Letter to The Editor - True Statesmanship Would Seek Other Ways of Honouring the Aboriginal Peoples
to THE AUSTRALIAN
Graham Richardson claims (‘Spouting feel-good fluff is no proof of foreman material’, 7/8) that constitutional recognition of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders is ‘within reach if both sides get behind the campaign.’ On the contrary, irrespective of what MPs do, the Australian people will almost certainly reject any form of constitutional recognition, provided that they have been adequately informed beforehand by a fully articulated ‘No’ case supported by equitable government funding (50% of allotted funds to each side).
This is because there has been too much gung-ho talk by the Aboriginal lobby about a treaty and Aboriginal sovereignty, to say nothing of special seats in Parliament or an entrenched advisory body, and the people are too savvy not to realise that success in achieving constitutional recognition would be used as the basis for pushing the more wide-reaching demands in the future. In short, widespread public faith in the whole campaign has been irretrievably lost. True statesmanship would recognize this and seek other ways of honouring the Aboriginal peoples, ways that do not threaten national unity and security and which are just to other Australians.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic.