The Voice

Paging the Meaning of Document 14

                                                   But wait, there’s more — a lot more

In the Voice referendum campaign, can there have been a more vacuous battle than that about whether or not the Uluru Statement is a single page page or 26 pages?  This is a battle that Sky News presenter Chris Kenny is determined to win.  He talks about it nearly every night on his show.  And recently he has been joined by an ally in the person of ABC presenter Leigh Sales.  She, too, sees this as pivotal in the debate. 

After all, we can’t have voters thinking there might be anything calculating behind the one-page poster.  That it wasn’t just handed down from the Rainbow Serpent as a generous invitation for 25 million Australians to join indigenous Australians on a journey towards a new, reconciled Australia.

Let me digress for a moment, go back to my past.  In military doctrine there is a tool called the “military appreciation”.  It is used in planning tactical operations.  The most important output from the appreciation is the establishment of ‘the aim’.  Get that wrong and everything else is a waste of time.   Another important consideration is identification of what is termed ‘the vital ground’.  If you fail to take or hold your vital ground, you have failed to achieve your aim.  No promotion for you.

Read Document 14 here in its entirety

In any one appreciation there can only be one vital ground, but there can be features of lesser importance, called ‘ground of tactical Importance’ or GTI, the taking or holding of which can materially assist in defending or taking the vital ground.  Given that you never have enough resources, you can’t have too many of them.  You have to be choosy.

Now, imagine that you are CO of 4RAR.  You are tasked with protecting a certain airfield.  You decide that the airfield itself is your vital ground.  You will concentrate your forces around the airfield but there is a hill nearby that overlooks an ideal approach to the airfield.  You decide to put A Coy on that hill.  Then you sit back and await the arrival of the enemy, comfortable that you’ve done all that Staff College has taught you.

But alas, you get a call from OC A Coy on Hill 129.  The enemy has discovered some dead ground that you had overlooked on your reconnaissance, and he is being bypassed.  Goodbye red tabs.*

Back to the present.  It seems to me that Albanese, Kenny, Sales et al have chosen the one-page Uluru Statement as a metaphorical GTI. The problem for them is that Document 14 is metaphorical dead ground which allows them to be bypassed.

My point? It doesn’t really matter if the Uluru Statement is only one page.  We can still get all the dirt Albanese & Co don’t want us to know simply by reading Document 14.  After all, the Uluru Statement didn’t really spring fully formed from the Rainbow Serpent.

*Staff College graduates and former directing staff, please note: there are no pinks to the above exercise, so please lay off. General readers, please excuse my in-joke.

15 thoughts on “Paging the Meaning of Document 14

  • Brian Boru says:

    I am sorry but I don’t care about the Uluru statement or document 14 (although I agree they provide insight into the questionable reasons proponents put forward for the Voice).
    The main game for me is that I do not want anything in our Constitution (even bland recognition) which recognises one race over others. That the Voice provides special privilege for one race over others is even worse.
    Of course we have an obligation to help those who are trapped in the dysfunction of remote communities. My opinion is that the “Better Way” is to facilitate their integration into the economic life of mainstream Australia.
    We presently have an egalitarian country, let’s keep it that way by voting NO.

    • Peter OBrien says:

      “The main game for me is that I do not want anything in our Constitution (even bland recognition) which recognises one race over others.”

      With you 100% on that Brian. It staggers me how many people now say they are totally behind recognition. That’s a big change since 1999. I suspect some if them see it as a consolation prize when the Voice fails. Salves their conscience – pathetic twerps.

  • padraic says:

    Thanks Peter for the hotlink to Document 14. It hardly reflects the spirit of reconciliation. It looks like a plan for taking over the country.

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    The elements in document 14 have been in plain sight for a long time. When Albanese committed his government to implement the Uluru statement “in full”, there’s really no doubt he meant Voice, Treaty and “Truth Telling”. We’ve all seen the tee shirt.
    As described in document 14, the first component is the Voice. Many have asked why can’t the Voice just be legislated. The obvious answer based on document 14 is that being in the Constitution means that it is immune from parliamentary control. The Voice can only be influenced by the High Court, which has recently been only too willing to accept Indigenous exceptionalism and “spirituality” as legally binding.
    As is clear from document 14, and various tee shirts, next is treaty. The word used for this is Makarrata , although I have also seen this translated as “revenge”. Treaties are agreed by sovereign nations, and so Treaty establishes Aboriginal tribes as sovereign nations. Again as clear from document 14, Treaty also involves reparations, the suggestion being a percentage of GDP. This would not be popular, however as the Voice would not subject to democratic limitation, unpopularity is not an impediment. All that is required is that the High Court maintain its current attitudes.
    The last component is “truth telling”. This is required to cement the new arrangements into the new Australia. Truth of course has nothing to do with it, anymore than Bruce Pascoe’s fantasies have to do with reality. Note how pervasive Pascoe’s nonsense is. Truth telling will be the same, taught in primary schools and repeated ad nauseam on the ABC. What is important isn’t truth but that the propaganda supports the political aims and prevents any counter-revolution. Once this is in place then the breakup of Australia that Keith Windschuttle has been warning us about will become inevitable and we will be on the hook for eternal reparations.
    There are two possibilities here. Firstly Albo, being notoriously never over the details, doesn’t realise what he’s unleashed. That is, he’s a moron. The second possibility is that he knows exactly what he’s unleashed, sees his place in history as righting history’s wrongs, but realises that being upfront with the Australian public about it would see his dreams of eternal fame come to nought. That is, he’s a devious liar with a messianic complex. I can’t quite work out which possibility is correct.

    • GrantB says:

      Daft as Albo may be, I’m of the opinion he sees the Voice as a vehicle for his own aggrandisement; first, his legacy, and perhaps a UN Secretary Generalship, in particular to thumb his nose at Rudd & Turdbull, or, in the event of his pulling off a Republic referendum, as advised by the Voice, to become the Big Banana.

  • Solo says:

    I’d say Ian, you’re right the first time “That is, he’s a moron”. He’s never struck me as particularly clever, useful or opinionated, just the last man standing who managed to take the top job under favourable circumstances.

    Aboriginal ‘culture’ has nothing to offer modern Australia. At all. The only entertaining part is watching someone proudly espouse how rubbish religion is in a secular society, then do a 10/10 mental gymnastics routine when you ask about Aboriginal religions/spirituality.

    Any government that cared about the future direction of Australia would make ABC a subscription service. If people want that rubbish in their homes, they can pay for it.

  • STD says:

    Great comments-and Ian, brilliant summary-venous-both possibilities will lead to constitutional insurrection.

  • lbloveday says:

    Nyunggai Warren Mundine wrote in The Australian 30/8/2023 about Kenny’s rant in the Weekend Australian:
    “…he says he “cannot deal with the myriad minor lies and distortions” of the No campaign and then proceeds to repeat the distortions of his own side. Here are 10”:
    Full article:
    Kenny made an online comment (with 3 “likes” after just 32 minutes):
    “Warren, you’ve been opposed to the voice, in favour of it, and now against it again. I find it hard to keep up. But at least you’re not pretending the Uluru statement is 26 pages long. And it’s reassuring to know you’ve said you’ll work constructively with a voice if it gets up. Cheers CK”
    Interesting to a pedant like me is that both Mundine and Kenny use lower case voice not the usual Voice, as PO’B and most I read do.

    • Peter OBrien says:

      This was my reply to Kenny, which was rejected, as expected:

      “But at least you’re not pretending the Uluru statement is 26 pages long.” Yes keep fighting on that front, Chris. It’s a real winner for you.

  • Patrick McCauley says:

    No … it grew like a lie, adding a little bit here and excluding a little bit there … slowly translated itself from Hunter Gatherer into English culturally appropriating unknown Latin concepts such as ‘Terra Nullius’ and ‘Das Capitale’ on the way … ending up in one big fat lie that fitted onto one sheet of paper with all the identities of the liars listed higgledy piggledy all around the lie like a frame. Such a big fat lie it was that there needed to be another twenty six pages of supporting lies to fully appreciate its remarkable bigness and fatness and unusual circular dimensions …

  • gardner.peter.d says:

    Interesting that the first page is numbered 87. Where are pages 1 to 86?

    • cbattle1 says:

      The link to the PDF file brings you 14 documents, totaling 112 pages, with document 14 first (26 pages), followed by documents 1-13 (86 pages). 26+86=112. Documents 1-13 are the reports from the 13 Regional Dialogues which generated the content distilled into the Uluru Statement.

  • Patrick McCauley says:

    How can you claim ‘Sovereignty’ over a piece of land you cannot measure? You cannot claim its width nor its length, nor does it remain the same during the seasons – when from time to time other language groups enter the claimed territory when the food is plentiful, and weeks must be set aside to drive the invaders off.The only concept of ‘Sovereignty’ Aboriginal language groups had – was the spiritual sovereignty of the Rainbow serpent – or the sovereignty of ‘pointing the bone’ at those who were imagined to have committed unsolved atrocities years ago. Nothing is permanent in a world that shrinks and expands with its ‘country’ owning those who inhabit it … because they refuse to own the country – the country owns them. Sovereignty requires, at the very least, continual occupancy and the land (‘country’) – occupied Aboriginal people much more than Aboriginal people ‘occupied’ the land. This was a ‘Sovereignty’ of the land (country) over the people.

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