A drovers dog contest

Another possible interpretation of the campaign and its inevitable result.

The Voice referendum was a contest between decency, justice and compassion on the one hand and deeply entrenched racism and fear on the other.

Given the historical roots of racism so deeply embedded in the white Australian psyche, it was ‘a drover’s dog‘ contest from the start.

The YES campaign had no chance of victory.

The fear of the spear in the back has morphed over 240 years into a distrust of anything to do with indigenous Australians.

And a fear of surrendering any power or influence to them in case they try to take back what we took from them.

FEAR was the undeclared weapon in the arsenal of the No Campaign.

They did not create it.

It has been there for a couple of centuries.

But it was stoked and inflamed by the false arguments about the possible dire consequences of The Voice for the way of life we enjoy.

In particular it was made to appear that The Voice posed a threat to our ownership of the land they once possessed and even had the potential to allow their interference in policy and decisions of government.

What happened yesterday was a tragedy.

It was a victory for the racist majority that is the reality of Australian society in 2023.

Some ,of course, will interpret it as a victory for Dutton and those ‘successful ‘Aboriginal NO campaigners who betrayed their own.

A rebuff to Albanese and his Government.

The latter was almost certainly Dutton’s motivation to oppose The Voice, Dutton showed himself to be more in touch with our dark underbelly than Albanese who naively, and against history, declared his faith in the Australian people to support the proposal.

So we ‘move on’ in shame.

To what? And when?

The sad thing is we had an opportunity to take a small step forward but we baulked at it.

We opted to stay locked where we are.

And from the results in the various regions, particularly in Queensland, it seems that we have hardly moved at all in the past 80 year.

We are prisoners of our colonial, racist past.

It is heartbreaking for the Aboriginal people who proposed The Voice in good faith and voted for it in hope, only to have it resoundingly rejected by the dominant white society.

It will be a long, hard road to healing from here.

But one has to wonder ‘Do we really care?’

Merv Welch.

The Palms.