The Voice

The Language and Logic of Sedition

Whether she was aware of the threat from early on in the Voice campaign, or only fully realised its extent in conducting the post-mortem, Janet Albrechtsen exposed the wound in her article Radical Idea About ‘Occupied Australia’ Must Be Confronted, published a fortnight after the referendum in The Weekend Australian.

She noted that, as if to validate the concerns of those, like her, who had vigorously opposed the referendum proposal, an anonymous group claiming to represent the “collective insights and views of a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, community members and organisations who supported Yes” brazenly claimed in an open letter that

Australia is our country … We do not for one moment accept that this country is not ours. Always was. Always will be. It is the legitimacy of the non-Indigenous occupation in this country that requires recognition, not the other way around. Our sovereignty has never been ceded.

This is not some ratbag fringe speaking, even if the anonymity of the group were to indicate that these opinions were not shared by a substantial majority of ATSI Yes promoters, or at least would not be so openly enunciated by the majority.  This is a declaration of independence; it is a throwing down of the gauntlet by the legitimate sovereigns of the continent of Australia to the illegitimate usurpers of that sovereignty.

Such a position is not arrived at spontaneously. It has first to be crafted by an intellectual vanguard, and then inculcated into the minds of the group or groups which this elite wishes to form into a resistance, on the basis of a moral right and duty to resist. Ms Albrechtsen has located such a intellectual vanguard within Australia’s legal academy.

[The anonymous authors of the post-referendum letter] have made clear what was already received wisdom inside certain of our law schools but had gone unnoticed.

As I have previously written, the belief inside legal academe that Australia is illegitimate and that the voice would go some way to sharing sovereignty pending a full treaty was hiding in plain sight. Until I read Treaty by [George] Williams and Harry Hobbs, and the academic paper Voice versus Rights: The First Nations Voice and the Australian Constitutional Legitimacy Crisis by Gabrielle Appleby, Ron Levy and Helen Whalan, I had no idea this school of thought was behind the Uluru statement and the push for a voice.

If the structures of governance in Australia are illegitimate, then the modes and methods of that governance, for example elections and referenda, are obviously illegitimate also. Law professor and Yes advocate George Williams on October 23 in The Australian: “Australia’s system of constitutional reform is broken and there is little point in heading back to the polls until this is fixed.” Ms Albrechtsen continues:

For Williams, democracy is a terrible disappointment and would benefit from a little supervision from some expert group – preferably consisting of suitably educated and right-minded lawyers. This explains why so many lawyers want a bill of rights so that when elected politicians fail to act on proposals smart lawyers really like, or enact the wrong ideas, a judicial elite can correct them.

And what might Williams mean by “fixed”? The referendum was defeated by a massive majority, and only in Canberra, which does not count towards the required majority of states, was the proposal carried. This was one of the more comprehensive defeats ever handed to a referendum proposal, so what can be meant by “fixed”? The only way to “fix” such a thrashing is to ensure that such a proposal can be implemented without the noisome requirement to go to the electorate. Yet the only way to implement such a change is through a referendum.

Either this obvious contradiction has not occurred to Williams, or, one might suspect, he holds some hope of circumventing this inconvenience. However reluctant Williams is to spell it out, what else can he possibly mean? Ms Albrechtsen alludes to this inevitable conclusion in her introductory reference to Brecht’s play Die Lösung, about the East German uprising of 1953.

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

South Africa offers an example of the destruction of an existing Constitution through decades of relentless international pressure, but there are no coherent parallels with Australia, and besides, the Voice cohort is seeking to implement an apartheid-like system. Neither do New Zealand or Canada offer useful examples. Australia is unique. But transnational organisations and lobby groups exist to promote, among other things, damaging mythologies about the nation states they choose to target, so there is always scope for harming Australia’s reputation in the eyes other counties’ citizens, given that, as we have just seen, nearly 40 per cent of Australians could be persuaded to undermine their own Constitutional order. This degree of success was achieved by making Australia shameful in the eyes of that substantial proportion of citizens. If that can be achieved among us, what are the possibilities amid the isolated and privileged elites of international and transnational organisations who exercise grossly disproportionate influence on the world stage?

More immediately dangerous is the radicalisation of Aboriginal activists, as evidenced by the anonymous statement quoted above, denying the legitimacy of the Australian nation state. This is the logic of sedition. It is not merely a declaration of independence from the constitutional structure of Australia; it is a denial that that constitutional structure has any valid authority over anyone. Into such an ideology violence flows like water down a drain.

Yet we will wait in vain for guardians of the constitutional order to publicly caution against the danger of terrorism developing amid the ranks of the most fanatical Voice proponents and supporters, black, white or brindle, all the while issuing dire warnings about the dangers of Christian extremism.

29 thoughts on “The Language and Logic of Sedition

  • rosross says:

    This irrational radicalism is sourced in the growing self-hatred at work in the West and the dangerous and deluded concept of multi-culturalism.

  • Paul W says:

    It all starts with the belief that Australia is Aboriginal land. If it is, then Australia was founded illegally and treaties, reparations etc must follow. If it is not, then the whole thing is bunk. Which way for reconciliation?

    • cbattle1 says:

      What is there to reconcile?

    • David Isaac says:

      It was Aboriginal land, it briefly belonged to a people called Australians and now I’m unsure whether it belongs to China or India.

      • lbloveday says:

        I think it will shortly belong to China, and hence am glad I am old and have had a privileged and enjoyable life.

        • John C says:

          Well said LBLoveday. I haven’t seen a projection of what would happen immediately upon Aboriginal people achieving some sort of separate sovereignty, should we ever be foolish enough to allow it. My guess is that China would be right on the doorstep of the Aboriginal Nation of the Northern Territory with kind offers of loans and every kind of helpful support. Yes, China would like a naval base in the Port of Darwin, that will be a part of the deal, but don’t worry, it’s just to facilitate trade and commerce…

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    Peter West,
    It is about time that the word “sedition” was applied to this matter. As a non-lawyer, I would need advice about the procedures now required to activate it.
    Is it a matter of a monied white knight offering funds to mount a case, or is there already a prescribed routine that automatically commences official proceedings? Geoff S

  • Just a Bloke says:

    There are certain members in the legal world that have no real concern for Australia’s future as it is not where their aligism lies. They make their money from disruption. They are not the ativist or the native title claimers but they are right there directing the strategy and arguements.

  • Tezza says:

    As soon as I see anything with George Williams’ name on it, I know I am about to read something that is 180 degrees wrong. He is absolutely reliable.

    • SimonBenson says:

      Try 360 degrees.

      • pmprociv says:

        Sorry, Simon, but you’ve forgotten your primary school geometry. A complete about turn is 180 degrees; 360 degrees gets you back to pointing in the same direction!

    • norsaint says:

      Yes, quite agree. I contacted him once to get his views on the illegality of “Restraining Orders” but he said words to the effect that “they .can do whatever they chose””. Not sure who “they” were but he seemed very unperturbed by what was occurring. He strikes me as the typical court eunuch. An apologist for the state, as outside its cosy confines, he’d be unemployable.
      Just re-reading Our Corrupt Legal System by the late Evan Whitton. It’s gobsmacking.

  • RobyH says:

    The open letter content is absurd and should’ve been demolished.
    “Australia is our country … We do not for one moment accept that this country is not ours”.
    Australia was created by the union of the British colonies.
    Australia was not created by the Aboringal hordes. Aboriginal culture does not enrich the life of our country. Nomadic family units have never been nations.

    “Our sovereignty has never been ceded.” There never was a sovereign and all land certainly was given up/ceded in the path of settlement. There was no treaty and none was needed. The statement is a complete nonsense.

  • Daffy says:

    Interesting how we face the absurd claim of ‘first nations’ with the expectation of prior rights, yet in the Middle East, we have an actual first nation being reviled for its (a) claim on prior rights, on (b) continuous occupation of the land for over 3 millennia and (c) a legal process that formed the state of Israel under the auspices of the League of Nations (although opposed in practice by the British). Odd how the Left but is a rag blowing in the wind, with no principled view discernible.

    • cbattle1 says:

      According to the Torah, the land was invaded by the “Israelites”, and the First Nations people were massacred! What kind of people would do something like that?
      It would be interesting to see evidence of “(b) continuous occupation of the land for over 3 millennia”. The movers and shakers of the Zionist project to create a Jewish national state in Palestine were mainly Ashkenazi Jews from central and eastern Europe, and they have no evidence of any ancestorial links to the Middle East. Perhaps the last ruler (or puppet ruler) of the ancient Israel/Judea was Herod the Great, but he himself was not fully considered to be a Jew.

      • cbattle1 says:

        Actually, I should have said “Tanakh” instead of “Torah”, because the Torah only contains the five books attributed to Moses, but the “Tanakh” includes all the books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), as I understand it. After the death of Moses, Joshua began the extermination of the Canaanites.

    • David Isaac says:

      What a load of cobblers.

      Anyway sovereignty is ultimately determined by force as myriad vanished civilizations would attest had they not vanished.

  • Alistair says:

    I would argue that even Dutton’s stated desire for a second referendum on recognition (although I notice that there has been some recent backtracking there ) is a implicit recognition of the illegitimacy of the foundation of the Australian nation – and a need to somehow “fix” our Constitution. This capitulation by our political, legal, anthropological, and bureaucratic class to the “black arm band” narrative of our history and the almost complete failure by the vast majority of this “clerisy” to defend Australia’s foundation leaves us very exposed. This was seen most recently when some Australian Islamic cleric derided Australia about our history of “genocide” slavery” and “chains” with respect to our Aboriginal history … and there is hardly a single one of our political elite who hasn’t already at least implicitly already accepted that narrative.
    My guess is that the process is supposed to undermine Australian sovereignty to the point where the population will become so dissociated from “nationalism” that it will roll over and accept “globalisation.”

    • David Isaac says:

      I think you are spot on with your last point. Nationalism was on the chopping block as soon as G.H.W. Bush openly announced the new world order in 1991. Teaching a black armband version of history in schools while the publishing industry and electronic media are weighted against balance and context has ensured anyone under thirty-five has to have real fire in his belly to become a patriot. Immigrants without ties to the ancien regime pre-1948 naturally enough abjure any responsibility for settlement. These people cannot be made Australian patriots without a propaganda barrage which would require all the enemy’s resources to mount.

      For the moment we should remind ourselves and those with ears to listen that this country is ours because we took it from the Aborigines. We have an undoubted right to this country so long as we have the will and the means to keep it.

  • john.singer says:

    There is a reality outside the Black Armband of History.

    If the “Settlement of Australia” was illegitimate then the Federation is also illegitimate and the High Court established by it is also Illegitimate and so its decision in Mabo (No 2) is invalid and therefore Native Title does not exist. That leaves two alternatives the first is that the Frontier wars did exist and the Aboriginal people lost, that would at least legitimise the Constitution by the laws of conquest. or that the land was subjugated from the sea by “pirates” who press-ganged the local population who then became crew members by the acceptance of the King’s Shilling in the form of food, medical assistance and welfare payments.

    It is time the Government stopped this unrest, started by the Communists in 1920, revived by HC Coombs and Stanner in 1967 and turned into welfare dependency by Whitlam’s and subsequent Governments only to be supplemented by the “Cargo Cult” promises of activists. The people spoke loudly on the 14 October 2023 and none more loudly than in the electorates where disadvantaged citizens are further disadvantaged in comparison to the Aboriginal people.

    Perhaps the anonymous experts would like to reflect on why the Northern Territory where the No vote was 60.3 % they had a very low percentage of informal Votes and only had a 71.46% voter turnout (even WA had 87.53%).

  • padraic says:

    The quote in the article — “Australia is our country … We do not for one moment accept that this country is not ours. Always was. Always will be. It is the legitimacy of the non-Indigenous occupation in this country that requires recognition, not the other way around. Our sovereignty has never been ceded.” seems to be a version of the sentiment inherent in the chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine…etc .” And it’s the same crowd of self-loathing neo-Marxist types pushing both barrows. The power of these activists in Australia is astounding – vide how one Aboriginal activist can stop a major exploration offshore (aided and abetted by this same crowd) but hundreds of farmers cannot stop despoilation of the environment by kilometres of powerlines over their properties as well as by covering huge swathes of land with solar panels sourced from a country which pretends to be “developing”, despite its rockets to the Moon and Mars, nuclear bombs and a modern military.

  • Graham Tresidder says:

    Ceding is not the only way to transfer sovereignty. And transferred it was.

  • PeterS says:

    I wouldn’t be worried about the unhappy half of the 3% of the country, they can be easily handled as evidenced by the referendum. I’d be more worried by the do Gooders and the useful idiots who support the independence cum sovereignty cause. There would be millions of them, certainly enough to swing to the yes vote had the yes campaign been even remotely better handled. Be very wary they won’t make the same mistake next time and it’s up to the sensible No voters to make sure there is no next time. At the moment the momentum is with no and that momentum must be maintained by starting to strip back some of the privileged nonsenses that have intruded into our culture in recent years.

  • geoff_brown1 says:

    Sovereignty was ceded in exchange for whitefella’s flout and beef, tea and sugar, later for Toyota’s and supermarkets…..

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