The Voice 6th July 2023

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Shot Notes

Amidst the chaos of the 2016 Brexit and Trump campaigns, I became an Aussie. Here the climate wars were in full swing and politicians were attempting to break the world record for toppling Prime Ministers.

Among the indigenous population, a series of corroborees occurred around Australia. In 2017 they culminated in a gathering at Uluru (Ayers Rock) with delegates from 100 Nations. After 4 days of collaboration, they produced “The Statement from the Heart” A single piece of text and art which would be given to the government instead of a chorus of voices. For people who never ceded their vast land, the statement contained seemingly modest requests; Voice, Recognition and Truth-telling.

Australia’s PM du jour was Malcolm Turnbull. His qualifications for the top job were, being a millionaire with media training and a willingness to write a 7 figure check to the Liberal Party’s election campaign. He was rare among Aussie Polies in talking about climate change but when it came to responding to the statement from the heart, He dismissed it completely. After leaving power he said that was a mistake and joined the Yes campaign. Prudent to judge actions, rather than words, especially with politicians.

Ignored for 5 years until Bluesfest 2022 and the then opposition leader Anthony Albanese, stepped on stage to introduce Jimmy Barns. Albo got a frosty reception and was booed immediately by a loud section of the large crowd. The Murdoch press may fail to mention the cheer he got later when he said he would take action on the statement. Speaking about the voice turned the crowd and saved him from complete humiliation. He was elected the following month, and in his acceptance speech, he confirmed he would put the Indigenous Voice to Parliament to a national referendum.

Political parties took predictable sides. The right of politics was against giving indigenous people a voice, and the left supported it. As the national debate continued the No Vote was joined by indigenous people who thought it did not go far enough. They believe by voting it down, Albo would be forced to go further. The promise of a perfect solution in a second referendum, which never happens, is a trick that has worked here before and resulted in this egalitarian nation continuing to stamp every coin with the owner of the world’s most expensive hat.

One Response to “The Voice”

  1. 1

    Thanks for the background which is not generally appreciated over here. Canada managed to apologise to the First Nation on the day we visited Ottawa, very moving.

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