The Voice and the Dispossessed Majority of Anglos By James Reed
Here is some great material by Dr Frank Salter, arguing that the Voice referendum continues the racial dispossession assault upon Anglo-Australia that has been going on since the end of World War II. I have said the same many times here, but Dr Salter has said it better. There is much material in the booklet that I will deal with at a latter date, but here is the relevant material on the Voice to ponder.
A Statement on Behalf of the British Australian Community FRANK SALTER QUADRANT BOOKS SYDNEY 2023
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY he British Australian Community (BAC) calls on Australians to vote No in the referendum on a constitutionally mandated indigenous advisory body, an “indigenous voice to parliament”. Our criticisms of the voice proposal include some already made by commentators. A constitutionally mandated voice would undermine democracy and the supremacy of federal parliament, establish ethnic privilege, and encourage undemocratic judicial activism. Recognition should not take the form of a constitutional voice but a legislated one, or a declaration in a preamble to the Constitution. Additionally, the BAC argues that a constitutional voice would be bad for Anglo-Australians by distorting federal governance, in which all citizens are stakeholders. The present paper evaluates the proposed voice from the perspective of Anglo and national interests. The referendum can only be judged by considering its context. Anglo advocates have been completely excluded from the consultations and deliberations that formulated the voice proposal. This has been a continuation of a broader context. Anglo-Australians have been excluded from fair representation in ethnic politics in general – on issues of immigration, multiculturalism, and indigenous affairs. Overall, the referendum context is that AngloAustralians are under siege by an establishment that is subjecting them to institutional Anglophobia. This includes a hostile media environment and the indoctrination of Anglo children at school to despise their ancestors. Undemocratic immigration policy will reduce the founding ethnic group to minority status within a few decades. This is the context in which Anglo-Australians are being asked to change the Constitution to privilege indigenous peoples and pay for the inevitable vast voice bureaucracy. All Australians have an interest in good governance by the Commonwealth. However, Anglo-Australians have a special interest as the founding people of the Australian nation. Failure to recognise them would further alienate the nation from the Commonwealth it created. The voice proposal might have been less biased if the consultation process that informed it had included a fair number of Anglo advocates. The paper concludes by sketching conditions for genuine long-term reconciliation. This includes a realistic history of the special relationship that developed between indigenous peoples and the Anglo settler society. Reconciliation can only occur as a reciprocal settlement between the two peoples, both of whom have contributed to national identity.
- CONTEXT, PART 1: THE EXCLUSION OF ANGLOS FROM THE VOICE DEBATE he demand for an indigenous voice to Parliament comes at a time of crisis for Anglo-Australia and the nation as a whole. The demand cannot be considered outside of this context. It is a fire sale being conducted by the arsonists. The history of Anglo dispossession is the context in which a voice is being demanded. That history explains why not one Anglo advocate was included in the consultative process that formulated the voice referendum.4 The voice proposal fits this pattern by conforming to globalist anti-Western and anti-national ideology. The exclusion is profound. Commentator Paul Kelly notes that the voice process has offered “extremely limited consultation with the public – no constitutional convention, no parliamentary committee collaborating on the model, … not even the release of legal advice from the Solicitor-General …”5 The process has been more extreme for Anglo-Australians, because their representatives have been excluded from participating in a matter of group rights and national origins. Anglo exclusion from the voice process goes back to its beginnings. In 2012 prime minister Julia Gillard appointed an “Expert Panel” to consider constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. All members of the panel were either indigenous activists, their white supporters, or other minority advocates. It was appropriate to ensure strong representation by indigenous leaders, which should have been broadened to include more delegates from the regions.6 But there was not one defender of Anglo interests in all their diverse locations and economic dispositions throughout Australia. Subsequent Coalition governments continued Gillard’s discriminatory practice in appointing committees to advise on indigenous recognition, though prime minister Tony Abbott intended to consult more widely.7 As journalist Chris Kenny observes, the Coalition participated in the voice process and helped formulate the referen4 Salter, The misguided case for indigenous recognition, op cit. 5 Kelly, Paul (2023). Albanese’s flawed voice fails the test, The Weekend Australian, 25 march, pp. 17, 20.
6 Mundine, Nyunggai Warren (2023). Real voices gagged by grand gesture to absolve white guilt, The Weekend Australian, 15 April, p. 15. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/real-voices-gagged-bygrand-gesture-to-absolve-white-guilt/news-story/85ddf8ebd8fce2c2212e344c980462d6 7 Salter, F. K. (2014). The misguided case for indigenous recognition in the Constitution. Part II: Race and the culture wars,
https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2014/01-02/misguided-case-indigenous-recognitionconstitution-part-ii/. Quadrant 58(1): 32-40. Reprinted in: Salter, F. K. (2018). The Aboriginal question: Australian racial politics of indigenous recognition and Anglo de-recognition. Collected essays II, Social Technologies., Sydney. T 10 dum model.8
The new Albanese Labor government is also excluding Anglo advocates from its advisory bodies.9 The extent to which Anglo-Australians have been excluded from the voice process becomes apparent by comparing commentators who support the voice with those who disagree with it. Noel Pearson is a leading Aboriginal advocate of constitutional recognition and the voice. He is approved by the multicultural political class, is afforded prestigious platforms, and is reviewed with reverence. He is a leading architect of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, upon which the voice proposal is based. Pearson recently argued his case in the 2022 Boyer Lectures. Pearson’s voice proposal is based in significant part on dehumanising assumptions, assumptions that have proliferated among commentators of radical bent and even among some confused conservatives. This becomes clear when he proposes three sources of national identity. The first source, he states, is the First Nations, i.e. the peoples and cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. The second source consisted of Anglo institutions, such as parliamentary government and common law. Pearson notes British-derived culture but does not recognise the ethnicity – he would say the “race” – that made the country.10 The third source of identity consisted of post-Second-World-War immigrants. Pearson’s theory omits Anglos as flesh and blood people, unlike indigenous people and immigrants. They contributed nothing, he states, except for institutions and culture. Pearson would have us believe that democracy, technology, language, common law and Christianity came as disembodied spirits, that they were not carried in the minds of ordinary people. On the contrary, settlers from the British Isles were Australia’s principal population for our entire history. British and other European settlers formed the demographic and cultural basis of the nation, from its origins in 1788 until well after the Second World War. Still today they form the core identity and cohesive bond of the nation. After all, it was mainly they who mapped, named and built Australia. Indigenous peoples were granted early citizenship in most of the colonies and over time added a unique texture to the emerging national identity. The dehumanisation of Anglos appears to have been taken up by others. Gabrielle Appleby, professor of law at the University of New South Wales and leading legal proponent of the voice, discounts the existence of the Australian 8 Kenny, Chris (2023). 15 questions, now for the answers, The Weekend Australian, 11 February, p. 21. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/indigenous-voice-to-parliament-15-key-questionsanswered/news-story/1e996b65527b14fc011e5cad72bf68b2 9 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (2023). Who is involved.
https://voice.niaa.gov.au/whoinvolved#workinggroup, accessed 11.3.2022.
10 Pearson, N. (2011). Constitutional reform crucial to indigenous wellbeing. The Weekend Australian, 24 December, p. 20.
https://capeyorkpartnership.org.au/noel-pearson-constitutional-reform-crucial-toindigenous-wellbeing-the-australian/, accessed 15.3.2023.
11 nation when she describes the Australian population as consisting of “settler and First Nation communities”.11 Will Anglos and others who arrived in the last quarter millennium forever remain “settlers”? Do they not have any ingredients of indigeneity, no matter how many generations their families have lived here? Do ATSI peoples make up the only nations in Australia? Anglo-Australians have manifestly been moved by the sense of nationhood. Why else did they make sacrifices to fight the World Wars? The denial of Anglo peoplehood by Pearson and Appleby occurs all too commonly in the multicultural-approved indigenous movement. The denial’s withdrawal and repudiation will be necessary for genuine reconciliation. As for Pearson’s third wave, it is true that the post-War migrants added to the nation’s culture, though they were the main beneficiaries of their migration. That’s why they came to Australia. The key point is that when the first post-War migrants arrived in the late 1940s, Australia had already been created through the sweat and toil of largely Anglo pioneers. As discussed in the final section, indigenous peoples participated in that nation-building project. The post-Second World War immigrants added to our culture and economy; they did not create the country. Australia had already fought two world wars, again with indigenous participation. Every city, every state, was already in place and flourishing. We were a leading nation in terms of material progress, civil liberties, per capita contributions to science and technology, and dignified treatment of the indigenous population. Our nation was not perfect. But it was a functioning whole that, like the United States, Canada and New Zealand, demonstrated once again that British Isles people could flourish in environments far removed from their mother country. Another assumption hostile to Anglo-Australians is Pearson’s view that Australians do not like Aborigines. He claims this dislike is correlated with estrangement, that Australians do not like indigenous people despite not knowing them. But Pearson himself has explained that estrangement is often due to Aboriginal behaviour. His extensive writings on the nature of indigenous disability tend to contradict what he is now writing, because they suggest that the views most hostile to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders come from those closest to them, those most familiar with their behaviour. It is true that many non-indigenous people are unfamiliar with indigenous-Australians. But they are often the ones most disposed to support them, at least they have done so by paying taxes for ATSI assistance and accepting the elevation of their formal sta11 Gabrielle Appleby quoted in: Albrechtsen, Janet (2023). Dear voters, please read this letter to appreciate what ‘Yes’ will mean, The Weekend Australian, 8 April, p. 20. The full quote: “[constitutional change] may allow the voice, working with parliament, to be an alternative site for decision-making about how settler and First Nations communities can manage their shared (or conflicting) resources, institutions and spaces in ways that accommodate each community to the other.”
12 … wrought by the Mabo decision and government policies. This has implications for the reconciliation process. Pearson has characterised Aboriginal disability, from high rates of domestic violence, child neglect, crime, substance abuse, and poor educational outcomes, as comparable to that found in the Third World, despite Australia being a First World country. He and some other indigenous activists blame Anglos for causing maladaptive Aboriginal behaviour. He claims that the disability would be repaired if Anglos only voted for the voice, to allow indigenous-Australians to manage their own affairs. Essentially the same argument was made by Pearson back in 2011 when he argued passionately for recognition of indigenous-Australians in the Constitution.12 He now supports the voice and disparages recognition as mere window dressing. The new push is for power and sovereignty, though the arguments remain the same. This claim needs to be distinguished from the more limited view that closing the Gap will be facilitated by government liaising with local communities. This claim has been well made by Senator Patrick Dodson with respect to crime by indigenous youth.13 Previous prime minister Scott Morrison expressed this view more broadly and perhaps too confidently: “This is not some political exercise. For us to close the gap on infant mortality in Indigenous communities, to reduce substance dependence, to reduce child abuse, to get kids in school, to ensure that we can improve maternal health, to get young people and their parents into jobs, to do that you have to work in partnership with local Indigenous communities.” Pearson’s error is to imagine that Morrison’s opinion is a proven fact, and that a constitutionally mandated voice would close the gap by forcing government to consult local indigenous communities. Such speculative confidence might have been sobered by the presence of independently-minded members of the committees that formulated the voice proposal, such as people with proven sympathy for indigenous-Australians who also advocated for white Australia. Anglo interests have also been ignored on the Coalition side of the voice debate, in contrast to the care taken to consult Aboriginal spokesmen. Long-time Liberal prime minister John Howard (1996-2007) conducted a referendum which asked, among other things, whether citizens supported recognising indigenous-Australians in a preamble to the Constitution. At no point in the debate did Howard also propose acknowledging the Anglo founders of the nation. He stated his view that Australia is a multi-racial nation unified by a common culture and common citizenship, without identifying the origins of those commonalities. 12 Pearson, Noel (2011). Constitutional reform crucial to indigenous wellbeing. 13 Dodson, Patrick (2022). The deadly spiral of law-and-order ‘solutions’ has to stop. The Weekend Australian, 26 November, p. 24.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/the-deadly-spiral-of-lawand-order-solutions-has-to-stop/news-story/0dfd461de14ad90b9a0ef0c67442b20b, accessed 19.2.2023.
13 Tony Abbott was Liberal prime minister from 2013 to 2015 and before that a minister in John Howard’s government. His position on the voice proposal resembles Howard’s, that it should be contained in a preamble to the Constitution, not in the legally-binding body of the document. Creditably, in 2014 Abbott appointed an advisory body whose terms of reference would have required it to consult not only indigenous people but the broader community, “because the constitution belongs to everyone”. Abbott’s plan for the acknowledgment process to consult non-indigenous peoples was dropped by his successor, Malcolm Turnbull, who was Australia’s prime minister from 2015 until 2018. The result was that the process reverted to the previous Labor government’s exclusive focus on indigenous interests, an approach that effectively disenfranchised Anglo-Australians and prevented genuine reciprocal reconciliation. However procedurally worthy, Abbott was hindered by a false notion of Australia’s identity, perhaps due to the influence of Noel Pearson. Abbott improves on Pearson, because his version of the Anglo component appears to allow that they contributed not only institutions but demography and culture. He recommends the preamble: “Whereas the people … have agreed to unite in one indissoluble federal commonwealth, with an Indigenous heritage, a British foundation, and an immigrant character …”14 Despite modification, this formulation is fatally burdened by Pearson’s original error of scale. If anything, the lack of ambiguity in Abbott’s version highlights the anachronism more than does Pearson’s version. As discussed further in the final section, the Commonwealth’s indigenous heritage is one of texture and identity, not economic, cultural, or demographic weight. The nation was forged largely by Anglo (and other European) settlers and their native-born children. Neither did Australia of 1901 have an “immigrant character” that was much different to an Anglo character. Any honest acknowledgement of national origins should dwell mainly on British settlement, while recognising the prior settlement and cultural input of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and their interactions with the settlers. These Liberal prime ministers were radically out of touch with the attitudes of Australia’s founders, who knew and valued their ethnic identity. Unlike the nation’s founders, they did not care about the dire fall in relative Anglo numbers and rank in the ethnic hierarchy. Nor did they care about, empirically or intuitively, the danger posed to democracy by rising ethnic diversity. This danger was apparent to observers such as philosopher John Stuart Mill and Australian politician Sir Henry Parkes in the nineteenth century and became more apparent 14 Abbott, Tony (2022). Pass or fail, this referendum will surely leave us worse off, The Weekend Australian, 5 November, p. 16.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/pass-or-fail-this-referendumwill-surely-leave-us-worse-off/news-story/761616d76aaa8e5e308ed9ce1d04c8ba, accessed 2.2.2023.
14 in the years after the Second World War. Their view was confirmed scientifically around the end of the twentieth century.15 The replacement of Anglo-Australia could not have occurred without the failure of Liberal “conservative” leadership. Even No campaigner Nyunggai Warren Mundine, himself of Aboriginal heritage and no client of the multicultural establishment, proposes acknowledging migrants as well as indigenous-Australians, but not Anglos. Neither Mundine or other No proponents thought to consult, let alone recognise, the people who created modern Australia and formed the self-consciously Anglo nation that made the Commonwealth.16 The abandonment of Anglo-Australia by political elites provides grounds for sympathising with voice exponents. Neither Anglos, Aborigines, or Torres Strait Islanders are recognised by the present Constitution. A typical conservative criticism of the proposed voice is that it would sully Australia’s constitution. They assert that the constitution has been a great success, so why change it? This is largely true, but does not fully answer the indigenous complaint that the constitution ignores their foundational role. Consider commentator Greg Sheridan’s criticism of the voice: “An Australian citizen who is a Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong, or an Indian immigrant from Kolkata, or a Hmong hill tribesman from Laos who took out Australian citizenship one day ago, as a citizen is just as good as me, and just as good as Aboriginal Australians.”17 What Sheridan probably meant is true, that as a matter of law, all citizens have equal rights. But the imprecision of his language betrays a much larger assumption, because “just as good” also encompasses the meaning “of equal value or importance to the nation”. In that sense, the assertion is plainly false. Just as members of ethnic minorities can be expected to celebrate and defend 15 Mill, J. S. (1960/1861). Chapter XVI: On nationality, as connected to representative government. Representative government. Three essays by John Stuart Mill. J. S. Mill. London, Oxford University Press: 380-388, pp. 381-382. Mill’s view that ethnic diversity harms democracy was shared by Sir Henry Parkes, father of Australian federation. See: Salter, F. K. (2020). Sir Henry Parkes's liberal-ethnic nationalism, Sydney Trads: Weblog of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, 18 December. https://sydneytrads.com/2020/12/18/sirhenry-parkess-liberal-ethnic-nationalism/ Calwell, A. A. (1978/1972). Be just and fear not. Adelaide, Rigby. Berghe, P. L. v. d. (1981). The ethnic phenomenon. New York, Elsevier. Salter, F. K. (2018). The biosocial study of ethnicity. The Oxford handbook of evolution, biology, and society. R. L. Hopcroft. New York, Oxford University Press: 543-568 [selected pages available at https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Evolution-Biology-Society-Handbooks/dp/0190299320]. 16 Karp, P. (2023). Voice to parliament no campaign to push for recognition of migrants as well as Indigenous people, The Guardian, 29 January. https://www.theguardian.com/australianews/2023/jan/29/voice-to-parliament-no-campaign-to-push-for-recognition-of-migrants-as-well-asindigenous-people, accessed 31.1.2023. 17 Sheridan, Greg (2022). Liberalism equals equality, The Weekend Australian, 26 November, p. 24. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/racebased-voice-a-dagger-to-the-heart-of-liberalism/newsstory/4849bcb6296f5109d25b842107b1c241, accessed 20.1.2023. 15 their shared identities, so nations consist of psychological ties cued by shared identity. That is why the distinctions between ethnies, nations, and states (in Section 3) are so important for an understanding of the national question. Citizenship is not as good at creating social cohesion as are national ties. However, Sheridan is right to the extent that the Constitution does not challenge official levelling through citizenship. The administrative state seeks to reduce the national ties of culture, history, and kinship to possession of a legal document. In the eyes of multi-cultural ideologues, memberships issued yesterday by administrative fiat are “just as good” as ancient affiliations. The Constitution does not acknowledge that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were the first inhabitants and that they contributed to national country and identity. In doing so it is not singling-out indigenous peoples. The Constitution has no favourites. It does not even recognise the leading historical role played by the Anglo creators of the Australian nation, the Commonwealth, and the Constitution itself. The Constitution is as cavalier towards community and belonging as its champion Greg Sheridan, who once quipped that Anglo-Australia had undergone “benign cultural genocide”.18 In reality, it is surely reasonable for any people or nation to wish to avoid cultural genocide, benign or otherwise. Whether viewed through indigenous or Anglo eyes, the Constitution is a cold-blooded document that has afforded the nation inadequate protection against ruthless elites. Much as a prosecution needs a defence lawyer to achieve fairness, AngloAustralians need champions who are willing to take their side in the voice argument. Freedom rests on balancing adversarial relations in politics, business, and culture. Monopolies rest on eliminating or preventing adversaries. They tend to be oppressive. The revolutionary demographic change afflicting many Western countries could not have occurred had the majority’s ethnic interests been represented in politics and culture. Similarly, the inverted ethnic hierarchy imposed by multicultural regimes could not have arisen or been sustained if governments had not turned against the founding ethnicity. This is perhaps the reason why political multiculturalism has been authoritarian, for example in “anti-hate” laws, censorship, and most recently cancellation by Big Tech social media platforms and payment systems. Tolerance of majority identity and expression would have moderated extremist replacement ideology. All ethnic groups with a stake in Australia’s Constitution should be treated as flesh-and-blood people with interests of life, dignity, and demographic continuity. Advocates of Anglo interests have been effectively silenced in the present debate over an indigenous voice. The same has been true for decades concerning public discussion of ethnic affairs in general.