Cool, wise heads need to assert themselves after Victorian Greens senator Lidia Thorpe used so-called invasion day rallies on Thursday to split her own party, Indigenous people and the nation over the proposed Indigenous voice to parliament….
Far from being advanced by a surge of community goodwill as most Australians enjoyed celebrating our national day, however, the voice was dealt a major blow on Thursday by an Indigenous woman who already has a highly paid voice in parliament, Senator Thorpe, the Greens’ First Nations spokeswoman.
Interlopers. They don’t even look Aboriginal.
At Melbourne’s rally, she screamed “this is war’’, brandished a stick and claimed: “They are still killing us. They are still killing our babies. What do we have to celebrate in our country?”
By coincidence, or not, similar rallies around the nation also got behind Senator Thorpe’s opposition to the voice. She wants “a sovereign treaty’’, rejecting the idea of putting “the colonial Constitution on top of the oldest constitution on the planet’’.
A treaty, she said, “could put 10 independent Blak (sic) seats in the parliament today. We want real power and we won’t settle for anything less”.
By a curious coincidence – or not – the incendiary rallies, not only in Melbourne but in other centres, echoed Senator Thorpe’s anti-voice, pro-treaty position. If the baying mobs simply went along with a few loudmouths like Senator Thorpe, it was a disgrace. If the responses were carefully organised and orchestrated, it was sinister. Such snarling and hatred, reminiscent of the Falls and Shankill roads in Belfast during the Troubles or the southern US in the days of segregation, have no place in Australia in 2023.
It was a far cry from Bondi Beach where a pale grey navy Seahawk, towing an enormous Australian flag, drew sustained, spontaneous cheers. For all the drama, our national day, as always, united more than it divided. …
What Australians will not tolerate, on any day, however, is the race-driven hatred that besmirched Australia Day 2023.