Bid for Indigenous recognition vote a step in the right direction

 theage.com.au  07/13/2019 14:00:00 

If they do it, how could the nation not applaud? How could half the nation not think perhaps they got Morrison wrong, that he really could do something, beyond the hurly-burly of day-to-day politics. What is needed right now, though, is the weight of the PM behind it. It is one thing for his minister to announce the policy and take the usual flak from conservative commentators and some of the curmudgeons on the right flank. That was always going to happen. But to get it over the line, it will never fly unless Morrison takes some of the enormous political capital he gained by winning the unwinnable election and puts it right behind this.

His reported line that he won't back a "Voice" to Parliament because it would be a "third chamber" needs a rethink. It is no such thing. It is simply, as former Liberal parliamentarian Fred Chaney said so eloquently acknowledging the First People's "right to be heard on issues that affect them".

Doesn't that make sense? And isn't it right and proper that be the case? As Australia's foremost constitutional expert Professor Anne Twomey, points out, there are other bodies that inform parliament, such as the Productivity Commission, and no one panics, so why panic over the Voice? The Uluru Statement from the Heart makes no claim for parliamentary power, so let's get behind it.

Loudly! Back in the 1980s, it was the Labor Party that launched the great economic reforms that transformed the country. So why can't the LNP be the party to launch constitutional change to help heal the nation's most gaping wound?

CLIMATE HOAX?

Yes, yes, I too think that David Attenborough is the most respected voice on the environment in the world, and I love that for about eight decades he has been amassing so much knowledge and eloquence that when he speaks, people lean forward to hang on every word. I know it is troubling that this week he took particular aim at our own fair country, noting how extraordinary it is that so many powerful voices continue to ignore the science of climate change.

Exposed! ... David Attenborough.

Exposed! ... David Attenborough.Credit:ABC

"Australia is already facing having to deal with some of the most extreme manifestations of climate change," he said. "Both [in] Australia and America, those voices are clearly heard and one hopes that the electorate will actually respond to those."

Well, you and I only think that because we've been hoodwinked. He sucked us in, all along. And it was up to our own Senator Malcolm Roberts to expose Attenborough when he tweeted last week: "Do you know what drove me into politics. People like David Attenborough who promote fabricated climate science, which leads to policies which hurt humanity and have no positive impact on the environment."

Quite why David Attenborough is going to the effort of joining NASA, the UN and the CSIRO in fabricating the climate emergency I am not yet sure. That will no doubt become clear in forthcoming tweets. But he at least should know that Senator Roberts is on to him!

"You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special  the kidney has a very special place in the heart." - President Donald Trump

THEY SAID

"I don't think there is a risk of persecution  Christians need to calm down. I would say to Christians if you want to see persecution, let me take you to places where there is persecution of Christians and other religious groups  let me take you to Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, and I will show you persecution." - The Reverend Tim Costello, speaking in his new role as a senior fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity.

"I honestly think today just went my way." - Elysse Perry on being asked about getting the best one-day score yet by an Australian woman.

"We have had 650,000 people lodge their tax return. The beauty of technology is if you get your return in electronically you will get a refund between six days and two weeks. We are keen to roll out these tax cuts as quickly as possible." - Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar on the $1080 to reach most workers' bank accounts as soon as next week after the Coalition's $158 billion tax package passed Parliament on Thursday.

"I want to put a positive spin on it as well and not just say Australia's in a housing crisis when it affects a very, very small percentage of the population." - Federal Assistant Housing Minister Luke Howarth. This was not well received.

JOKE OF THE WEEK

The instant after the Archbishop dies, he arrives in Heaven and is taken by St Peter to his living quarters, a small cottage. Next door is a massive mansion with everything  pool, tennis court, gym, hot and cold running servants. The Archbishop introduces himself to his new neighbour and is a little surprised to find that back on Earth the fellow was a Sydney taxi driver. Reflecting on it for a few days, he goes to St Peter and says, "I know I shouldn't complain but I was an archbishop and am now living in a humble cottage while a taxi driver got a mansion. Why?" "It is very simple," St Peter replies smoothly. "When you gave sermons people dozed. When he drove people prayed!"

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz

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