Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is urging us to support the Uluru Statement from Heart in full, but has recently said “I haven’t read it. Why would I?’ on the Neil Mitchell show, 3AW radio in Melbourne. Anthony Albanese said that the “Uluru Statement from the Heart is one page, not hundreds of pages … [but] I know what I know what the conclusion is”. It appears we have a genuine case of the uninformed Prime Minister leading an uninformed public.
So what is in the 120 pages of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its supplementary document?
The document titled Uluru Statement from the Heart comprises the record of Regional Dialogue meetings from Hobart, Broome, Darwin, Dubbo, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Ross River, Adelaide, Brisbane, Torres Strait and Canberra. These dialogues are followed by a 26 page statement, complete with strategy diagrams for assuming power, which completes the 120 pages in total.
On virtually every page the words ‘sovereignty’ and ‘treaty’ appear. The purpose of the document is ‘treaty’ –referred to later in the document as ‘Makarrata’: “Makarrata is another word for treaty or agreement making. It is the culmination of our agenda” (p.93) “Treaty and constitutional recognition should go hand in hand” (p.9)
The basis for a treaty is the claim by the First Nations/Peoples (FNP) to sovereignty – denying Australian citizens their democratic right to sovereignty over their country. The method for attaining a treaty is the government sponsored and publicly endorsed Voice to Parliament.
In reading through the Regional dialogues, the ‘discussions’ are very similar, indeed, repetitious.
There are a number of secondary issues mentioned in the Dialogues;
– The Voice to be independent of government
– Schools to have compulsory Aborigine studies and languages
– Aborigines should no longer be deemed a ‘special needs’ cohort of people. – First People’s voice in the selection of ‘head of state’
– Australians should recognise Aborigine spirituality and ancestor as creators of all life – Desire for self-determination – not to be under control of Australian governments. – Change ANZAC Day to include the fallen in frontier wars
– Change the Australian flag
– Create their own constitution and have their own black parliament
– Aboriginal names on places and streets
– White people haven’t cared for Aborigines enough as Arthur Phillip was instructed – Decolonise Australia and get back to Aboriginal control
– First peoples are not ‘Australians’
– Multinational corporations could pay 1%, 2% or 5%
– Stop mining
– “Aboriginal people have done nothing wrong” (p.84)
– “I want our people to be billionaires” (p.21)
An immediate issue for the FNP was that of identity. How could the FNP members identify themselves as ‘Aborigines’ when they were mostly mixed-blood (creole) people and even
non-Aboriginal descendant people, like Thomas Mayor (Mayo)? But Treaty “is not about colour”. (p.62)
By way of explanation, of the 500,000 or so people in Australia who claim to be ‘Indigenous’, less than 2% are full-blood Aborigines, who make up less than ½% of the population. The Census of 1901 stated that 95% of Aborigines were of mixed-blood. The Conference on Aboriginal Welfare in Canberra in 1937, noted that 95% of the ‘crossbreed’ children born were the issue of purely native [creole] unions, and 80% of those were born in wedlock. The vast majority of people who identify as Aborigine today are of a creole race which has emerged in recent times. Assimilation of Aboriginal people into the general society has continued with some 70% of people of Aborigine decent now married to non-Aborigines. In an effort to hide the fading population of Aborigine, and creole people with some, or very little ‘Indigenous’ heritage, the names ‘First Nations and First Peoples’ have been created.
In reading through the complaints and aspirations of the Dialogue papers, the immediate observation is that there is no self-incrimination. Nowhere does the FNP cohort state that they have ever contributed to their own destiny or current circumstances: the ‘white fella is to blame’ for all their misery. [which sounds like, ‘And what have the Romans ever done for us?’]
There is an absence of analysis of past or present social, economic, financial and judicial forces or contexts that have produced the claimed trauma and need for rebellion. There is no statistical analysis whatsoever and a severe lack of evidence based facts.
The document’s emphatic claim to sovereignty had me reaching for my American Federalist Papers, my Mao Tse-Tung’s (correct spelling) Little Red Book and my Communist Manifesto. In questioning the authority of the Australian democratic state, was I really reading a First People’s Declaration of Independence? Was I reading a document for a non-violent ‘velvet’ revolution or coup d´état or insurrection? Is the Uluru Statement really sedition?
In the Conclusion to the document it states that the FNP has chosen an ‘institutional alternative – a Voice to Parliament’ (rather than violent rebellion). Accordingly, they are seeking a government sponsored secession from the Commonwealth and recognition as a separate sovereign entity, which, through legitimate means, will oversee parliamentary and government decisions and activity.
Yet, the similarities between the Uluru Statement from the Heart declaration and the writings of the Federalists, Mao and Marx cannot be easily ignored for the Uluru Statement’s wording is also emotive, idealistic, arousing and claims a right to seek an alternative form of government.
The foundational premise to the Uluru Statement is that the FNP believe they are marginalized from participating in government, disenfranchised from the opportunity of self-determination, alienated from their ancient society and are a voiceless people needing a voice. And, it is all the other fellas fault. This dualistic epistemology (of good guys and bad guys) is pure Marxism. And, it explains Thomas Mayor’s desire to honour his communist ancestors.
The Uluru Statement is not a proposal to improve the socioeconomic conditions and opportunities of Aboriginal people. The Government Referendum Booklet’s claim that the Voice will improve the welfare and health of Indigenous people is misleading and is incongruent with the aspirations and demands of the Uluru Statement.
In the Uluru Statement, the FNP claim to be a ‘spiritual’ movement and talk of their ancestral tie to ‘mother nature’ and sacred link to the land. They are born from ‘mother nature’, remain attached to it and will be united to their ancestors. This is animism, a religion of traditional Aboriginal people wherein the ancestors govern the tribes in all aspects of life. The ancestors were the progenitors (existed before life) of every generation as
well as the progenitors to all plants and animals. In seeking a ‘cultural revival’ they want recognition of their “creators”(p.20) – the ancestor elders. The problem with the FNP claiming their sovereignty is spiritual and a derivation of their ancient pagan animist religion, is that under Section 116 of the Constitution, the “Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion.” Gabriёl Moens and Augusto Zimmermann – both Law Professors, also point out the religious nature of the Voice.
In sum, the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a political and religious document created by a politically motivated group, the FNP – which should be correctly named the ‘First Nations Party’. The FNP, however, is not a registered legal entity: it is not a corporation, organisation, association or charity but is a nebulous unidentified entity. The FNP, as the Uluru Statement clearly states, seeks a Voice to the Parliament as the political means to transact a treaty – Makarrata, which will deliver money from the Australian taxpayer to the FNP for its unregulated disbursement.
No wonder Anthony hasn’t read it. Why would he?
Dr Christopher Reynolds is experienced as a teacher, professor, business manager and political strategist. He has worked on several American political campaigns and on staff under Senator Teddy Kennedy and Senator Mitch McConnell, and received a commendation from President Ronald Reagan for "excellent work". He's the author of several books including his most recent work, What a Capital Idea – Australia 1770-1901. His Ph.D. is in Government/Political Philosophy. [more]
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