Josie and Her Stickers: Don’t Welcome Me to My Own Country
by Joanna Hackett
22 November 2022
She wanted to protest at the outrageous push to change our constitution to give special, additional rights to about 3% of the population on the basis of their race. The stickers were incredibly popular, Josie became famous and the referendum failed. It was total fantasy and rather amusing.
The story touched a nerve in readers and I was repeatedly asked where they could buy Josie’s bumper stickers to save Australia. We designed a set of seven (see attached) and the demand is now so great that we struggle to keep up with the supply. It is a case of fiction becoming fact.
To date, we have distributed over 1,600 stickers from one side of Australia to the other. We do this on a zero net profit basis. Our intention is to spread the word, to make Australians think about what is coming so that they can make up their minds from a position of knowledge, not ignorance.
Have You been Cancelled?
The feedback from sticker buyers has made one fact very clear. There is a large number of Australians who are completely neglected by our politicians and businesses. Many feel they have no voice, few of our leaders speak for them, and nobody listens to them. They worked hard, paid their dues and now their country is being given away. They are angry, fed-up, and saddened at what their once-great and beloved country has become.
Some who went to war for this country now wonder why they bothered. Their national flag, under which so many Australians fought and died, is being flown with two other flags, (neither of which are national flags), which they find offensive and insulting. Displaying a meaningful bumper sticker gives many the only opportunity they have of expressing their feelings. I suggest that our politicians and business people ignore this disgruntled group at their peril, for their pent-up rage simmers.
The recent budget — in which over $216m were promised to push the Yes vote and not a brass razoo to the No vote — caused a rush of sticker orders from angry and disbelieving Australians. Likewise, the listing of the campaign group Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition as a deductible gift recipient, allowing donors to claim an income tax deduction for donations over $2 was seen as blatantly unfair, dishonorable, and un-Australian.
The business Brisbane Custom Signs made some excellent stickers for us initially. They then decided that they had a ‘policy against printing anything that could be considered racism, hate speech or any other forms of discrimination.’ Despite polite discussion with them, they refused to budge on this issue. We felt very discriminated against, and took our not-insignificant orders elsewhere. This new mob are efficient professionals and run a real business, not a wokey, political point scoring set-up.
There is now a push to rein in debate for the No side on the grounds that it will result in offense or even harm to aboriginals. We heard similar nonsense during the same-sex marriage ‘debate’, when we were told that negative discussion would traumatize LGBTQI people and possibly result in suicides.
Recently, there has been talk of aboriginal souls ‘being broken’ if the voice/Constitutional change referendum fails, a fantasy roundly ridiculed by Senator Jacinta Price.
Our PM has said it was just ‘simple courtesy, it is common decency’ to vote Yes. Nice people will vote Yes and they will be on the right side of history. Albo also says we are all diminished when First Nations (sic) people are denied their right to a happy and fulfilling life. So get with the program, be a good little Aussie and vote Yes for aboriginal happiness and fulfillment. This is sanctimonious poppycock.
Dr. Nina Lansbury is using her position as Senior Lecturer in Planetary Health, School of Public Health, at the University of Queensland, to advise of the ‘significant public health benefits to the country’ of a Yes vote. Vote Yes for First Nations (sic) to have good health and well-being. Vote No and you will be condemning aboriginals to racism and other prejudices, lack of respect and denial of human rights. She is saying: If you vote No, aboriginal health is at risk. If you vote Yes, the health and wellbeing of aboriginal people will improve.
Notwithstanding the highly dubious nature of her statements, Dr. Lansbury is threatening the Australian voter just as we were threatened during the same-sex marriage ‘debate’. ‘Vote as I say, or else…’ She is even giving away t-shirts to her supporters with detailed instructions as to where and how often they should wear them just in case they are unable to decide this on their own. The beneficiaries of her largesse are requested to wear their t-shirts at least twice a month in the lead up to the referendum, in public places, walking the dog, when mixing in big crowds, at the supermarket, picking up the kids from the school playground and so on. Perhaps the commonsense-o-metre within the hallowed grounds of our universities is running at an all-time low.
Personally, I find Dr. Lansbury’s remarks disgraceful and misleading. She is in a position of some authority. Using UQ for a partisan political campaign is surely inappropriate, and an abuse of this authority. We might well ask, with justified trepidation, how many other educators are busily indoctrinating and bribing their students and colleagues in this way.
Becoming quite unexpectedly a purveyor of political bumper stickers has made me aware of a worrying response. There is a concern, held by many, that if they advertise their beliefs by displaying a sticker, their home may be targeted, their car may be keyed, or they may be in danger of physical or verbal abuse.
We all have to make our own choices about this. How big is the risk to our house, or car? How big is the risk to our country if we do nothing? You may rationalise your desire for anonymity by telling yourself that one little sticker won’t make a difference anyway. I remind readers of the 1600 stickers that have been distributed already. Together we can make a difference. Australians were known for their gutsy bravery in the past.
Let us not now be cowed into submission by the possibility of trouble before the referendum has even been announced. Illustratively, my two cars, my letterbox, my front door, and the power pole in front of my home have stickers. There has been no backlash. If any readers need further encouragement to join this discussion, study the nauseatingly unctuous words of our PM, in his address to the 2022 Garma Festival.
So Display a Sticker!
We No voters are facing a well-financed, well-supported and determined army that has invested years of its time and thousands of (our) tax-payer dollars into winning this referendum. Do not treat them lightly, for they mean business. Gird your loins and prepare for battle, or at the very least buy and display a bumper sticker!
To order stickers, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org