Is Australia becoming a country divided by race? By Janet Albrechtsen.
In the lead-up to tonight’s State of Origin game in Brisbane, some indigenous rugby league players have said they will not sing the Australian national anthem. That is their right in a free country. But their actions might liberate some non-indigenous people to boycott the recently invented “welcome to country” routines that precede so many events these days, from board meetings to school assemblies. Respect is a two-way street.
The racially charged actions of a few league players also will be noticed by Australians curious about the increasingly zealous push for an indigenous Voice to Parliament. It is dividing Australians into two classes instead of unifying us a nation. It confers a special class of governance privileges on a small group of Australians. Whereas the Senate is a house of review for the interests of all, the voice is a house of review for one class of people only.
Worse, it divides Australians on racial grounds. The criterion for these special governance privileges depends on the colour of a person’s skin. To repeat my favourite quote from US Chief Justice John Roberts, “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race”.
Advocates of the voice want to entrench permanent discrimination on the basis of race in our Constitution. …
Boardrooms must become enthusiastic activists (doesn’t it signal their virtue? … and Labor has long memories):
Those quiet Australians who re-elected the Coalition are a sobering reminder not to mistake noise for numbers.
Last week, the noise came from a small group of Australia’s leading corporate virtue-signallers, led by the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto, Woodside, Qantas, Lend Lease and IAG, which published full-page ads in national newspapers proclaiming in huge type, “We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart”.
The Uluru Statement asserts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander co-sovereignty with the Crown over Australia and demands a First Nations voice enshrined in the Constitution, as well as a Makarrata Commission to supervise agreement-making between governments and First Nations. It is a big call to offer an unqualified, unambiguous expression of support for Aboriginal co-sovereignty, a constitutionally entrenched voice and a Makarrata Commission.
It is also reckless given that none of the signatories to the ad has the slightest idea about issues such as the powers of the voice, its composition, term, size, method of election or appointment, eligibility for membership or voting, funding or termination.
To be sure, the advertisement includes some weasel words in fine print about the need to develop specific proposals, but the headline makes it clear that the signatories are on board for whatever pops out at the end.
Different laws for different folks based on their race. Rushing to the future with the progressives!