Regrets, They'll Have a Few

The act of surrendering long-held principles for short-term gain often brings regret. It's a lesson the Coalition is yet to learn not to repeat.

Regrets, They'll Have a Few

The abandonment of principle for expediency often brings regrets.

That's particularly the case when it comes to politics. Even if your decision helps you to a short-term victory, the long-term cost can be significant.

The price is often a loss of credibility or accusations of hypocrisy.

Of course, the dumping of 'principles' for political gain happens all the time and that's why politicians count on the apathy of voters to maintain support.

I was reminded of this after reading the push by Thomas Mayo to enshrine a Voice in legislation after the resounding referendum defeat.

He wants both parties to support the proposal saying:

"Something needs to be legislated regardless of whether it is in the constitution or not."

This is an extraordinary act of hypocrisy from the man who told the nation that a representative body for Aboriginal people would be ineffective if it wasn't in the constitution.

A cynic might consider Mayo's renewed push as yet another push for power and the spoils of entrenched office for a privileged elite of Indigenous Australians.

We've come to expect magnitudes of self-interest in advocacy from those who depend on government for their livelihoods but one has to wonder if Mayo has any self-awareness.

He was part of the leadership team of the failed referendum, and it was his history of very provocative comments that helped harden people against the proposal.

Mayo has advocated for 'pay the rent' reparation, and the abolition of 'harmful colonial institutions' while wanting 'integrations of our laws and lore'.

The people saw these outrageous ideas for what they were and emphatically rejected them.

But it's not the discredited conduct of Mayo that concerns me.

During the Voice campaign, the Coalition said they would legislate for local and regional voices. They are baby steps on the way to what Thomas Mayo is now calling for.

I said at the time, the Coalition's position was poor policy, adopted purely as a tactic for them to squash any allegations of their opposition to the referendum as being racist.

I also said it would come back to haunt them.

It may be that the ghosts of a campaign past will now make their presence felt.

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