The “No” campaign has been left to hang. And, really, that’s all in their favour.
As happened with the Republic referendum, Australians are seeing a stark and telling divide. On the “Yes” side are united all the forces of the Establishment elite, honking in chorus and wagging their fingers. On the “No” side is a grass-roots movement of their fellow ordinary Australians, black and white.
When No voters say their evening prayers they must surely be throwing in a request to God to let [Noel Pearson] go on Patricia Karvelas’s radio show the next morning to let rip at his enemies or, even better, his friends.
No campaigners know that every piece of epic abuse Pearson showers on them is worth its weight in gold when it comes to campaign donations and voting intentions.
If Australians want to get an idea of what a “Voice” will sound like, they only need to hear Pearson shouting about “white c**ts”, or Lidia Thorpe screeching at a Senate Estimates hearing like a petulant toddler.
To damn him with faint praise, at least Pearson has a gossamer-thin thread of self-awareness. Thorpe has all the self-consciousness and control of Raiwiri Waititi with a KFC Family Bucket.
Pearson’s question about whether Jewish MP Julian Leeser “expects us to wear a tattoo identifying ourselves as Indigenous” was so sickeningly intemperate that even Pearson realised he’d crossed a line.
Every time Noel says something like this, more undecided voters might ask themselves “would I want this man running the voice?” and shift into the No side of the ledger.
Even the “interleckshuls” of the “Voice” can’t help but help the “No” campaign.
While Pearson is the standout performer, we should also recognise [Marcia Langton’s] contribution to the No case, even if it was accidental.
When Langton warned Australians in a recent interview for The Weekend Australian that if Australians were so ungrateful as to vote No, they could forget about asking an Indigenous person to do a welcome to country, she was deluged by comments begging her to confirm that a No vote meant no more welcomes to country.
Even the judiciary is getting in on the act. One of the most potent tools in the “No” kit is the obvious concern that the “Voice” will be a lawyer’s picnic, weaponised by activist judges.
And, right on cue, comes a judge playing activist in the worst possible way.
A former Federal Court judge has accused NSW Supreme Court justice Ian Harrison of spectacularly “blurring the lines” between the judiciary and legislature when he launched a vicious attack on Nationals MP Pat Conaghan over his anti-voice comments, as a senior barrister raised grave concerns over the implications Justice Harrison’s comments have for the legal profession at large.
Can’t have the peasants getting wise to the jig, now can we?
As for the “Voice” being a lawyer’s and activist judge’s picnic, Langton’s blatant self-contradictions tell us all we need to know.
Langton, for example, famously wrote or, to be more accurate, co-wrote with Tom Calma, in paragraph 2.9 of the Calma-Langton Report on the proposed design of the voice, that in order to “respect parliamentary sovereignty and avoid causing unintended consequences”, “all elements would be non-justiciable meaning alignment with the standards could not be challenged in court”.
Yet, now she admits that “why wouldn’t we want” the “Voice” to make High Court challenges.
That’s quite a turnaround on what was an important starting principle for the voice. What else will change?
But if we want the best argument against the “Voice”, we only have to ask Noel Pearson, 2012:
“Racial categorisations dehumanise us all. It dehumanises us because we are each individuals, and we should be judged as individuals. We should be rewarded on our merits and assisted in our needs. Race should not matter.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Lushington describes himself as Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. This article was first published HERE