The Break-Up of Australia: Part I

The Break-Up of Australia: Part I, by Keith Windschuttle.

The issue of constitutional recognition of indigenous people is not what it seems to be. On the one hand, our political leaders want Australians to believe they are engaged in a process of national reconciliation, of belatedly bringing indigenous people into the political fold and finally acknowledging their place as the first Australians. …

The Breakup of Australia: the Real Agenda Behind Aboriginal Recognition, Keith Windscvhuttle

Book, $44.95.

[A] quite different view is held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people themselves, especially those active in politics, law, education, media and the arts, who now firmly control the agendas for debate and policy on indigenous matters. …

Their aim is not to make the Constitution complete or the nation whole. Indeed, buoyed by their success in gaining native title over the past two decades, they now want to go one big step further and not only get their land back but their country back too. As the title of a recent book by Aboriginal academics Megan Davis and Marcia Langton says, “It’s Our Country”.

Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders see themselves as “first peoples” whose ancestral status gives them ownership and jurisdiction over Aboriginal land. They do not regard the existing Australian nation as their true country. They describe the Australian nation as no more than a recently arrived “settler state” whose rule they grudgingly endure.

To these activists, the recognition of Aborigines in the Constitution would simply be one more step towards their real objectives: political autonomy, traditional law and values, and sovereignty over their own separate state or nation. o these activists, the recognition of Aborigines in the Constitution would simply be one more step towards their real objectives: political autonomy, traditional law and values, and sovereignty over their own separate state or nation.

Again, our media and our elite keep deathly quiet about this. Why?

[I]f the sovereignty of Aboriginal people was ever conceded, it would irreparably divide the Australian nation. Moreover, when casting their votes in a referendum, many Australians might see partition of the nation as a possible result. [Gillard’s expert panel]’s own research polling made it very well aware that if it suggested sovereignty be included in its recommendations for constitutional change, it would be the kiss of death for the recognition referendum. …

Where would their sovereign state be located? The more optimistic members of the Aboriginal political class like Michael Mansell believe it might be possible to unite all the land now held under native title into one almost continuous state stretching from Gippsland all the way to the Pilbara and the Kimberley. Other activists, such as Noel Pearson, talk in terms of a number of Aboriginal states, based mostly on the territories now controlled by the existing land councils.

What about welfare?

Estimated government expenditure per person in 2012–13 was $43,449 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, compared with $20,900 for other Australians. Most of this difference was because of the expense of funding the 21 per cent of Aborigines who live in the remote communities. …

[W]e have actually bent over backwards not only to make peace but to pay them ever-increasing amounts of compensation as the price of the lifestyles of those in the remote communities, which even their once ardent supporters now acknowledge generate the most appalling rates of alcoholism, drug taking, homicide, suicide, domestic violence, and sexual abuse of children.

An aboriginal naiton of rent seekers?

Yet the economy envisaged by the Aboriginal establishment’s proposals for an Aboriginal state will inevitably produce more of the same. If established, the economic base of this state would come from taxation, royalties and lease payments from mining companies, graziers and others who now make their living on Aboriginal land.

Why is this happening?

There is no leader within our political sphere today who is game to call a halt to this process. …

In its own interests, mainstream Australia has no reason to provide even the slightest leverage for such possibilities, or to leave future generations with their consequences. Aboriginal sovereignty poses long-term risks for Australian sovereignty which, however slender they might now seem, are not worth running. Voters in the proposed referendum need to recognise that the ultimate objective of constitutional recognition is the establishment of a politically separate race of people, and the potential break-up of Australia.

hat-tip Stephen Neil