The Voice

Three Cheers for Marcia Langton & Co

When a proper history of the Voice campaign is written, one of its main themes ought to be the way in which the ‘Yes’ side ended up doing most of the work of its opponents. Now, I mean no disrespect to Warren Mundine, Jacinta Price or Fair Australia, as they have all made a vigorous and cogent case for voting ‘No’. I suspect, though, they also enjoy being able to take the occasional day off by simply letting Voice advocates embarrass and discredit themselves.

For example, I like to think that Anthony Albanese foredoomed his preferred outcome on day dot.

Voting for the most far-reaching constitutional alteration in our nation’s history, the PM unhelpfully explained, is simply evidence of one’s good manners. It isn’t easy to come up with a more derisible case for voting ‘Yes’, though Albanese would soon have his competitors.

Thomas Mayo, now best known as a drafter of the Uluru Statement and an encomiast of the Communist Party, has spent much of the campaign accidentally persuading voters to write ‘No’. Of course, when addressing gullible audiences at public events and in his Handbook, Mayo likes to call the Voice a generous gift for non-Indigenous Australians. Once he gets in a truth-telling mood behind closed doors, however, he admits that the responsibilities of the advisory body extend to punishing his political enemies, annexing land and sending out invoices for reparations and rental payments. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of Thomas Mayo, fewer and fewer voters are likely to take up this opportunity to exchange gifts.

Among the unofficial spokespeople for the ‘No’ campaign, Professor Megan Davis is another favourite of mine. In that future book I have in mind, a whole chapter could be devoted to Davis’ seeming inability to count the number of pages in a document she helped write. Until recently, Davis had spent years on the lecture circuit reminding audiences that the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a multi-page document — the feel-good first page, Davis averred, is followed by some history, a list of grievances and quite a few mentions of how the Voice will lead to treaty and financial compensation.

When such information became a liability for persuadable voters, Davis revised her initial count and got very grouchy at anyone who quoted her own numbers back to her. She said all those extra pages — if I may paraphrase her loosely — consist of skimmable stuff and are hardly worth dipping into. Of course, Davis’ clean-up job hasn’t had its desired effect; instead, it has only served to bring more voters to an awareness of both the riskiness of the Voice and the mendacity of its proponents. So much for a get-out-the-yes-vote strategy.

When it comes to alienating the most voters with the fewest sentences, none can rival Professor Marcia Langton, who has undoubtedly been the most effective asset of the ‘No’ campaign. Langton is dominating the news today — and will stay there until voting day, one hopes — for the recorded comments she made at a recent event in Bunbury. With her customary eschewal of good manners, Langton huffed: “Every time the No case raises one of their arguments, if you start pulling it apart you get down to base racism — I’m sorry to say it but that’s where it lands — or just sheer stupidity.”

I’m not sure how this can be positively spun, but Langton’s media lackeys will learn their lines and make a go of it. There’s likely to be a good deal of distinction-without-a-difference making: you know, she didn’t mean to call ‘No’ voters stupid racists; she only suggested that they’ve been taken in by stupidly racist arguments. Anyway, we’ll hear, that charge of racism is only aimed at ‘No’ campaigners like — umm — Langton’s fellow Aboriginals, the aforementioned Price and Mundine. And while she never used the word deplorables, one can’t help but feel that it was strongly implied.

For what it’s worth, I’m also a little sceptical of one thrust of Langton’s remarks: I don’t think she’s “sorry to say it”, not at all. If you watch the video, or any of her speeches, for that matter, you can’t help but notice the giddy contempt Langton has for her opponents. What’s more, calling people ‘racist’ must be counted as one of her hobbies by now. To give just one recent example, in the debate earlier this year about including executive government among the Voice’s interlocutors, Langton flung the accusation of “subconscious racism” at anyone who worried about the potential for court-related mischief. To be fair, compared to her other outbursts, that may well have been one of her more polite moments.

Even with only four weeks to go, I doubt she can master the impulse to engage in a bit more name-calling. Which, by the way, is fine with me, as it’ll only add more names to the tally of the ‘No’ vote. When the Voice fails, ideally in every state on October 14, Professor Langton really should be at the top of our thank-you list. That may not be the demonstration of the good manners Anthony Albanese originally had in mind, but — and I’m not really sorry to say it, either — that was always an argument based on sheer stupidity.

29 thoughts on “Three Cheers for Marcia Langton & Co


    The fleering body language and ad hominems delivered by Professor Langton et al are a turn-off. They are a valid reason to vote NO to more of the same.

  • Alistair says:

    Having worked in remote areas I cant help thinking that Marcia’s “strident” language is just cultural. Never mind how Aborigines speak to us non Aborigines – its pretty much how they speak to each other. A walk down North Terrace in the City of Adelaide after dark pretty much says it all. Western culture is full of political etiquette which underlines social discourse. It surprises me not in the least that this is how Marcia, Lydia, Megan or Noel behave. Traditional culture is still there just below the surface. The behaviour between those on the “No” side and those on the “Yes” side is really telling about which side of the traditional cultural fence they live relative to Jacinta, Warren, and Anthony (Dillon).
    We had all better get used to it … The Voice in Canberra is going to be pretty “robust” when they all get together.

  • padraic says:

    It’s also the “strident” language of the Far Left of all ethnic persuasions. This latest diplomatic descriptor of those opposed to the Voice can now be added to what could be (??) a winning formula (with apologies to mathematics) for the Yes campaign sophisticates, viz: (Chicken Littles + Rabble + Racists) x Stupid and divided by Race. Sounds like a sure winner.

  • Adelagado says:

    Marcia is a hater and she’s gotta hate, hate, hate.

  • W.A. Reid says:

    It took several hours but ‘The Australian’ finally allowed the following comment to be posted yesterday:

    ‘Unwilling or unable to engage with the intellectual heft of ‘No’ proponents such as Henry Ergas and Ramesh Thakur, Professor Langton’s contemptible remarks epitomise the ‘strategy of evasion’ being pursued by Mr Albanese and his gang of flamsters. These serve only to illustrate to adult Australians that it is much easier to conspue than to convince.’

    • Davidovich says:

      You were lucky. My comment below was rejected by the censors at The Australian, much to my bemusement:
      “There is no intention on Langton’s part of respectfully debating the issues she is promoting. However, calling opponents racist and stupid is the sure sign she knows her cause is not acceptable to millions of Australians who do not want Australia divided by race and she is lashing out in anger.”

      • Michael says:

        “If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do.”

        Bertrand Russell.

    • lbloveday says:

      The “click bait” for an article by Paige Taylor is “Voice debate must remain mature”.
      I started to write saying that wrongly implies the debate is currently mature, so it would be better to say “become mature” but stopped, being fairly sure it would not be accepted.

    • DougD says:

      WA – you’ve had better luck with The Australian than me. They wont publish a comment I made about corruption in aboriginal organisations that consisted entirely of a quote published in The Australian in 2020.

  • Surftilidie says:

    If there was any doubt that Marcia is the leading assistant for the No case after yesterday, I think she has the final all wrapped up with her hint that we would all lose our “welcome to country” ceremonies. That was a real winner for me.

  • Ceres says:

    Marcia – the gift that keeps on giving. No qualms about advertising her venomous, vile thoughts to all and sundry. Keep it up Marcia – you actually are of use.

    • DougD says:

      One of the curiosities of Australian life is how Mark Latham has been declared a non-person by all the media but they continue to publish everything Langton says.

      • W.A. Reid says:

        I’m not so lucky with ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’. In response to this article on its website:

        ‘If we vote No, it might be our nation’s day of greatest shame’

        I attempted to post the following:

        “Article 1 of the ‘International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination’, which came into force in 1969 and which Australia ratified and subsequently folded into the still-current Racial Discrimination Act 1975, states that ‘Special measures taken for the sole purpose of securing adequate advancement of certain racial groups … shall not be deemed racial discrimination … provided, however, that such measures do not, as a consequence, lead to the maintenance of separate rights for different racial groups and they shall not be continued after the objectives for which they were taken have been achieved.’

        This was pointed out by me in letters to a number of newspapers on 13 April this year (‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ elected not to publish) and subsequently in a published article by Peter Baldwin, the former Labor Left Wing MP.

        I am yet to see any argument from a ‘Yes’ proponent as to why this long-established and universally-recognised principle should be abrogated.”

        The comment was rejected.

  • jackgym says:

    Indigenous leader Marcia Langton wants the federal opposition leader to remove a social media image claiming she branded ‘no’ voters racist and stupid. The image of Professor Langton standing next to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese includes the words “No Voters Branded ‘Racist, Stupid’ By Prominent Voice Campaigner Marcia Langton” below the logo of The Australian newspaper. “I will have to … ask a lawyer to write to Peter Dutton requesting that he remove this post from his Instagram because it is absolutely not true,” Prof Langton told ABC radio on Wednesday — Yahoo News

  • rosross says:

    Perhaps most troubling is the level of division and aggression in the radicals running the Yes campaign. One is reminded of the terrible violence and division in aboriginal communities as we see them tearing into each other and everyone else. Perhaps there is something to the theory that a little bit of aboriginal ancestry eradicates any other ancestry.

    Langton and co, who would run any voice, are hardly winning friends with their behaviour. Clearly they cannot help themselves which makes any voice so much more dangerous.

  • Lapun Ozymandias says:

    Thanks to this perceptive article by Timothy Cootes I have learnt two new English words today – ‘encomiast’ – which he used as a descriptor of Thomas Mayo, the self-avowed Communist author of the Uluṟu Statement. Mayo has clearly indicated on video that the ultimate intention of the ‘Voice’ is to punish all non-aboriginal Australians by wreaking retribution for alleged wrongs committed by long-dead people we never knew.

    The second word was ‘conspue’ – thank you to commenter W A Reid, who used this as a very polite descriptor to allude to the tendency of the anger-driven aboriginal activist spokespersons for the ‘Yes’ case to project their hate and ignominy onto all non-aboriginal Australians.

    From the point of view of devising a working political strategy to convince the Aussie mums & dads out there in Middle Australia to vote ‘Yes’, it seems to me that Albo and his tunnel-vision gang have lost the political plot. In addition to unleashing attack dogs such as Mayo, Langton, and the ‘Nice’ Mr Pearson, groups claiming aboriginal ancestry have truly jumped the gun by preemptively lodging huge land claims in urban areas. Various ‘Uncles’ and ‘Aunties’ have materialised to commence action to take possession of public parks and reserves across various parts of Australia. These claims encompass not only public reserves in places such as Balmoral Beach in Sydney – where I used to swim as a kid – but also extensive public reserves and parks across the Redland Bay area of Brisbane, not to mention the islands off Brisbane’s coast that are enjoyed by the aforesaid mums & dads for family recreation. It also didn’t help that the Queensland Premier signed ‘a treaty’ some months ago.

    I smell a political backlash brewing that may become the main legacy of Albo’s deceptive and divisive Voice affair.

  • Oyvey says:

    Lapun Ozimandius has pointed to the chilling reality that has been unleashed by this government endorsed civil war, which is that the reactions to the outcome will be awful whatever the outcome. Vote Yes and the activists will be emboldened to march on the white holdings across Australia and of course white (European) culture in every institution. (As a Balmoral resident I woke up to the news last week that my beloved Balmoral Beach is now fighting an Aboriginal land claim.) Vote No and the disgruntled institutions that supported the Yes vote will be enacting their ‘compensatory’ policies, such as we have already seen with the arts institutions promising to give free tickets and discounts to anyone who declares aboriginal identity. And it will roll on in every other institution. I wonder if that national airline of ours will be offering deep discounts to Aboriginals while the rest of us pay eye watering fares. Not much of Noel Pearson’s plea for unity on show if this goes on, and sadly, it will. Thanks Albo and Noel for ‘uniting’ the nation….

  • pmprociv says:

    It’s all very simple, really. Auntie Professor Langton identifies as indigenous, so if you argue against her, you’re a racist. She also considers herself a very smart person, so if you don’t agree with her, you’re stupid.


  • Dazz says:

    Is Marcia Langton’s reaction to opposing views surprising? She lives in rarefied air at Melbourne University among a group of academics who hold the same radical, left views. Because of her senior position, dissenting faculty, staff and students can be crushed by her bullying style. The upshot of all this is that Marcia and her group-thinkers never developed the ability to construct a rational argument in favor of their position. Now she must leave her “safe space” and confront differing opinions. She doesn’t have the power to bully her opponents into silence anymore. Nor can she rely on like-minded administrators and staff to intimidate, cancel or sack dissenters. She has been asked to construct a cogent argument for her position and has failed dismally.

  • terenc5 says:

    PM Albanese admitting he hasnt even read the doco tells you what idiotic ideologes these clowns are.

  • SimonBenson says:

    When I think of comments from ignorant people like you must be “racist” to vote no to this proposed “voice” to the Parliament, lest the public purse’s current spend on our ATSI people is not enough (it currently exceeds the Defence budget), it makes me think of my parents, who were born in Australia in the Great Depression, and worked hard their entire lives, well into their 80s in fact, to help others, including not just ATSI people, but all people, regardless of religion, race or creed. They would have voted no and they were not racist. Nor am I. So let me get this straight. How do you get from that to being “racist” for holding a contrary view (something, last time I checked, our democracy still gives us)? There is only one answer: racism. Mz Langton is really just a good old fashioned bigot. So are the Stan Grants of this society. They actually hate anyone who disagrees with them. People like my parents, having worked hard their entire lives, with no handouts, well, I guess Mz Langton would call that “white privilege”. I call people having to pay for others on the basis of race something else, but it’s far from “white” privilege at all. Separately, Albo’s fawning acolytes, resplendent in their Kathmandu green parkas – what else does one wear, other than combat greens? – are handing out the yes campaign’s alleged “information” at train stations in Sydney. Yes, things are getting that desperate for the yes brigade. No doubt their Subarus and e-Volvos are getting a battering with all the driving. Poor things. What would Australian democracy be without the elitist rich of our inner city woke left?

    • Brian Boru says:

      “the elitist rich of our inner city woke left”.
      Yes Simon, those who founded that once great Party under the Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine would be aghast.
      A Party hijacked by privileged self interest Chardonnay sipping lefties. This has led to a situation where a working man can’t afford to buy a house or even afford to rent. Scratch the surface and you will find that most of them are in secure government funded employment.

  • Michael Mundy says:

    The defeat of The Voice has resulted in a renewed push for Treaties in many jurisdictions. I see those Treaties having a similar fate to The Voice when they keep telling the 60% that voted No that they are land grabbers, genocidalists and child stealers. Claiming that they are magically on ‘(Insert Here) Country’ but don’t acknowledge that they used violence and abductions against other aboriginals to obtain it and retain it. And expect me to regularly honour their elders despite any ills they may have committed but be ashamed of mine for anachronistic crimes by association. Just do that for another 35 or 40 years and expect a sympathetic ear. Bring on reparations but settle the bill for services rendered since 1788 first.

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