The Voice

Why the Voice Went Down

It is very rare in Australian political history for the demands of a lobby group to be endorsed on the very night a new government is elected. It is even more rare for the leader of the victorious political party to declare publicly that he would do exactly what the lobby group wanted, in full. Yet this is the gift which, on May 21, 2022, Anthony Albanese gave to a small group of academics and political lobbyists who wanted to change the Australian Constitution in their favour, in order to set up an entity they would control. It is no wonder that in the early days of the subsequent campaign for the required referendum, the group imagined themselves invincible. What a head start they had on any likely opponent. However, the hubris and arrogance they subsequently displayed became a large part of their undoing. The two members of the group who did most to bring themselves down were Megan Davis and Marcia Langton. Davis’s principle role was confined largely to drafts of legal documents that generated unintended consequences. Langton’s contribution was the low opinion of white Australians she expressed in television interviews.

Megan Davis, a professor of law at the University of New South Wales, was one of the authors of the Uluru Voice from the Heart. While Albanese was insisting publicly that the Voice was only an advisory group, just a modest change and a gesture that amounted to no more than “good manners”, Davis was undermining his case, bragging about the power she and her colleagues would gain from the Voice. In her book published in early 2023, Everything You Need to Know About the Voice, co-authored with George Williams, Davis wrote about the dramatic change it represented to the Australian Constitution and the power it would give those behind it. They wrote:

It is a change to the structure of Australia’s public institutions and would redistribute public power via the Constitution, Australia’s highest law. The reform will create an institutional relationship between governments and First Nations that will compel the state to listen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in policy and decision-making.

As a member of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Working Group, Davis helped draft the question that the referendum would put to voters and the constitutional amendment that would result from its approval. In March 2023, when Albanese announced the question concerned, the product was not what the Labor government had expected. The constitutional amendment proposed by the working group said that there would be a new chapter added to the existing eight chapters of the Constitution. Titled “Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”, the new chapter had three clauses, the second of which said:

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The jarring note in all this was one that the government had not anticipated. This was the right of the Voice to make representations to the “executive government”. Instead of confining its political advice and recommendations to the parliament via the relevant minister, the Voice would be able to approach departments and institutions of the public service, as well as more independent commissions, authorities and agencies of the Commonwealth. With the executive government at its disposal, the Voice would have unprecedented powers and an almost unlimited ability to cause problems for any government. Moreover, in disputes between the government and the Voice, any resolution would be the responsibility of the judges of the High Court. Albanese sent the draft back to the working group but Davis stuck to her guns and refused to change the wording. A quickly assembled parliamentary hearing called for opinions from a number of constitutional lawyers but this resulted only in an apparently innocuous change of words.

The most damaging result of what seemed like a minor squabble came from another source. It was revealed during the subsequent public debate in the press, that the whole idea behind the Voice and constitutional change had not originated deep within Aboriginal culture but came from three white men — academics Greg Craven and Damien Freeman and Liberal politician Julian Leeser — plus one Aboriginal man, Noel Pearson. They had devised the concept a decade earlier and had created a model that they expected would get bipartisan political support.

The quartet were affronted by the demand for access to executive government. Their original version of the proposal was designed to simply advise the parliament about Aboriginal ideas for reform, and was carefully couched in a way that provided no room for High Court judges to get involved in disputed cases. The acceptance of the constitutional amendment moved Craven to take his grievances to the media, writing furious op-ed pieces in the press that cast a dark shadow over what had been until then a pro-Voice campaign full of light.

After Opposition Leader Peter Dutton used the internal dispute as a reason to declare that any prospect of bipartisanship over the Voice had now ended, Julian Leeser, then shadow spokesman for indigenous affairs in the Coalition, resigned that position and went to the backbench. This made room for Jacinta Nampijinpa Price to take his place. She quickly turned herself into the star player of the opposition’s campaign. In short, by the start of April 2023, the insistence of Megan Davis of a radical stand on the powers of the Voice had resulted in the Coalition’s creation of the formidable opposition that contributed greatly to the victory of the No Case on October 14.

At the height of this disputation, in the last week of March 2023, Newspoll showed the Yes case had long been steadily fixed at around 53 per cent, with the No vote at 39 per cent. The next Newspoll at the end of April found the Yes case had dropped to 46 per cent, and the No vote was up to 43 per cent.

Marcia Langton, a professor of anthropology at the University of Melbourne is a long-time and well-known campaigner on Aboriginal issues. Over more than 50 years as an academic and activist, Marcia Langton has never been known to mince her words. In fact, part of her attraction for the media is that she can usually be relied upon to abuse with a scowl those she doesn’t like. So it was no surprise that in an appearance at Edith Cowan University in September, part of her speech became a matter of media debate on both sides of the fence. She said this to her audience: “Every time the No cases raise their arguments, if you start pulling it apart you get down to base racism – I’m sorry to say that’s where it lands – or sheer stupidity.”

It is quite clear from a recording of the speech, broadcast on Sky News by Sharri Markson, that Langton was criticising No campaigners rather than No voters. But some newspapers reported her comments as attacking the voters, and she was within her rights to claim they misreported her. Nonetheless, Langton and her supporters from Nine newspapers and the ABC tried hard to portray Langton as the victim who deserved sympathy. This was in the last weeks of the referendum campaign and some of the more desperate writers for the media tried to turn it into a reprise of Hillary Clinton’s fatal “deplorables” debate against Donald Trump in 2016 — a very long bow if ever there was one. It did not take off.

However, it is pretty clear now that another of Langton’s earlier comments where she also tried to play victim, did have a big effect on the Vote, but this time a blunder that turned out to give great support to the No campaign. The comment in question was made by Langton in a soft interview she had with journalist Helen Trinca of the Weekend Australian in April 2023.

Up until then, the question of Welcome to Country had not been raised as part of either the Yes or No campaigns. But it is obvious that things were changing rapidly. There are a great many people who cannot stand the Welcome to Country ritual foisted on gatherings at just about every public function they are likely to attend, from kindergarten performances at schools before a handful of parents and grandparents to football grand finals with crowds are in the tens of thousands. It’s not only the sentiments expressed that annoys listeners, who sometimes can be heard complaining that it is humiliating to be welcomed to your own country, as if you were an alien of some kind. It is also the obligation on every speaker at every public function to take up so much of its time. And, above all, it is boring beyond belief to insert these essentially meaningless sentiments into occasions where there are no Aboriginal people present, and certainly none of the so-called “elders, past present and emerging” to receive the respectful accolade. Until this referendum, many people felt, but did not want to say aloud, that the Welcome to Country was offensive.

Now that the dust has settled, it is also clear that people can now more openly confess their feelings about these procedures and that the great majority of them – and certainly the 61 per cent of the population who voted No – wish the whole idea of changing Australian culture in favour of Aborigines is abandoned completely.

This is how Langton came to be the inadvertent author of a such a popular people’s movement. In her interview published in the magazine section of the Weekend Australian on April 8, 2023, Langton said:

I imagine that most Australians who are non-Indigenous, if we lose the ­referendum, will not be able to look me in the eye. How are they going to ever ask an Indigenous person, a Traditional Owner, for a welcome to country? How are they ever going to be able to ask me to come and speak at their conference? If they have the temerity to do it, of course the answer is going to be no.

When this was published, it gave great cheer to many voters. If the No vote wins, they will not have to sit through any more Welcome to Country ceremonies. Moreover, if identities like Langton stopped the practice, this would also set a powerful example for all their followers.

By August 2023, headlines around Australia were promoting the idea openly. No campaigners decided to come clean and confess they were sick and tired of the ritual too. At a rally for No voters in Melbourne Tony Abbott said he was “getting a little bit sick of Welcome to Country ceremonies.” He said he was getting tired of the ritual because Australia “belongs to all of us not just to some of us”. He was greeted with a standing ovation, rousing applause and cheers.

Soon after, Peter Dutton said in an interview with radio station 2GB:

I do get the point that when you go to a function and there’s an MC who I think appropriately can do recognition, you then get the next five or ten speakers who each do their own Acknowledgement to Country, and frankly, I think it detracts from the significance of the statement that’s being made.

Jacinta Price joined the fray, saying in an interview with The Australian: “the practice sent an unwelcoming message to the majority of Australians.” She connected the ritual to the main argument of the No case, arguing that it was yet another factor that divided the nation:

There is no problem with acknowledging our history, but rolling out these performances before every sporting event or public gathering is definitely divisive. It’s not welcoming, it’s telling non-Indigenous Australians “this isn’t your country” and that’s wrong. We are all Australians and we share this great land.

There were other symbols of this kind which have long been sitting ducks that emulate these patently insincere welcomes. For those of us in Sydney, the worst was the decision of NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet to take down the flag of the state, which is a near replica of the national flag, from the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge and substitute an Aboriginal flag. Perrotet did this as a desperate gesture to increase his fading popularity in the lead up to state election on March 25, 2023. Instead, it provided a virtual guarantee that he would lose the election, which he did.

In fact, there are now audible mutterings among crowds at functions these days about the elevation of the Aboriginal flag to the centre of proceedings, displacing the national flag. This is another cultural phenomenon that politicians ignore at their peril. Prime Minister Albanese is a repeat offender. If he doesn’t change his ways he will pay a price similar to Perrotet.

The same goes for the equally offensive movement to replace all the place names of major cities and regional centres in Australia, with Aboriginal names, as if we haven’t done enough in the past with the national capital named for the Kamberri clan, and countless others in towns and suburbs throughout the country. The most recent book by Megan Davis and Pat Anderson, Our Voices from the Heart, lists their current demands: Sydney is to become Warrane: Melbourne Naarm; Adelaide Tarndanya; Brisbane Meanjin; Hobart Nipaluna; Perth Boorloo; Darwin Garramilla;  Cairns Gimuy; Broome Rubibi; Dubbo Thurbo; and so on.

Who do these people imagine they are? The referendum of October 14 has given them a good reminder. It has done more than show them that, even with the complete support of the governing Labor Party, they could only rustle up 39 per cent of the population to support them, while 61 per cent stood opposed to their big plan for constitutional change. It was also a referendum that tested popular support for dividing the country into two classes: in a way a modern loyalty test for Australia. It deserved to fail badly, and it did.

60 thoughts on “Why the Voice Went Down

  • Citizen Kane says:

    Like all leftist ‘projects’ the voice was the wolf of power masquerading as the sheep of equality. The architects and proponents disingenuous empathy and insincere compassion for fellow humans as equals can now go and fester in the inner tumult of their innate hatred and contempt for their fellow Australians of race and creed, who are the reason why a blessed existence has befallen them in the first instance which fails to evoke any gratitude in the dark hearts of these perpetual victims of elitist privilege.

    • Citizen Kane says:

      ….Australians of ALL race and creeds….

      • mrsfarley2001 says:

        Yes – Australians all, let us rejoice. Thank you Keith Windschuttle and the Quadrant writers.

        • guilfoyle says:

          Agree on that – thank you Quadrant once again. You are a beacon of informed free speech. This is the second event of great importance to our society in which you have played a very important part.
          Your articles on the Cardinal Pell travesty of justice were pivotal in the near miss on our criminal justice system and the golden thread that binds our trial system. I am eternally grateful for the articles by Keith Windshuttle and Chris friels and other Quadrant contributors on this vitally important persecution – one that people do not appreciate would have had repercussions for all of us.
          And now, the in-depth reporting by Windshuttle et al, at a level the main stream media could never contemplate- articles that actually inform as opposed to repetition of shallow gossip or, as most frequent, selective reporting in order to indoctrinate.
          I am eternally grateful that we have this resource. I do notice that certain of the power-seekers are now looking at censorship – termed ‘misinformation’ . Hmm, I think their problem is that is is not ‘misinformation’ but ‘information’.

  • Greg Jeffs says:

    The speaker of the House opened proceedings at 10 a.m. on Monday 16Oct2023 with a welcome/acknowledgement of country. No regard was paid to the statements of the Voice proponents who said such things would cease. No regard was paid to the decision of the country made at the weekend.. No doubt the lesson of the NO vote will be ignored and the attack will continue on other fronts.

    • Just Ros says:

      That’s because it is in the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives. For it to change, the Standing Committee on Procedure would need to make a recommendation to the House, and the Members would have to vote on it. Given the numbers in the House of Representatives (where Labor and the cross bench have the majority), this is not likely to be carried so, alas, it will continue.

  • rosross says:

    Great overview. One thing to emerge from the voice campaign is more information and greater clarity in which Quadrant has played a vital role. Let’s hope it brought more regular readers.

    • NarelleG says:

      @RosRoss
      ” Let’s hope it brought more regular readers.”

      Me too – Quadrant certainly played a key role with the free access for the month.

      Thank you Quadrant – it helped ground us from the nonsense in the media.

  • cbattle1 says:

    Well said! Let us hope that Dutton takes courage from this clear “voice” we have heard from the Australian voters last Saturday, and act always and uncompromisingly in the interests of Australia and Australians!

  • ianl says:

    A common complaint from those who continually wish to change the Constitution (albeit a surreptitious wish, such as Twomey), is that the demos, or hoi-polloi, or deplorables, have a long track record of saying NO.

    This, it is said, often and loudly, is because the demos is uneducated and virtually unwashed, so better they not be asked. The essence of spite, I think.

    A better explanation, one that fits the demonstrable referendum voting pattern (and we can use the 1967 *double question* event as evidence), is that when the population as a whole is given the opportunity to make significant comment on actual *policy* as against shrill rhetoric, a thumbs-down is produced about 75% of the time.

    It’s the policies that are nearly always on the nose. The rhetoric belongs to the smarty-pants marketers. The 1967 referendum is stark evidence of this. The demos did indeed differentiate between smarmy, self-serving politicians and real change for the disadvantaged.

  • john.singer says:

    Well summarised Keith,
    however a sticking point remains with me and probably many other Australians. That is the appropriation of the word Indigenous from overseas usage to the detriment of about two thirds of our population. We have Australians born in Australia of which 5-6% or so have claims to Aboriginal descent. About one third of us, born overseas, are clearly non-indigenous but how do you define the majority if you appropriate the word indigenous to a small minority. We no longer use expressions like “Sterling” to define children born in England or “Currency” to denote lads and lasses born here, so how do you define the majority of Australians who are indigenous to Australia?

    We use the term Aboriginal in nearly every other way, we used it in the referendum and we should restore its use so that our descriptions are clear and Indigenous includes everyone born in Australia and non-indigenous is all of us born overseas. The people who have Aboriginal descendancy are fully included and they can claim their cultural heritage the same as any other citizen. This will allow the Government to focus on disadvantage and not have remedies deployed to areas not disadvantaged because of fears from racial discrimination laws. This also allows the Government to address cultural heritage difference and/or disadvantage under Multicultural affairs which is increasingly important with the high rates of immigration.

    • cbattle1 says:

      I believe I have seen the definition of “indigenous” as used by the UN, etc., as being a people that were native to a land prior to colonisation. According to that definition, no one that came in 1788 and after can ever be considered to be “indigenous”, EVER!

      • john.singer says:

        Are we compelled to accept a definition from the UN or anywhere else? I think we are an independent people and an independent Nation and we proved it again on Saturday.

        • mrsfarley2001 says:

          Every single one of our ties to the UN compromises our ability to behave like a sovereign nation.
          We need to cut these ties, immediately.

        • David Isaac says:

          That remains to be seen. Our ‘independence’ is largely contingent on American naval and nuclear power. In 1970 we were a European outpost. We are currently busily replacing ourselves with people from the two regional superpowers so that maybe even before the current largely elderly Quadrant readership have breathed their last Australia will be left to the Chinese and Indians to fight over. It will all happen in maybe seventy-five years, not much less than it took us to completely dispossess the Aborigines.

          • mrsfarley2001 says:

            For all I know, Mr Isaacs, you could be correct. The old DLP used to say this about the Chinese and the Russians. And the Indians are always on the phone these days, trying to scam us oldies, unsuccessfully in our case at least.
            One must trust God, pray and hope for the best.

          • Libertarian says:

            Yes David, as I advise my children; I’ll be dead in thirty years, you’ll be the ones paying it off.

            One recently confessed to voting for a Melbourne Teal. Not long after, asked if I could help buy a car; ‘it’s too inconvenient to use public transport to go shopping’!

            As it will also be used for transport between clients of a small business I chose not to mention it. I’ll save it for Christmas as I pour the Arras.

  • Adelagado says:

    The Uluru statement (the one page version) sought ‘SUBSTANTIVE constitutional change’ and ‘constitutional reforms to EMPOWER our people’. These were not ‘modest’ or ‘gracious’ requests. They were hand grenades that would have had their pins pulled by activists the moment they were enshrined in the constitution.

    • Tony Thomas says:

      “They were hand grenades that would have had their pins pulled by activists the moment they were enshrined in the constitution.”
      Why does everyone use the word “enshrine” in the Constitution re the Voice, when the correct neutral term is “embed” or “fix permanently”?
      Consult any dictionary, “enshrine” implies a sacred dimension, something hallowed and certainly positive. In this way the Left coopts language and as Orwell put it, makes the contrary case unthinkable.

      • Adelagado says:

        Putting it in the constitution automatically gives it hallowed, sacred, permanent, status. i.e. It ‘enshrines’ it, regardless of whether it merits it or not.

      • Adelagado says:

        Fair point, but putting it in the constitution gives it hallowed, sacred, permanent, status. i.e. It ‘enshrines’ it, regardless of whether it deserves it or not.

      • lbloveday says:

        (Wrongly posted at end of comments – sorry about that)
        *******************
        “Why does everyone use the word “enshrine” in the Constitution re the Voice, when the correct neutral term is “embed” or “fix permanently”?”
        Not everyone does.
        .
        Why do some people persist in using the term “permanently”, or a similar meaning word/term when as William D. Rubinstein says in his recent article in Quadrant:
        .“….. barring another referendum to repeal it….”, thereby correctly indicating it is incorrect to claim permanency for something that can be changed/repealed.

  • pgang says:

    I think political pundits overplay the influence of the workings and personalities of politics in the public domain. This referendum result was curiously out of step with recent progressive trends in Australia, such as the plebiscite on destroying marriage, or the lambs-to-the-slaughter acquiescence to the Covid crime syndicate. Even now we are seeing widespread prevarication and relativism in relation to the horrors unfolding in Israel – including here in Quadrant comments – born out of ignorance and a desire to possess the greater virtue. Pure leftism.
    In this case the grift was just too obvious. Australians have been long conditioned to the political con that is the aboriginal industry, and this latest incarnation was never going to slip through the cracks. The ‘mood’ post the vote is not for change or a sense of division, it’s simply, ‘whatever’.
    As for pandemics, or marriage, who gives these things much thought? They were thrusts into politics in front of an unsuspecting public that really didn’t know which way to turn, so people followed where they were taken.

  • Ceres says:

    Greg Craven was furious at the inclusion of access to “Executive Government” and wrote publicly about his grievances, but stated that he would still vote YES.
    Having the courage of one’s conviction comes to mind.
    Thankfully Australians ensured we dodged a bullet but AA still appears to have some nasty alternatives up his sleeve.

  • Phillip says:

    I’ll bet Albanese and the socialist State Premier lackeys will pay NIL heed to the peoples NO vote. They will continue to promote their socialist unbalanced agendas.
    Why? Because the NO vote does not affect their salary nor the security of job tenure.
    Federal Parliament was opened on Monday with a welcome to country diatribe ! And Jesus wept….Albanese is laughing in all his tupper-ware and plastic jewellery.

  • pmprociv says:

    Some of the pundits have been asking, since The Voice was silenced, how Albanese could possibly now obtain ATSI advice about how to “Close the Gap”. They obviously have not heard of the NIAA or Coalition of Peaks, two peak organisations set up by the federal govt (Morrison administration, no less) expressly for that purpose — yet they have been preternaturally quiet throughout this entire campaign. Do they actually do anything, despite their huge staffing and costs? Were they terrified that The Voice might make them redundant? Or that, if they spoke out, people might start asking why The Voice were needed in the first place? Does Albanese even know of their existence? This might be hard to believe, but apparently Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney meets with them regularly.

  • alexblok says:

    I don’t know why Keith Windschuttle is so gracious to Langton in her “deplorables” intervention. Because that’s how it was promptly interpreted in my suburban street, and Yes never recovered hereabout.

  • RobyH says:

    Albanese should do 3 things.

    1. sack Burney – the most useless politician in Australian history

    2. Apologise for a racist and undemocratic proposal and
    for spending &500 million in the process.

    3. Resign as a disgraced PM ( or hopefully even
    better Shorten or Plibersek come for his job)

    And then Dutton should sack Lesser for supporting a racist undemocratic caustic abusive disgraceful proposal.

  • rosross says:

    The abuse and aggression from abolites in general and Langton and Pearson in particular also, I suspect, made people wonder if there was not something in the one-drop approach taken by the aboriginal industry given the levels of violence in aboriginal communities.

  • Alistair says:

    It is interesting that the proposed constitutional amendment was so vague. I believe that was what killed it.
    I mean there was even no requirement that the members of the so-called “voice” should be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. There was no formal definition of an Aborigine, or who would make up the “voice” or its “electorate” There was no requirement that the “Voice” or its electorate even be Australian citizens. (see High Court case Love (decided February 2020) )
    Being of suspicious mind I believe this was intentional. The intention was that the “Voice” should be fully INDEPENDENT (a reality that the High Court would have upheld at the first challenge anyway) and therefore it would be the “Voices” responsibility to …
    1/ define an Aborigine
    2/define the “electorate”
    3/ define the make up of the “voice”
    4/ define the function of an “voice”
    5/ define the scope of the “voice”
    not Parliament or even the Constitution.
    When Albanese promised a simple advisory body – he was in no position to keep that promise since it was always going to be the “Voice” itself that would decide such matters – and their eyes were clearly on makaratta, treaty, reparations and co-governance.
    We dodged a bullet.

    • pmprociv says:

      Ah, but Alistair — all those questions you ask are just too difficult, even though perfectly reasonable, indeed fundamental. That’s why the Voice mob wanted to leave it all to national parliament to sort out; after many $millions, and countless hours of yarning leading to the Uluru waffle, they simply couldn’t come up with any practical answers themselves. This reflects the situation across all the remote communities, where managerial and administrative decisions largely rely on external direction (not to mention resources).

      And, inevitably, when parliament couldn’t come up with a workable (forget about perfect) solution, why, the mob could simply bleat on about racism and victimhood, and head off to the High Court. Had the voice got up at the referendum, I doubt we would have ever seen an efficiently working model arise — and no marks for guessing who would have copped the blame.

      • Alistair says:

        My whole point here is that Parliament was never going to get the opportunity to make legislation on the operation of the “Voice.” The “Voice” by definition MUST be independent and therefore independent of Parliament. A “white” Parliament could not dictate the operation of the “Voice” to the “Voice” and the “Voice” still remain independent. It is the “Voice” who would have had to dictate to Parliament what it would be allowed to legislate. However I take your point. The reason Aborigines dont have a “Voice” is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union they have nothing to say. (Ned Flanders father … “We’ve tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas” comes to mind ) But yes there are still enough left-leaning lawyers to give them plenty of advice on what they should do next.

      • rosross says:

        They came with ways to get power and money. That was it.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    An excellent article and discussion. To it all as so far laid out, I would add that the Australian people are not fools. The devil was in the absent details, namely:
    1. On what genetic basis would people qualify for voting for Voice membership?
    2. Likewise, what genetic qualification would one need to have a vote in the candidates, given the uncertainties and difficulties involved in (1) above?
    3. Would those mentioned in (1) and (2) above need to provide a personal blood sample for genetic testing in order to prove their aboriginality? (Some of the more vocal claimants to aboriginalty have fairer skins than I have, and I am 100% Northern European.).
    4. What percentage of Aboriginal genes in one’s personal genome would be required for satisfaction of all of the above?
    5. How is this whole proposal not a total can of worms?

    • Libertarian says:

      You’d just ‘tick the box’ and refuse to submit to a DNA test Ian.

      In any case the Voice would do a bit of a song and dance to give the love media something to obsess over, while funding another army of activists to be rolled out to gum up the works in the event the trade unions are voted out.

  • Rebekah Meredith says:

    October 17, 2023
    There are many reasons that this measure failed, and it is heartening to see that it is possible for “progressives” to go to far, even in our modern times. However, the question remains: WHY was this seen as going too far?
    Whatever human factors are involved–both from the faults of the Yes side and the good work of the No–surely the result, considering the perennial slide to the left in almost all areas, can only fully be explained by divine intervention.
    I don’t know why the Lord chose to show such mercy to a people who have largely turned their backs on Him, denied His very existence, and shaken their fists at the principles of His Word; but I praise Him that He did! Surely, He must have opened the eyes of many to the danger of this proposed amendment.

  • Jack Brown says:

    The fake recognition was telling for me. In the workplace do they have all staff meetings to recognise staff who aren’t doing so well? I recall the idea was to recognise where people have achieved and got a gong altho my preference for recognition was to be given tasks enabling me to self-actualise if I might use a now probably outdated term.

    Everyone has something positive to give that others do not, Aboriginals did and do but no value is placed on their gifts so they are in desolation. A true recognition would be for these areas to be identified and value found in them. The referendum was an inversion of values.

  • Paul.Harrison says:

    Langton is blunt and to the point, so am I. I neither wish to see her or hear her ever again. I am not a stupid man and I am not a racist, end of story. I can speak for the majority of Australians in the same manner.
    Why is that, you ask? It’s obvious to me, and surely the entire population, that all Australians, of every colour and creed, allowed the abomination of the failed push to go ahead. We are so laid back, so willing to ‘give a bloke a go’, so open to reasonable suggestions that we let it through and gave it a go. Yes, we, all of us, not just the black people. In the end, it was found it wanting, and for very good reasons. For Langton to berate all Australians in such a disgusting manner showed her true colours, and by extension, those of her fellow travellers. At best, they are unreasonable, at worst they never did, do not now and never will have the best interests of our countrymen at heart. I despise them.

    • pmprociv says:

      Fully agree, Paul — and Langton, a university professor no less (I’d guess appointed on merit, nothing to do with racial identity or affirmative action), had the hide to call Jacinta Price an “assimilationist princess”. Talk about total lack of self-reflection, a classical attribute of a rampant narcissist.

      • pmprociv says:

        Just read in this morning’s Oz (18/10/23), that Jacinta’s mum, Bess Price, says that Langton wants to be “the queen of all the blackfellas”. Absolutely brilliant! And oh so true.

  • Brenden T Walters says:

    If AA had not allocated 400 plus million on the Yes vote, you could probably take ten points from the total. All that money must have persuaded a few deplorables to move from No to Yes. I find this ‘welcome to country’ irritating in the extreme, but of greater concern are the ‘smoking ceremonies’ which welcome in malign spirits that end up contaminating the souls of the young adversely impacting their health. and emotional wellbeing. Catholic schools should not permit some unwashed person, of questionable mixed blood, in a singlet, who arrives in the latest 4×4, anywhere near the children. The spirit of the Aboriginal Industry is one of wholesale TAKE, the Spirit of Jesus is self-sacrifice for the good of others and healing through forgiveness.

    • Maryse Usher says:

      Amen, Amen. The Voice is truly the sepulchral droning of Communism, urging hatred, volence, death and destruction, anti-Christian civilisation. If Christ is so ignored and offended by a majority in our nation, Australia will be overtaken by evils which are already manifest.

    • guilfoyle says:

      That is absolutely correct and there are aboriginal commentators who are concerned with the effects of the smoking ceremonies. In short: if the smoking ceremonies are harmless, then they have no meaning and are mere tokenism. If they have any religious significance, then their significance and effect is consequently completely unknown to the whiteys who are employing them- in which case, they have no idea of what malign spiritual effects may result.
      And I agree that Catholic schools should get over this indeterminate deism and relativism that is a deliberate dilution of the Faith and start teaching the true faith – one by which the young will be equipped to meet the various false gods of the modern culture. Of course, this is the reason why the marxists seeks to relativise the Catholic faith by forcing ‘comparative religions’ as though they were all the same.

  • jessopt.com says:

    Sixty years ago the early history of Communism was a subject to which many historians devoted a good deal of time and effort. Today it has little interest or importance, but back in the days when Communism was a highly topical subject, “Leninism” was understood to be a political arrangement whereby a vanguard group of “Leninists”, impatient of awaiting the re-organisation of society along socialist or communist lines, pre-emptively seized political power. Perhaps Marcia Langton, Megan Davis and their close supporters would be surprised at the designation, but understood in this way, the “Voice” was a Leninist power grab by a fairly small group of “political activists and academics”. Had it been successful the power and influence gained would not have been distributed generally amongst all aboriginals, but would have been dominated by the entitled members of that inner group of activists. This also explains why some aboriginals, not being members of the privileged “inner group”, and instinctively understanding that they would not be given the opportunity to share in this political largesse, (think of these outsiders as Mensheviks”) were opposed to “The Voice” seizing power”.
    I am not accusing the Voice activists of being communists (which would be a fairly unsophisticated and untrue accusation), but in political terms their actions were classic “Leninism”).

  • mwjones48 says:

    At the upcoming Quadrant dinners in Nov make sure you acknowledge the traditional owner of Australia – George III (George William Frederick who ruled 1760-1820)

  • nfw says:

    Who do these people imagine they are?

    Imagine? No, they know who they are. They are the elites, the experts, our betters who live on taxpayer money and love telling the rest of us what to do. They are know-alls who have worked in an aboriginal community ouside the inner suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne; they have never seen the misogyny; the alcoholism; the waste.

  • Jack Brown says:

    As someone born in and had my formative years in the country the Welcome to Cointry ceremonies one hears of at major city events bothers me far less than John Howard’s patronising abandonment of the term ‘country’ and abandonment of the country in always referring to ‘the bush’, a person surrounded by far more bush in Wollstonecraft and Kirribilli House than most all of inhabited areas in ‘the bush’. I recall a mainstream press report early on in his time as PM of an aboriginal elder excitedly telling people in his settlement “they are leaving, just like our ancestors said they would”. Howard was speaking symbolically without realising it, ‘the bush’ being equivalent to ‘beyond the pale’ of Viking and Norman usage referring to the uncivilized Irish and equivalent to ‘the forest’ in more recent European mythology referring to that deep dark recess of the mind where the light of understanding does not shine. If Howard hadn’t abandoned the country in then chances are that Welcome to Country would not have gained traction it has among the narrative controllers born and bred in the ‘big smoke’.

  • David Isaac says:

    A minor point but unless a local Aboriginal elder is involved then all that sanctimonious guff you are being subjected to is an ‘acknowledgement’ of country rather than a ‘welcome’.

  • robert3 says:

    Rob Minter

    The failed referendum can be analyzed in every minute detail, and while doing so is not inappropriate, it risks distracting from identifying why most Australians said No and where we should go from here.
    1. Clearly the referendum question left too many questions unanswered and this alone would be a reason to vote no but, regardless, if the government was trusted the public could well have voted yes and left the job to Canberra to sort out the rest.
    2. By the Prime Minister refusing to answer any questions, he not only insulted the public but raised suspicions.
    3. Such suspicions were not unfounded because many representing the aboriginal cause were claiming powers well beyond anything relevant to an advisory body. Those outside inner city areas were already seeing the consequence of an emboldened aboriginal industry.
    4. One logical question should have been: How is it that despite the billions of dollars that have for many years been directed to aboriginal welfare is it that the situation of so many aboriginals has not improved?
    5. This question is glaring but has been pushed aside as if constitutional change was the panacea.
    6. The fact that the government has, over many years done little or nothing to bring the organizations/people entrusted with government money to account and also adopt a more focused and effective strategy as time went by could make many suspect ongoing jobs for the boys.
    7. Constitutional power ran the risk of empowering the “aboriginal industry” to continue on as before.
    8. The Prime Minister thus appeared to be part of an underlying conspiracy.

    Whether or not there was actually a conspiracy to entrench a favored group or we have just experienced political virtue signaling, or something in between, there remains the need for a complete review of current strategies and organizations involved in such strategies. This should not allow the powers to be to attempt an alternative way of expanding the aboriginal industry if this is not to involve holding these organizations and individuals accountable if they do not achieve the results they should be charged with achieving, There seems to have been little discussion on this difficult question.

  • Bernard says:

    Great summary. Of course, what the “Yes” camp, with the Labor Party at the forefront, is to seek to achieve what they intended, through different means.
    “Davis’s principle role…” should be “Davis’s principal role…”

    • Bernard says:

      Oops! That will teach me to correct others! What I should have written was, ‘Of course, what the “Yes” camp, with the Labor Party at the forefront, will seek to do is to achieve what they intended, through different means, by-passing the people.’

  • STD says:

    Australian’s voted No because they do not trust the progressive left rich Marxist elites in this country ( Bankers ,politicians and vanguard corporations )to honour the meaningless words that drool from their bottom lip.
    The Marxist globalist forces have empowered certain elite elements in these societies such as Oz by making a selected few extremely wealthy in deference to others, it is these Teal elites that have been empowered and they in turn will reciprocate this symbiotically by doing everything within their power to retain those power structures. Just like the CCP has made 300-400 million Chinese wealthy and it is that minority of select citizens ( like the Marcia Langton’s, Noel Pear-sons, Zali Steggall, Kylie Tink and Scamps ABC et al) that will ensure the survival of Marxist minority rule.
    The in-doctrinaire seats all voting yes to a POWER VOICE and all similarly subscribe to the climate scam- one being disinformation and the other the malignant progeny of misinformation both being a malpractice of what used to be known as Truth.
    These people won’t say it but they think the rest of us Australians are uneducated mugs unlike the teal elite re-educated fools. Could we the deplorable unwashed remind the BIG SPOILT BRATS -THE YES types- corporate kiddies its a big No to our local global citizenry from the REAL AUSTRALIA.

  • lbloveday says:

    “Why does everyone use the word “enshrine” in the Constitution re the Voice, when the correct neutral term is “embed” or “fix permanently”?”
    Not everyone does.
    .
    Why do some people persist in using the term “permanently”, or a similar meaning word/term when as William D. Rubinstein says in his recent article in Quadrant:
    .“….. barring another referendum to repeal it….”, thereby correctly indicating it is incorrect to claim permanency for something that can be changed/repealed.

  • Stephen Ireland says:

    Albanese on the eve of the referendum “Kindness costs nothing.” What an insult to the citizens of Australia except, perhaps, those that assume that they are immune from costs of the consequences of any policy or government decision.
    .
    Do away with charity, do away with volunteering, place self-interest front and centre.

  • vickisanderson says:

    It was an audacious, but ultimately politically naive idea that Australians would accept the proposition that ultimate sovereignty does not reside in the Crown, but in some amorphous and illusory claim over “Country” that resides in the descendants of the original hunter/gatherers. This, surely, was the destination that this insertion into our Constitution was designed to reach .

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