If, as the polls report, there are more than 80 per cent of Indigenous Australians in favour of the Voice, who do Warren Mundine and Jacinta Price actually represent?
The recent Conservative Political Action Conference (19 August) had all the elements of the hard right’s navel-gazing. Central theme: whatever happened in the past should stay in the past. It’s time for Indigenous Australians to get over it.
A cameo from former PM Tony Abbott: ‘This generation of Aboriginal Australians are not victims. This generation of non-Aboriginal Australians are not oppressors… The last thing that we should be doing right now is entrenching victimhood and institutionalising grievance in our governance arrangements’.
What? So we are just dealing with living Indigenous folks who he claims are not disadvantaged? Still the amnesiac’s view of Indigenous history. Apparently no intergenerational trauma of the stolen generation despite recently-departed Archie Roach’s painful songs.
Ever the royalist, Abbott says the 1,000 Indigenous Australians who ‘signed up for king and country during the First World War’ would not have done so if they faced discrimination. He conveniently omitted reference to the post-war experience of the diggers who suffered discrimination and disadvantage on their return. No soldier settlement blocks for them.
Apparently journalists in attendance were given passes labelled ‘fake news’, I expect as a light-hearted stunt, but accurate, fact-checked journalism is more important than ever. Then there was Ms Price proclaiming that opposing the Voice is a way to stand against ‘woke’ insidious ‘cancel culture’ of ‘city elites’. (Guardian 19/8/23). What? This Trump-era cliched language is hardly helpful in a discussion that requires clear thinking and less inflammatory debate. Many Liberals (Julian Lesser, Mark Speakman, Matt Kean) have called out this dog whistling.