Plenty to Fear from an “Indigenous Voice” By Ian Wilson LL.B

     The battle is on, with a leading jurist saying that an indigenous voice to parliament would not undermine the power of parliament:

“Former High Court chief justice Murray Gleeson has declared a new indigenous “voice to parliament” could be created through legislation — with only minimal references in the Constitution — without eroding the power of the nation’s politicians. Mr Gleeson, one of Australia’s pre-eminent legal figures, said the proposal for an indigenous voice — set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart — would succeed if it maintained “parliamentary supremacy”. Rejecting suggestions by opponents that the voice could act as a “third chamber” of parliament, Mr Gleeson said the proposed new advisory body was a “worthwhile objective” to help governments draft policies that affected indigenous people. “It is difficult to see any objection in principle to the creation of a body to advise parliament about proposed laws relating to indigenous affairs,” Mr Gleeson said. Speaking in Sydney last night, Mr Gleeson, who was appointed chief justice by John Howard, said it was possible to give the new body constitutional status as an “appropriate form of indigenous recognition”. He said a successful model should not be constructed as a “one-line bill of rights”, warning that could “diminish the lawmaking power of the parliament”. The Constitution already gave the federal parliament powers to create special laws specifically for indigenous Australians. He said it should not offend anyone that a new representative body be established to advise the parliament on those laws. The proposal for a voice to parliament had the advantage of being “substantive and not merely ornamental”, suggesting it could be “constitutionally entrenched” but “legislatively controlled”. “Only the federal parliament can initiate a referendum. It has shown little appetite for proposals to limit its own power; and rightly so,” Mr Gleeson said. “Parliamentary supremacy is one of the essential safeguards of our liberal democracy. It is unlikely that parliament will propose a change to the Constitution in aid of indigenous recognition if the effect of the change will be to curtail its own legislative power. “That appears to have been well understood by the supporters of the voice. What is proposed is a voice to parliament, not a voice in parliament.”

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Letter to The Editor - Gleeson claimed that the dispossession of the Aborigines "underwrote the development of the nation"

To The Age        It may be true that former High Court chief justice Murray Gleeson "delivered a landmark speech making the legal and ethical case for an Aboriginal voice to be enshrined in the Constitution" ("Joyce U-turn on Indigenous voice", 20/7), but how successful was it? His distinction between "a voice to Parliament, not a voice in Parliament" ignores the fact that the voice he recommends would have some of the influential power that the present two chambers possess. Moreover, it could be strengthened by future legislation, as he admitted - perhaps by a Marxist-inspired ALP government. It could also lead to findings by a politicised High Court against the true national interest. Gleeson claimed that the dispossession of the Aborigines "underwrote the development of the nation", but it can be said with more truth that their failure to defend their territory caused their loss and that the development was the result of the knowledge, skills and efforts of the newcomers. In general he failed to answer the cogent case that has been put against constitutional recognition by men of the calibre of John Stone, Keith Windschuttle and Andrew Bolt..
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave

Letter to The Editor - The apology never had a genuine popular mandate and was based on an unreliable document

To The Australian        Mark Leibler continues a notable furphy in the current debate about Aboriginal constitutional recognition ("Clear voice without the repercussions of a third chamber", 20-21/7). He writes misleadingly that "the intellectual drive behind the constitutional amendment for an advisory voice emanates from constitutional conservatives, including Liberal MP Julian Leeser." That drive comes from other sources too, but the fact is that Mr Leeser is not a conservative on this topic at all. The real conservatives are Keith Windschuttle, Frank Salter, John Stone and Andrew Bolt (to name just four). Promoting faux-conservatives as conservatives is a devious trick which should be dropped. Leibler is also less than courteous to opponents of constitutional change when he disparagingly refers to them as "nay-sayers" who, he quite wrongly implies, have been proved wrong with their "dire predictions for native title and the apology to the Stolen Generation." The apology never had a genuine popular mandate and was based on an unreliable document ("Bringing Them Home"); and the ongoing saga of "native title", based on the very questionable High Court decision in Mabo, has become a national scandal, tending towards a dangerous separatism, which needs to be halted.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Get Ready to Run to the Finish: The Indigenous Referendum By Ian Wilson LL. B

     It was only a matter of time, but even under the Libs the Aboriginal recognition referendum was certain to emerge. The details, straight from the horse’s mouths, so to speak are here:

“Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt will lead a historic push for a referendum in this term of parliament to recognise Aborigines in the Constitution, vowing to put forward a “pragmatic” model that will receive broad public support. Australia’s first indigenous cabinet minister yesterday declared he would “walk with people on all sides of politics” to find a consensus model that could achieve the required support of a majority of people in a majority of states for a successful referendum. In his speech to the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, the West Australian MP, who was given the ministry by Scott Morrison after the May 18 election victory, also revealed the government would create an indigenous voice to parliament, which would advise government on Aboriginal issues.

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Letter to the Editor - Too many Australians are now aware of the fundamental injustice of such change

To The Australian         Paul Kelly's latest discussion of the indigenous constitutional recognition issue is lop-sided ("Indigenous leaders and Coalition now need to talk", 17/7). He states that there are two major conflicts: "between the majority of indigenous leaders and the Morrison government, and between the Morrison government and the Labor Party." Wrong! The major conflict is between all those Australians campaigning for constitutional change and all the other Australians who can see clearly the full folly of the idea and will have none of it. As one of the latter, I reject Kelly's claim that "the idea of constitutional change has gained more traction." Too many Australians are now aware of the fundamental injustice of such change and the obvious fact that the campaigners (both the zealots and the opportunists) will keep asking for more if the nation is stupid enough to concede anything. Kelly says that indigenous leaders should talk to the Coalition. Also wrong! They should desist from a doomed campaign; and Scott Morrison, Ken Wyatt and the Coalition government should heed the will of the great majority by closing the door on the whole business.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Our Sacred Land? By Viv Forbes

     My wife and I were both born in Australia, as were two children and four grandchildren. Our parents were born in Australia as were all of their parents. And some ancestors go back much further in this land. I feel rage every time I have to sit through another patronising “welcome to country” charade, designed to make me feel an intruder in my own land. Indigenous history on this continent is the same as our family story – it just goes back a bit further. The first aboriginals probably walked here over a land bridge and Europeans came later in sailing clippers. All caused displacement of prior inhabitants. They brought dingos which are now “protected” – we brought cattle, sheep, horses and ploughs which are increasingly condemned. They mined ochre, quartzite and basalt, which are now heritage sites – but our coal mines are widely condemned. They brought spears and boomerangs – we brought guns and swords. Racial referenda, indigenous “Welcomes”, talk of Treaties and special land rights for some Australians just create and maintain division. How long before we are one people with the same rights and responsibilities? Two centuries is surely time enough?

Letter to The Editor - Only the federal government has the power to negotiate treaties

To The Age        Ian Usman Lewis (15/7) needs to explain to us, if he can, how and why an inserted recognition of Aboriginal peoples into the Constitution would not be discrimination, and unjust discrimination at that. As for those seeking to establish a treaty or treaties, including the Victorian and Queensland governments, they are barking up the wrong tree. Only the federal government has the power to negotiate treaties and that applies to other nations, not a small group of our own folk misleadingly titled "First Nations".
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Academics Against Populism By James Reed

     I would like a dollar for every article I have seen by academics taking the line against populism; blah, blah, racist, put the deplorables back their place, racist, blah, blah. President Trump and Brexit feature in their complaint’s list. How could Trump have become president? How could Pauline Hanson have got elected? Well, this is known as democracy you totalitarian thugs! It simply shows the true colours of those who critique populism from their new class positions of oppressive power. The new class have the delusion of moral superiority and so-called high IQ, but in the evolutionary scheme of things, this new class is merely parasitic, and will disappear once the perverse conditions that led to its creation are removed. These petty tyrants have zero survival capacity and depend upon deplorables to protect and feed their frail bodies.

     But, in the US, the movement is even more vibrant, where open borders, literally has become the signature of the Democrat presidential candidates, not just the insane academics, as if the entire genre has become a suicide cult:

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Just How Mad the Elites Are By Chris Knight

     The elites can hold multiple contradictions and falsehoods in their head, so long as it advances their agenda. Consider:

“Former President Jimmy Carter suggested Friday that President Trump’s victory in 2016 was illegitimate due to Russian interference in the election. During a panel discussion on human rights issues at the Carter Center conference, the former president contended that a proper investigation into the extent of Russian meddling would, in fact, reveal President Trump did not win the White House.”

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Proposals for indigenous constitutional recognition cannot be justified By Nigel Jackson

Australians must resist the pressure to fragment our nation

     One of the greatest strengths of Australia in a world that is always more or less dangerous is its integrity as a nation. One continent, one people constitutionally and politically. It is an elementary fact of human existence that unity of a community gives strength, while disunity weakens it and may even eventually bring it to an end. Thus it is surprising that such intense efforts are being mounted by a de facto coalition of idealists, corporate bodies, mainstream media and the major political parties to achieve what is euphemistically and misleadingly termed “indigenous constitutional recognition”, but which really amounts to a decisive step on the way to splitting Australia in two. Indeed, it is so odd that it is reasonable to ask whether the power of this movement, at bottom, does not derive from an extra-national elite that has its own agenda which has little to do with Aboriginal welfare but a great deal to do with control of peoples and the corralling of wealth and power for ultimately selfish purposes.

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Letter to The Editor - He wants indigenous separatism rather than a united Australian people

To The Age        In answer to Michael Mansell (25/6) I suggest that, while the national anthem is a white people's production, it can still be shared today in 2019 by all Australians. Australia, as a nation, is certainly young by world standards; and our relative freedom is one of our greatest treasures. There is no "slight on Aboriginal people" in it; and no living Australian has "been here thousands of years." Aboriginals who "don't feel at all free" are surely a minority among their own people. It is not the anthem that is "divisive" but obsessed activists like Mansell whose actual words suggest that he wants indigenous separatism rather than a united Australian people. The great majority of Australians will never buy that and are happy to be part of a "euro-centric" country.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave

Murky Merkel’s Mindless Muddles By Richard Miller

     I have not done a job on Germany’s Merkel for a while, so let’s go. It seems that Merkel has had the shakes recently, something we saw Hillary Clinton do, but on a grander scale during the 2016 election. The mainstream media has reported this, without much reflection of why. Surely, she is shaking with joy at the thought of totally destroying traditional Germany and ending the life blood of a people? What else could make globo-commos dance to the beat of migration?

     Even though way back in 2010 Murky Merkle said that multiculturalism had failed, she decided to test it out one more time. By failed, she probably meant, “did not polish of a country quickly enough.”

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Letter to The Editor - They are kith and kin of the majority of us Australians

To The Australian        Australia appears to be shirking a family obligation ("Don't deny us sanctuary, white farmers tell Dutton", 19/6). The government should honour the policy espoused last year by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to effect a special refugee intake of persecuted white South Africans. We owe this to these people because they are kith and kin of the majority of us Australians. We admire Jews and Aboriginals for fighting for the interests of their peoples, even if we disagree with some of their policies. So why not the same loyalty to our own? Moreover, they will make excellent new Australians and benefit the whole nation.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - Threatening our internal stability and national security

To The Australian        Neither John Wylie ("Indigenous call deserves response from the heart", 18/6) nor Kenneth Wiltshire ("Voice to Parliament too important to get wrong", 18/6) has provided a successful and convincing case for constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians. As for Wylie's vague, sentimental and untrustworthy assertions, Australians generally are under no obligation, legal, moral or spiritual, to engage in "a generous and respectful accommodation with indigenous Australians." He does not address the questionable status in the context of constitutional change, of Australians identifying as "indigenous" or the consequent doubt as to the validity of their case. As for Wiltshire, it is ingenuous of him to state that "it is hard not to wonder what all the fuss is about regarding this proposal", when he makes no effort to counter the well-established case that constitutional entrenchment in any form would be fundamentally divisive of this nation, threatening our internal stability and national security, and also fundamentally inequitable towards all non-indigenous Australians.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - Sheer political power of the "Remain" camp

To The Age        You are right that any new Conservative leader in the UK will need to show good judgment and diplomatic skill in seeking a viable path forward for the nation ("Johnson as PM not a comforting thought", 17/6). However, the "great complexities" of achieving constitutional severance of Britain from the EU are not beyond the power of Boris Johnson or any other prime minister and his team. What may prove more intractable is the sheer political power of the "Remain" camp who naturally do not feel that "a narrowly won referendum" de-authorises their resistance. The British people as a whole need to bring goodwill, integrity, magnanimity and intelligent compromise to bear in this fraught situation. Let us hope they find a fruitful way forward.

  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave

Letter the The Editor - Concerning a Bill of Rights

     It doesn’t take much of an issue to generate calls for a Bill of Rights. People believe it will enhance their freedoms. In fact a Bill of Rights can restrict freedoms because it actually prescribes all rights available.  Obviously then, any ‘right’ not mentioned is forbidden. Our system provides us maximum freedom where we have the lawful right to do anything except the minimum number of things which are forbidden. Not having a Bill of rights can be likened to our road rules where we are free to drive wherever we choose provided we obey any road rules like speed limits and “No Entry” signs.
  Ken Grundy

Letter to The Editor - For some months you appear to have censored out of existence that large body of Australians firmly opposed to any form of "indigenous constitutional recognition"

To The Age         You are perfectly entitled to defend "the principle of a free media" ("Media must report without fear", 6/6); and you are right to assert further that a free media has "a public-interest duty to report truthfully, responsibly and without fear or favour." Alas, as one who has read your paper regularly for over sixty years, I have to point out that you do not always live up to that ideal. Two areas of discourse at once come to mind. For some months you appear to have censored out of existence that large body of Australians firmly opposed to any form of "indigenous constitutional recognition" or treaty making with indigenous Australians. The other area is responsible right-wing culture, as manifested both in Australia and overseas. There is a yawning gap in your reporting and commentary. This greatly hinders the conservative cause in our nation. Your progressivist lens has been too narrow.
Yours sincerely,
  Nigel Jackson

Letter to The Editor - Such a division is so obviously against the interests of Australians

To The Age        Is it really true that the Aboriginal flag "has united everybody, all over Australia, from all the Aboriginal nations" ("Aboriginal flag ban shocks businesses", 12/6)? That looks like the kind of wild exaggeration that revolutionaries have been indulging in for centuries. Such doubts are only reinforced by Laura Thompson's further statement that the flag "represented a struggle and a resistance movement." Yes, it is clearly an expression of the campaign for Aboriginal separatism and the division of this continent into two nations. Such a division is so obviously against the interests of Australians generally that it is astounding that so many more Australians do not speak out more clearly in favour of indissoluble national unity in this context.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave

Letter to The Editor - Recognising that, they should bow to the clear majority

To The Australian        The UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove may be right ("Boris brushes off opponent's opening salvo", 12/6) that a hard Brexit approach by Boris Johnson (or whoever wins the leadership of the Conservative Party) will be defeated by a vote of no confidence in the Parliament. He should have added that such a vote would be unethical. While it may be that a majority of MPs in the House of Commons are Remainers, they were not elected to Parliament purely on the Brexit issue, but on many others. Recognising that, they should bow to the clear majority for Leave in the 2016 referendum. To do otherwise will continue the corruption of democracy that is happening in the UK.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Letter to The Editor - The PM also needs to back the country away from unnecessary and potentially harmful referendums

To The Australian        Maurice Newman sagely notes that Scott Morrison must "pursue a course more consistent with traditional Liberal Party values" ("Political elites face the wrath", 10/6). He and his colleagues also need a carefully thought out strategy to gradually shift the cultural atmosphere of Australia more to the conservative and traditional side. That is no mean challenge. Newman touches on many of the policies needed: rejection of the "human-induced global warming" scam; protection of Australia's national sovereignty and political independence from the selfish ambitions of elites favouring global governance; and firm protection of our borders with a realistic immigration policy. The PM also needs to back the country away from unnecessary and potentially harmful referendums on a republic and constitutional indigenous recognition.  Most importantly of all, he needs to display humility and graciousness in admitting that he has been wrong to express support for the latter of these two anti-traditional campaigns.
  Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic