the Voice

The Voice is a “Hook” and Australians Should Not Bite

8 August 2023

3.6 MINS

Far from ‘gracious’ and ‘modest’, the Voice is divisive and misleading.

I took some time over the weekend to read the entire Uluru Statement from the Heart.

After reading all 26 pages, released by the government under Freedom of Information laws, there is no chance I would vote ‘Yes’ to an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

While Anthony Albanese continues to insist that the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a “gracious” proposal and that the Voice is a “modest” request, the official documents reveal something else entirely.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a deeply divisive document that envisages — as its ultimate goal — huge financial compensation being paid to Indigenous people on the basis that they were “here first”.

The document makes clear from the outset that:

“Ownership of Australia has never been ceded and co-exists with the Crown.”

Indigenous MP Lidia Thorpe has been declaring this for years. We all dismissed her as a radical.

The Indigenous Voice to Parliament would make Thorpe’s radical position the official record of our nation.

Ahistorical Narrative

The Statement from the Heart documents make clear that Australia was neither settled, nor discovered. It was “invaded” in violation of the law. This is what constitutional recognition really seeks to recognise.

And recognition of this is essential if a treaty is to ever be agreed. More on that in a moment.

The documents describe how the “rich diversity” that existed in this land before Captain Cook’s arrival was “ruptured by colonisation”.

What followed was the “violent dispossession” of Aboriginal people who had to “struggle to survive relentless inhumanity”.

A boat arriving in Botany Bay is the reason for every problem you can imagine, the document insists.

From this starting point, the document blames “structural” rather than cultural issues for every Indigenous ailment under the sun.

Colonisation left Indigenous people “powerless”, the document says.

And so the Voice is about:

“ … fundamental grievance against the British Crown.”

That’s a vital point.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is not ‘gracious’ or ‘modest’ or ‘generous’. Rather, it’s about bringing a highly contentious grievance against the nation of Australia.

Treaty: Divided into Two Nations

The statement calls for a Voice, and says “Makarata” is the “culmination” of the “agenda”.

Anthony Albanese told David Speers on Insiders at the weekend that “Makarata means coming together after conflict”.

The PM wondered who could possibly object to this.

This is typical of the half-truths and outright lies that the Australian Prime Minister has told since announcing the referendum.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart outlines explicitly that Makarata is another word for “treaty”. Albanese knows this. But he is loath to say it out loud. I wonder why.

The Statement from the Heart documents make clear that the entire point of a Voice is to:

“ … support and promote a treaty-making process”.

And the activists who authored the Uluru Statement from the Heart envisage quite the ‘coming together’, as Albo likes to call it.

The financial settlement predicts an ongoing percentage of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product will be paid to Indigenous people.

As the documents record the activists saying in their discussions formulating the Voice:

“We don’t want crumbs when we own the cake”

So gracious.

So modest.

The documents make clear why constitutional recognition and a constitutionally enshrined Voice are necessary.

It’s not a gracious request. It’s a highly strategic play, with a huge financial windfall as the grand prize.

Constitutional recognition is important since it would make it impossible for any Australian Government to deny a treaty with Indigenous people. How could they, once the Australian constitution itself acknowledges that Indigenous people were the original owners of the land?

As for the Voice, the documents could not be clearer. The Voice is a precursor to a treaty.

With a Voice, Indigenous activists will finally have a body in place to negotiate a treaty.

The Voice is not about ‘advising’ on issues so much as acting as a centralised Indigenous body authorised to negotiate with the government on behalf of all Indigenous groups for a treaty.

This is important.

There are around 400 different Indigenous ‘nations’. The task of negotiating with each of them makes any kind of treaty negotiations difficult, if not impossible.

But what if there was a single group, endorsed by a vote of the entire nation and embedded in the constitution, that could negotiate on behalf of all Indigenous people?

With these two things — official recognition that Indigenous people were the original owners who never ceded sovereignty, and a popularly endorsed entity authorised by the constitution to speak on behalf of all indigenous people — the groundwork for treaty negotiations will have been laid.

As the Uluru Statement from the Heart documents explicitly say, a ‘Yes’ vote would put a “hook” in the Australian Constitution that no government could resist. The trap for treaty would be set.

The official documents note that treaty should not be part of the referendum, because it “would not have broad support” in the Australian community.

The Voice is the apparatus of treaty being snuck into the constitution under the guise of ‘closing the gap’ and ‘recognition’ and ‘listening’.

That’s not a conspiracy theory. That’s the clear strategy outlined by the authors of the much-vaunted Uluru Statement from the Heart.

When Prime Minister Anthony Albanese continually describes it as “gracious” and “modest”, he is either lying or he has not actually read the entire document.

I’ve read it. You can read it here, and I’d encourage you to do so.

The Voice is not something that Australians should ever agree to.


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev.


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One Comment

  1. Ian Moncrieff. 8 August 2023 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Right again as usual, James. I say “Yes” to a “No” vote!

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