremonies, place-name changes and land grabs, and stop talking about non-existent First Nations. It’s time for our leaders to step up because the people have spoken. They said NO!

Many Australians are probably wondering how on earth we got caught up in such an ugly, divisive hiccup in the smooth running of our country. In attempting to shine some light on this nasty carbuncle, Josie will finish with the following.

Imagine a hundred children playing in a beautiful park, with plenty of goodies for everyone to share. And share them they did because basically, they were good kids. But then, alack and alas, three children decided they wanted some special goodies from the other ninety-seven because somebody was mean to some of their ancestors two hundred years ago. (Risible, but bear with me.) They drew up a pretty plan and made a list of their demands. Luckily for them, but not for democracy, a new Little Big Man was in charge of the park, and he grabbed onto this pretty plan without even reading it, because he thought it would make him famous.

But the other ninety-seven kids thought the plan was just silly. “You can’t have all this stuff, guys,” they said. “Why should you? Just because you want something doesn’t mean you should have it. Surely your mothers told you that.”

This made Little Big Man cranky, and the three demanding kiddies screeched and yelled rude words and stamped their little feet. “We want your lunch money for the rest of your lives, and your cubby houses and all your toys and all your sweeties.”

Little Big Man said, “Now, now, children, let’s be fair. All of you who want the pretty plan put up your hands.” Two of the three put up their hands (one had changed his mind) plus a couple of tiny-tots who’d wandered in from the kindy playground. Their little brains were not fully formed and they thought they were voting for ice-cream.

“Oh!” said Little Big Man, shrivelling up like a deflating balloon. “You must have misunderstood the situation. This is a really good plan. A kind and modest plan.” His eyes filled with tears. “Important people all over the world will think poorly of us if we don’t support this plan.”

“No they won’t,” said the children. “We are not stupid. This is a rubbish plan. We have said No to it and we don’t want to hear another word about it. So stop being such a sook, take your bat and ball and your silly plan and shove off.” And they turned their backs on the shrivelled-up Little Big Man, and started sharing their recess snacks with the three trouble-makers and the tiny-tots. Soon all was peaceful in the park once more.

Thank goodness for that,” said God to the Archangel Gabriel. “I thought for a minute we were going to have trouble with some of those Australians, but as usual they’ve sorted themselves out without any fisticuffs. Now let’s put on our thinking caps, Gabe, because we have some real work to do on the other side of my world.”

Joanna Hackett’s story “Saving Australia, One Bumper Sticker at a Time” appeared in the October 2022 issue, and her progress report “The Bumper Sticker Resistance” in the August special online edition.


20 thoughts on “Now to Make the Best Use of Victory

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    Joanna Hackett,
    You write delightfully. It is good that you were not taken into custody, for you did no wrong, it appears. But, your story reminded me of a different outcome from New Zealand. Geoff S

  • NarelleG says:

    Brilliant Joanna!!

  • cbattle1 says:

    As it is said, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” There can be no rest or sitting on laurels, because the Leftist radicals and fellow travellers will never give up their “struggle”.

  • lbloveday says:

    I “pinched” a couple of your sticker themes and had them printed on t-shirts which I boldly wear to the pub. Never had an issue. Hope you are not going to sue me for breach of copyright (doesn’t that mean the right to copy?).

    • jbhackett says:

      No problems. We were (and still are) happy for people to use our sticker ideas. What mattered was to get the message out there, to as many Australians as possible. Some remain relevant even after the referendum and I’ve left them on my car, letter box and garbage bin.

  • STD says:

    The good is tempered with humility, as this is the place from which we shall rise and be raised to again. What is right and just is the voice that belongs to him, and in him victory is that which is really right- being victorious in truth.
    Keep up the good work Joanna.

  • Maryse Usher says:

    Not so in Victoria, alas, where our communist thugs in power refuse to take NO for the answer. De-civilisation at a rapid pace. Increasing bedding on the city streets, as well. Promotion of savagery.

    • john mac says:

      Yes Maryse , It’s as if it never happened ! The capital of “Sicktoria” is “Hellborn” , and I used to love visiting from SA but the current govt is just as dangerous , along with Vicpol , and the libs are green lite ! Don’t even get me started on outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan’s putrid legacy !

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    Yairs Missus, had them on both our cars from the jump and never received any abuse but we live in a rural area where the LNP hold sway because the LNP reps are the least worst of those chasing a political career. I cautioned my wife not to smirk about the stickers in public after the “no” vote succeeded but should she get the urge she could wait until midnight, don dark glasses, retire to our dressing room, turn the light out, place a hand over her mouth, stand in a corner facing the wall, and then “smirk” slightly. We Queenslanders might think that we are inundated by all things aboriginal but we are babes in the woods as we discovered in a recent trip down the East Coast to the bottom and then back up through the RH side of the middle. One stand out ripper was the depiction of some barely clad first nations people at the whale museum in Eden NSW spearing a giant whale from a canoe. Now, in my travels I have seen aboriginal mates spear decent sized ‘Barra and struggle, but spearing a 100 tonne whale or even a ten tonne whale is a bit hard to take, but there you go. Another place had a wayside museum nicely refurbished at taxpayer expense of course with supposed aboriginal artifacts, that is if aboriginals carved tobacco pipes as did the Macassars and grew the tobacco of course, nicely carved objets d’art I have not seen in my FNQ bush but have seen in PNG, Indonesia, and Malaya. People, at least those who spoke Australian as their first language, and they were few and far between, mostly swooned over the artifacts and I had to leave the room when a bunch of schoolkids in one museum were being elucidated about the prowess of our first nations people. The comments above are not made to deride them for they were people of the stone age who could survive in our harsh environment but we must be realistic about it all and tell it like it was. The bottom line is one of we people who can read and write use outfits as in “Ancestry.com” or like research organisations to discover who our great grandparents were and what they did and yet aboriginals who couldn’t read or write can remember exactly who their ancestors were and what they did 65,000 years ago with uncanny accuracy.

  • Twyford Hall says:

    I would like to gloat but remembering that more than one person in three voted in favour of this stupid idea is enough to keep me grounded.

  • STD says:

    Do not be dis-heartened or expect less than this Maryse ,as we are dealing with real pigs, as such pigs will avowedly devour rubbish over the truth, subsequently denying truth it’s right of passage.
    -however the truth remains and I dare say it, patiently.
    Overexposure/overreach before the fall-this is the problem with all this lefty communist garbage, it lacks fibre(fortitude) and eventually collapses under its own weight-here is Spike Milligan’s take on the shear of stupidity.

  • Ceres says:

    Great post Joanna. Kudos to you and hubbie for sticking your necks out and copping flak. We need to gloat and rub it in the lefties faces, as in their warped minds the resounding NO vote didn’t happen. Push back at every chance and forget the polite smiling.

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    Victory in the Voice referendum in Australia was followed in New Zealand by the election of a conservative government determined to dismantle the toxic Ardern legacy. So often New Zealand has been a warning of regressive identity politics initiatives that we can expect here, but for once they got it right. The Governor General’s speech, covering the intentions of the incoming Luxon Government contained the following identity politics reforms. The Government is committed to:
    Ensuring all citizens are treated equally, sharing the same rights and responsibilities;
    Amending the Waitangi Tribunal legislation to refocus the scope, purpose and nature of the tribunal’s inquiries back to the original intent (before tampering by unelected judges – my comment);
    Abolishing the Maori Health Authority and ensuring hospital admissions are based on need, not race;
    Repealing the Three Waters legislation to return water to council, not tribal, control;
    Requiring Government Departments to be named in English.
    Not only that, but the government has also committed to:
    Reducing government spending to take pressure off inflation;
    Reducing bureaucrats to pre-Ardern levels;
    Returning the Reserve Bank to a single inflation focus;
    Axing a pumped hydro scheme;
    Restoring negative gearing;
    Freezing fuel taxes;
    Returning Emissions Trading Scheme funds to tax payers;
    Cancelling climate initiative subsidies;
    Increasing police numbers;
    Banning gang patches and insignia in public places;
    Amending the Sentencing Act to ensure appropriate sentencing;
    Setting targets for public services;
    Holding public sector CEOs to account, with part of salaries replaced with bonuses subject to meeting targets;
    Rewriting the school curriculum to focus on academic achievement, not ideology;
    Requiring at least one hour each of reading, writing and maths classes every school day;
    Increasing school choices;
    Increasing health care worker training places;
    Sanctions for job seekers refusing work;
    Repealing Fair Pay agreement legislation and allowing employers and employees to negotiate;
    Introducing sanctions for social housing tenants who misbehave;
    Reducing the regulatory burden on farmers;
    Lifting the ban on live animal exports.
    Admittedly New Zealand has the advantage on no upper house like our Senate to ignore and block election mandates, but wouldn’t it be good to see an Australian government commit to the same initiatives. That would be a fitting follow-on to the Voice victory.

  • Stephen Due says:

    “This country now needs some strong leaders, conviction politicians who will stand up…” Correct. And they also need to be able to marshall relevant facts and present cogent arguments with sincereity and clarity. They need courage and spiritual strength. They must have an unwavering moral compass that points permantly in the direction of clean living and unvarnished truth. And they need to be men (for reasons we have no time to go into now).
    Now where exactly do you think they will come from? Undoubtedly there are such people sequestered away in the depths of suburban or rural obscurity. Equally certainly they are not currently in the ranks of serving politicians (which is not to deny there are some very good people in our parliaments).
    I believe there are men ‘out there’ who know they could do the job Australia needs them to do, but are not coming forward.

  • Libertarian says:

    “Many Australians are probably wondering how on earth we got caught up in such an ugly, divisive hiccup in the smooth running of our country”

    The trade union party can’t run on their policies so they have to continuously manufacture stunts like these to cover up their serial sabotage of the country’s potential.

  • john mac says:

    Thankyou for your work , Joanna – tried in vain to purchase stickers , but email kept returning . Anyway a good result but I was hoping for a 75% No vote (One can dream) as the losers are acting as if the referendum never happened ! ABC classical has literally gone over to the dark side pushing all things Aboriginal in content , context and narrative . And they act as if they’ve been doing it all their lives ! What a drain on the public purse . On the same theme , went to Sydney last month , haven’t been in 30 years and it was magnificent ! My wife had to coerce me to go (had a bad time last I was there) and I’m eagerly awaiting our next trip there . Did many of the tours and from Taronga zoo to the tour boats leaving the docks and the Opera house tour , all were acknowledging the Indigenous , yada yada yada , but the worst was the maritime museum , saturated in Aboriginal propaganda , with the wailing “music” playing throughout , you’d have thought they’d invented the submarine , sextant and sailboat ! Our institutions are locked into this false narrative and we must somehow rid them of this , so no gloating from me , happy as I am for the result .

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