Forgive me, woke sisters and brothers (or should that be Comrades), for these are my sins:
♦ I am male.
♦ I am a septuagenarian.
♦ I am a retired solicitor of 46 years duration.
♦ I was a supporter of Charles Perkins Freedom Ride in the 1960’s.
♦ I am at least third-generation generation indigenous, as is anyone born in Australia, meaning my children are fourth generation and my grandchildren fifth.
♦ I am old enough to remember how moved I was and remain by Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and its inspirational yearning for the day when “my children will be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
♦ Although not yet old enough to vote I was an enthusiastic supporter of the Yes vote in the 1967 Referendum.
♦ I marched against apartheid when the white South African Rugby team toured here in 1970.
♦ I celebrated when Nelson Mandella was released from Robin Island and, later, when apartheid collapsed and the former political prisoner became president of the new South Africa,
♦ Virtue signalling has no appeal to me, nor do I suffer from white guilt.
The reasons I intend to vote No at the Voice referendum are:
1/ If passed it will create an unelected race-based institution enjoying power and privilege denied all other Australian citizens.
2/ If not consulted before the Parliament or executive pass laws or implement them, the High Court will become involved. After recent decision in regard to race and Aboriginality, who knows what innovative light the justices will bring to their rulings.
3/ A Voice could be created by Parliament right now without any need to tamper with the Constitution
4/ If the referendum question were to be altered, as it easily could be, to acknowledge in the preamble to the Constitution that Aboriginal people were the first inhabitants of the continent it would have overwhelming support.
5/ There are eleven Aboriginal MHR’s and senators. As has been repeatedly pointed out, that means in relation to their percentage of the population Aborigines are over-represented. Memo to Albo and the Yes-vibe crowd: we’re all Australian no matter where our forbears came from.
6/ In addition to their parliamentary representatives, government websites reveal that there are 3278 Aboriginal corporations, 243 native title bodies, 48 land councils, 35 regional councils and 145 health organisations,
7/ Government records also reveal expenditure per person is twice as much for Aborigines as for other Australians.
8/ There does not appear to be unanimous support of all Aboriginal groups. The elite Aboriginal spokespersons are all in favour, but respected others such as Anthony Dillon, Warren Mundine and Jacinta Nampijinpa Price all intend to vote No. In addition and as interviewed on Sky News, elders from Uluru, James Calyun from Western Australia and Kerry White from South Australia all say that they will vote No as will their peoples.
9/ The Voice would open a Pandoras box that would spawn a treaty, sovereignty and reparations.
Despite the recent protestations of the Prime Minister that the Uluru Statement is but a single page of feel-good niceness, it has become quite apparent that the accompanying pages — be they 15, 16 or 25 pages –, that the Voice is the first step towards a treaty, a makaratta “truth-telling” commission and, after that, reparations as a percentage of GDP being paid to Aboriginal Australians by other Australians. Oh yeah, that’s right, Albo hasn’t been bothered to acquaint himself with those attachments — or so he claims.
Who is eligible to receive the reparations and who must pay them? Do we turn to self-identification as the criteria? Where do fauxborigine scam artist Bruce Pascoe along and other main-chancers whose Aboriginal bloodlines are vestigal or altogether non-existent fit into the picture? Are we really contemplating DNA testing to determine who gets what and how much?
And the calculation of reparations becomes even more difficult, as might be seen by considering Senator Lidia Thorpe, a vocal supporter of sovereignty, treaties and reparations. She has disclosed that her father is Irish and her Aboriginality traces back to her great-great-grandmother on her maternal side. Assuming that her great-great-grandmother was a full blood Aboriginal, that would make her great-grandmother 50 per cent Aboriginal, her grandmother 25 per cent and her mother 12.5 per cent, making her 6.25 per cent Aboriginal and 93.75% caucasian. Does she receive 6.25 per cent of the reparations and pay 93.75 per cent, or does she only have to kick in the 87.5 per cent difference?
The cynic in me thinks the elite members of the Voice will argue that it’s all too difficult and that all the reparations must be paid to the Voice so that what the Calma-Langton blueprint says will be an appointed, not elected, body can determine how those funds will be distributed.
At a risk — nay, the certainty — of being branded a vile racist by the likes of Marcia Langton and Noel Pearson, this is not a future any sane Australian would endorse, let alone accept.