To The Australian No treaty with descendants of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be signed by any government ("Treaty 'won't lead people astray'", 19/2). There is no justification for such an action and it would be against the interests and will of the great majority of the Australian people. The fact is that the tribes living on this continent in the 18th century were unable to defend their territories from the incoming settlers and lost control of them. This failure cannot be reversed two centuries later. Misleadingly calling those tribes "First Nations" does not alter reality or trump constitutional propriety. No referendum to establish any kind of separatism has any hope of succeeding. The Prime Minister will win masses of votes at the coming elections if he simply guarantees that there will be no constitutional change of any kind under a Coalition government without a fairly conducted and successful referendum having been held first. He will be defending our security and political stability. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Australian News from the UK ("Europe at a loss as vote shatters May's strategy", 16-17/2) continues to suggest that the decision of the 2016 referendum for leaving the UK is being subverted carefully and cleverly by powerful interests. Mrs May (a Remain advocate in 2016) is implicated. The strategy, organized from behind the scenes, appears to have been chosen to make the treachery as little obvious as possible. First, cause a long delay. Second, produce a "Brexit plan" which is really a Remain document. Third, if this is rejected, hand over control to the Remain majority in the present Parliament, which will block a "no deal exit" and introduce a second referendum. Alas, Nigel Farage's last minute creation of a "Brexit Party" to fight any new elections will probably fail to stem the avalanche of well-funded Remain propaganda. Reversal of the 2016 result will be deceitfully presented as "democracy" and the UK, its independent sovereignty finally lost, will fall under the same intellectual and moral tyranny that is a fundamental aspect of the EU. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
Enter a whole new theatre of the absurd, with Dr Victoria Bateman, feminist, academic, anti-Brexit economist, and whatever, debating in the nude: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6681967/Anti-Brexit-Cambridge-academic-appears-naked-BBC-Radio-4s-Today-programme.html https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/naked-professor-piers-morgan-twitter-15798947
“Cambridge University economist who suddenly stripped naked in the Radio 4 studio. Dr Victoria Bateman, a fellow in economics at Gonville and Caius College, who regularly delivers lectures in the nude, surprised the veteran host when she disrobed and then challenged Jacob Rees-Mogg to a Brexit debate without any clothes on. Humphrys, who said, startled, 'oh, I see you're naked', told listeners that Dr Bateman had the words 'Brexit Leaves Britain Naked' painted across her body. It is not known whether the BBC was aware that Dr Bateman had intended to strip during the interview which saw her arrive wearing a coat and then disrobe in front of an unsuspecting Humphrys. Cambridge economist Dr Victoria Bateman appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning while naked to debate Brexit with host John Humphrys. Listeners claimed he clearly struggled on air while interviewing the married Dr Bateman - who described Brexit as Britain's 'Emperor's New Clothes' moment. During the terse five-minute interview, Humphrys accused the academic of undermining her argument by not wearing clothes as well as offending the sensibilities of the vast majority of the British public. Dr Bateman was interviewed following an exchange on Twitter yesterday with Piers Morgan when she uploaded a video discussing women's freedom and rights across the world while standing in the nude.”
To The Age Establishing a block of "Indigenous" seats in the Senate would be a constitutional blunder and fundamentally inequitable ("Abbott idea worth heeding", 22/1). It is right for us to especially honour the Aboriginal people and their culture, because of their long period of custodianship of the continent. It is also good that we use some of our taxes to advance the welfare of Aboriginals experiencing poverty or long-range results of the cultural dislocation they have experienced as a people. However, legislation today needs to be founded on the equality, constitutionally, of all Australians, no matter what their ethnic and cultural origins and ancestry. The Abbott idea, like all other proposals for "constitutional recognition", is foolishly divisive and ethically unfair.Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Australian The dishonourable, if not treacherous, campaign to derail Brexit continues to gather momentum ("Corbyn to back new plebiscite on Brexit", 23/1) with Jeremy Corbyn's turnabout endorsement of a second referendum. Did he really bow "to pressure from rank-and-file party members and MPs" or to coercion from powerful interests behind the scenes? We have learned how John Bercow, the House of Commons Speaker, tore up years of precedent to allow MPs to control the business of the House, thus facilitating the plot to make a "no deal" exit impossible. There has also been the revelation that Colin Lee, the clerk of bills, has secretly conspired with former attorney-general Dominic Grieve to suspend Britain's departure from the EU. A second referendum would see disproportionate resources allotted to the "Remain" camp. There would be no level playing field. Greg Sheridan has reported ("Battle for Britain: People v Commons", 19-20/1) that such a referendum would be "much less democratic than it looks" and that "there are myriad Remain proposals to rig such a vote."A time is approaching when the British people, to retain their traditional free way of life, may have to resort to massive civil disobedience or even civil war. The stakes are that high. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Age So UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has buckled to pressure and announced that he will support a second referendum on Brexit. Meanwhile the Speaker of the House of Commons has torn up years of precedent to facilitate a plot to render a "no deal" exit impossible, while the Clerk of Bills has conspired with former attorney-general Dominic Grieve to suspend Britain's departure from the EU. A second referendum would see disproportionate resources allotted to the "Remain" alternative urged by almost the whole of the UK political establishment. There would be no level playing field. There are well-publicized "Remain" proposals to rig the vote. If the British people are to retain their traditional free way of life and escape from the tyranny and bureaucracy of the EU, they may need to resort to massive civil disobedience or even civil war. The stakes are that high. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Age Amanda Vanstone favours a second referendum on Brexit ("Wishing well is more than a feeling", 21/1), but the 2016 referendum was understood on both sides at the time to be final. Moreover, we do not call for second elections in Australia just because our preferred result has not been obtained. Of course, other nations in the EU were forced to have second referendums to prevent their leaving the EU, which just shows what an anti-democratic monster it really is. As for blaming "the Brexiteers" for not having a specific plan of departure from the EU, that's nonsense. We don't expect ordinary citizens to have detailed knowledge of how to implement policies they've voted for. We leave it to the professionals. Exiting the EU may be complicated, but not impossibly so. The real culprits for the present mess are those "Remain" persons and interests who have refused to honourably accept the people's call. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
Erik Vahl Meyer wants Big Brother ("our governments" in his terminology) to decree "the true history" of human settlement in our continent (31/12). He overlooks the fact that there is widespread disagreement among Australians about the story of British settlement and the shortcomings and benefits of that profound change to human society here.
When the constitution referendum occurs on Aboriginal recognition, expect that the lawyers will turn the country upside down, or using a more apt metaphor, tear it in two. This process of separatism, paid for out of your suffering taxpayer’s dollar, is happening right now, in its early stages. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/victorian-parliament-to-vote-on-negotiating-aboriginal-treaty/9843638 https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/push-for-aboriginal-people-to-be-given-traditional-owner-rights-in-city-of-melbourne/news-story/ded6c85f4dad7c43dfc4fe93170a27b9?login=1
“Aboriginal people who do not live in the City of Melbourne could be given voting and candidate rights as “traditional owners”. An issues paper by the council said eligibility for enrolment and candidacy was currently restricted to residents, business owners and property owners. The paper said that, while many “traditional custodians” may not be residents or ratepayers within the council area, “the decisions and actions of the City of Melbourne Council have a particular impact on traditional custodians and their lands and waters”. “Aboriginals who are traditional custodians are recognised as having a link to land that is far stronger and deeper than many recognised land rights in the current electoral system,” it said. Councillor Nicolas Frances Gilley wants the council to approach the Andrews Government to amend the City of Melbourne Act to set up a special electoral franchise for traditional owners.”
To The Age Amanda Vanstone reasonably argues ("Shorten's republic road map will only set us back", 26/11) that Australians should seek to find a new unity and also a head of state that is completely our own. She uses these proposals to justify the republican cause; but in themselves they do not do that. Nowhere in her article is there any attempt to show that a republic would be better for us than a monarchy. Phrases like "a nation that has come of age" are mere rhetoric. We monarchists insist that a sacred monarchy is always superior in principle to any kind of republic; it has an accordance with truth, a dignity and an inspirational power that Australians will be wise to retain in one form or another. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Australian Jacquelin Magnay explores at length the possibility (she admits that it is not a certainty) that a no-deal Brexit would have grim results for many Britons ("Merkel works to shore up May deal", 24-25/11), but ignores the reality that the loss of Brexit and further absorption into the EU would have far grimmer results for the UK in the medium and long term. The situation is summed up in her admission that Mrs May's pseudo-Brexit deal means that "the European Court of Justice would still have a role and Britain would not be completely independent." For the British to reassert the importance of intellectual freedom as a fundamental of a democratic order, they must throw off the yoke of incipient tyranny masquerading as political correctness for which the EU soviet-like justice system is now notorious. What appears to be most important at this critical stage is for the Leave majority to find the right person to lead the nation "through the Red Sea". Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Age Waleed Aly describes Brexit as a "near-farcical saga" ("Wearing flag as a cape won't cut it", 23/11), but in reality it is more of a great national tragedy. It may be true that there is currently a fatal disconnect between the will of the people (clearly expressed in the 2016 referendum and upheld by the majority of Conservatives) and the majority of MPs in the UK Parliament (effectively representing powerful interests bitterly opposed to Leave). That does not mean that Brexit is "a form of fantasy" that "Britain could take charge of its own destiny." It means that globalist interests are determined to ride roughshod over the democratic interests of peoples. Brexit is powered by a British idealism that seeks to maintain the British way of life in the British Isles: Christianity, monarchy, intellectual freedom, the rule of law, a shared culture and tradition, respect for history. Nationalist politics will not die because, basically, it defends quality of life. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
The arty farty class are usually the testing ground, then messengers for the foul deeds the Dark Lords of Mordor plan to inflict upon humanity. Now, it is open, that the great plan is to eliminate the nation state, having worked tireless to effectively destroy borders and bash and terrorise local populations into submission, not that a consumer-pacified population needs much to knock over: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/11/10/artists-intellectuals-proclaim-continent-wide-european-republic-replace-nation-states/
“Artists and intellectuals across Europe are calling for the founding of a continent wide republic to replace its many nation-states. Activists planned to proclaim a ‘European Republic’ in dozens of cities at 4 p.m. (1500 GMT) Saturday, almost exactly 100 years after the end of World War I. The event is being organized by a group calling itself the European Balcony Project. Its listed supporters include political scientists, philosophers and writers such as Austrian literature Nobel prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek. A manifesto on the group’s website declares that “the sovereignty of states is hereby replaced by the sovereignty of citizens.”
To The Australian Regardless of the way the Wentworth electorate's decision has gone, Australia is in a dangerously unstable state and we all need to work hard to promote greater national unity, better understanding between different-interest groups and more stable government at the federal level. How to do this? Harper Lee's insight in To Kill a Mockingbird comes to mind. Put yourself in the shoes of those you disagree with before barging ahead to grab what you think you want. As a monarchist, I enjoyed reading that in the 1999 constitutional referendum "the public denied the political class what it wished for, which was its own aggrandisement" ("Public affection keeps the republic at bay", 20-21/10), but that is only part of the truth. Huge numbers of Australians voted for a republic then either because they wanted an Australian head of state or because they preferred a more egalitarian political order, or both - admirable idealism there, if also (from my point of view) short-sighted. We monarchists need to ask: "How can we keep our Crown while to some degree satisfying those republican yearnings?” In two ways, one of which is already happening, as Caroline Overington notes ("A right royal love affair"): attuning royal behaviour more closely to the needs of ordinary people. The other way? A completely independent Australian Crown, established in careful co-operation with the House of Windsor. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Age There is some truth in your editorial claim that "the historical ties to England are no longer the focus of our national identity" ("No reason to delay republic debate", 19/10), but they remain the most important aspect of the foundation of our political order. Australia will be wise to continue to honour them, and that means no republic. The warm welcome given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex strongly suggests that most Australians do not see Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family as "foreigners". They are much more intimately a part of us than that term states. Most important of all is the fact that monarchy is inherently a superior form of government to republicanism. It makes more sense, therefore, to work long-term for a totally independent Australian throne. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
‘The Age’ newspaper in Melbourne seems unwilling to publish any submission (letter or opinion piece) opposed to ‘indigenous’ constitutional recognition and/or the signing of a treaty. Is it afraid that the case against such change is too persuasive?
On 14th July 2018 The Age published an opinion piece by well-known and very successful author Stephanie Dowrick entitled ‘Scandal at our nation’s heart’. It concerned alleged mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by contemporary Australia. I at once submitted the letter below to the Letters Editor.
To The Age Although federal Labor MP Linda Burney believes it would be very wrong if constitutional recognition becomes an election issue ("Settle Indigenous recognition issue before federal poll: Labor MP", 31/7), that has already happened. The ALP is plainly tied to such change, so those of us who do not want to see further moves towards the dismemberment of our nation have nowhere to go but the Coalition. It is good that Liberal MP Julian Leeser has called for comment "from a wide range of Australians". This should include those firmly opposed to the recommendations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart or any other inequitable tampering with our constitution. There is good reason to feel that we have the better arguments and are in the majority. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Australian (21st July 2018) Greg Sheridan tells the truth about Brexit ("Turmoil for nation-state as May stumbles over EU deal", 21-22/7): that, despite the decisive victory for Leave in the 2016 referendum, "the elite has never accepted the legitimacy of this decision and is constantly trying to undermine it." The Brexit struggle is more than a "question of whether the nation-state can succeed" in the modern world of globalization powered, essentially, by the financially strong. The integrity of Britain itself is at stake. Only a firm and "hard" Brexit can preserve that. A resumption of truly independent sovereignty, carrying with it a renewed commitment to traditional British law and its concomitant intellectual freedom, is non-negotiable. The British political order has never been free of corruption, but parliamentary failure to honour the Brexit result would be a profound and historic change for the worse, perhaps irrevocable, with international ramifications affecting the morale of many nations, including Australia.. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Australian (10/07/2018) It indeed looks as though the UK government is seeking "to reverse the meaning of the popular vote to leave the EU" ("Corbyn lurks as chaos strikes Tories", 10/7). Ever since former PM David Cameron stated, immediately upon resigning after the Brexit vote, that Theresa May was the person he recommended to take over leadership of the Conservative Party, many of us supporters of Brexit have feared that she would undermine the Brexit project and betray the popular mandate (52%) for leaving the EU.
The fact that other nations, such as France and Ireland, who initially voted in plebiscites to leave the EU, were forced to hold second referendums which reversed the previous decisions, increases our conviction. The resignation letter of David Davis touches on two vital points: the taking back of sovereignty and the return to national control of the law and legislation. The difficulty the British people are experiencing in trying to get the "hard" (that is, firm) Brexit they want is that sinister but financially powerful interests are aiming to sink the project. The whole scenario reminds us that we, too, have a real problem of securing genuine representation of the popular will in our own parliament. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic
To The Age (11/07/2018) Your editorial on Britain and the UK ('May walks tightrope amid Brexit chaos', 11/7) correctly identifies a major aspect of the Brexit controversy: 'the electorate is pitted against its own representatives.' It was always doubtful that Theresa May, no matter what declarations she made, would lead in the enactment of a resumption of British sovereign independence. She was a 'remain' advocate in 2016 and she was the recommended successor for leadership of the Conservative Party by outgoing PM David Cameron, also a 'remain' man.
A truly honourable British parliament would by now have implemented a 'hard' (that is, firm and authentic) Brexit. That it has not happened calls into question the integrity of that institution and is an affront to genuine democracy. Huge numbers of 'little people' and 'ordinary Britons' made a supreme effort in 2016 and overcame a largely biased press and a campaign enjoying superior financial and institutional resources. It will, alas, be very hard for them to succeed a second time; and in the meanwhile May's 'soft' (pseudo) Brexit bleeds their confidence and energies. It's a sad story. Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic