There is a vicious lie abroad that rejection of the “Voice” referendum means we are a racist nation, not ready for reconciliation.
But the Voice had 60 per cent support or more before the clever people got involved, loaded up a simple proposal with hidden agendas, failed to even think of unintended consequences, refused to hold a proper Constitutional Convention and rejected open public consultation.
It was also before dinosaur has-beens told us we were racist and “rednecks” if we had any doubts, before anyone with questions was derided for weakness or paranoia.
Those who preach equality but seem to practise elitism might recall those other long-ago “rednecks,” the striking shearers who founded the world’s first Labor Party in central western Queensland, after the elites of their day called in the troopers to shoot them.
They might also recall that Mussolini took the name fascism from the Roman “fasces”, often portrayed as a three-pronged spear, representing authoritarian control of the masses by an alliance of church, state and business.
The “Yes” campaign added celebrities and unions, but the bullying, psychological this time, was still there – and that is what Australians rejected.
Our task now is to get on with the job an enormous majority of Australians want to achieve – improving indigenous disadvantage with opportunity, education and publicly formulated policies, derived from honest conversations with those affected by them, including the remote indigenous nations few have ever heard of, let alone listened to.
Let’s do it with integrity and good will, not name-calling and hubris.