Kenny's Voice is Bunkum
Proponants of the divisive Voice are now blaming the division on those that think it's racist, unnecessary and devoid of detail.
We’ve been told for months that there is nothing to be worried about when it comes to the Voice.
The advocates, including the prime minister, have said It’s a modest change we should be afraid of.
“It’s not a radical proposition but a sensible one... A simple, vital and practical principle: that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a say in the policies and decisions that affect their lives.
That was back in February.
But this week, while giving the Lowitja O'Donahue oration in Adelaide, he took a slightly different tack.
"So let us not content ourselves with modest change. Let us not fill our hearts with the empty warmth of the merely symbolic."
I read the transcript and found the speech full of misleading rhetoric and vague promises.
But at least he now admits what he’s pushing is neither modest nor symbolic.
Unfortunately, this double speak is characteristic of many of those pushing the yes campaign.
Yesterday, a column by my Sky News colleague Chris Kenny in the Australian continued the theme, accusing the No campaign proponents of being deceptive and divisive.
Kenny, a prominent yes campaigner claimed the proposal was about encouraging progress and equality. There was no real explanation of how it actually does that - aside from a Castleesque vibe.
He dismissed the rationale that giving rights to one group of people in our constitution, over and above others, based on their ancestry and race is discriminatory and racist.
He also claims the proposal is divisive only because some people are opposed to it.
That’s tortured logic in any reckoning.
You could just as well say that there is only division because 'a ridiculous and racist proposal is being put up by a bunch a mealy mouthed do gooders who refuse to provide the details or the potential consequences of what they want'.
And the devil is always in the detail. And the real consequences won’t be known until the deed is done.
It’s a constitutional experiment where the Yes side refuses to acknowledge there are some serious questions that they don’t seem that keen to answer.
Instead, they hide behind a legal opinion while ignoring an equally skilled legal opinion that reaches a diametrically opposite conclusion.
They claim the support of ‘sporting bodies, NGOs and corporates’ for the voice is proof that it unites us.
Again, they ignore the fact many of these bodies are just trying to carry favour with the government, mostly to keep the grant money flowing, or with ESG investors front the union super funds and groups like Blackrock.
It’s a cabal of elites basically saying you are a divisive racist if you don’t agree with them.
That’s the technique the left have been using for years and its now being embraced by some right of centre commentators. .
None of them can or want to see that enshrining a race based proposition in the constitution is actually racist in the first place.
And yes, I know we have a race based provision there already.
Section 51 reads "The people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws".
Until recently, many Voice advocates were claiming that was racist and needed to be removed.
Back in 2012 Retired NSW Chief Justice James Spigelman, QC, said when it was introduced:
"there was no doubt that it was a racist power and that it no longer has a place in the constitution...
A power with respect to people is I regard a very dangerous power to confer on any legislature, even the Commonwealth parliament... because it can be focused on particular groups by reason of their presumed characteristics, rather than what their behaviour is or what their needs are, but just because of who they are."
Robert French, a retired Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and a yes supporter said (in 2012) the term 'race' is a term of the past.
"I think the term 'race' itself is a cultural construct whose day has passed and has very little factual referent apart from what you find in so-called cultural realities...And I think we'd be better off without it."
I happen to agree but now we are proposing a new race based provision in the constitution.
Gotcha! says the yes campaign. There is nothing about race in the proposal for the voice.
That’s sophistry of the highest order.
The word race isn’t mentioned but it’s all about creating a new body that is only open to people of a particular racial background.
Hence, if this proposal gets up, some Australians will be excluded from participating in a constitutionally defined aspect of our governance, because they are of the wrong ethnic mix.
If that’s not racist, I don’t know what is.
Kenny, of course, proclaims this is about reconciliation not racism but that too is tortured logic.
How does enshrining exclusiveness bring people together?
What practical measure will having yet another aboriginal body, with currently unknown potential legal powers or authority, deliver for three per cent of our citizens? And at what cost will those measures be for the remaining 97% of us?
It’s all unknown, but for the likes of Kenny, simply raising these concerns or claiming the voice is racist, is the cause of divisiviness.
The Voice is racist. The Voice divides Australians.
Those pushing it may or may not be well meaning but they certainly don’t want the facts to get in the way of their opinion.