The vast majority of Australians would like to believe that reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people is possible – but is it?

Alexander McCall Smith CBE PhD is a British writer and scholar. He has written wonderful books, full of humour and intellectual vigour. He has also always managed to insert his own philosophical thoughts into the mouths of his many characters. One such example reads as follows:

There comes a point at which one has to forgive – to forgive others and also forgive yourself. Because if we continue to think about historical wrongs, then nobody can get on with life. The memory of old wrongs poisons relations – freezes them too. ‘These people are our enemies because of something they did in the past’ – that sort of thinking is fatal. It clutters everything up. We can’t get on with life if we allow all sorts of unfinished business distort our dealings with others. So, we draw a line and say, “That’s the past. The past is dead.”

If only indigenous activists like Senator Lidia Thorpe and Thomas Mayo (member of the Referendum Working Group) and their supporters could live by that standard. Their obvious hatred towards the so-called ‘colonial invaders’ will undoubtedly cause enormous harm to the prospect of reconciliation.

Senator Lidia Thorpe tweeted that she supported the arson attack on the doors and portico of Old Parliament House: “Seems like the colonial system is burning down. Happy New Year everyone,” the tweet read.

Then there was that infamous speech at a Melbourne rally when she screamed out to a cheering crowd: “This is a war! They are still killing us! They are still stealing our babies! They are killing our men! And they are still raping our women!”

In the Senate, whilst taking the official oath, she called the late Queen, a “coloniser”.

Even her own Caucasian father said “She’s a very racist person against white people.”

Then there’s Thomas Mayo’s comments such as, ““We are going to use the rule book of the nation to force them!” This referred, of course, to the elected members of the Australian government. The ‘rule book’ refers to the Australian Constitution.

He also asked his Marxist comrades, “… pay respects to the Elders of the Communist Party” who he said had helped their cause considerably.  

He has also referred to demands that non-indigenous people should pay rent, reparations and compensation to indigenous people – and even a proportion of the GDP that could amount to several billions of dollars on top of all the other payments!

He also said that he and his people will, in relation to the Voice, “Punish politicians that ignore our advice.”

Lidia Thorpe and Thomas Mayo are both likely to be selected as members of the Voice should it be successful at the referendum.

And it’s not a matter of just these two hate-filled people – each has a large support group who share their views and condone their threats.  You only have to look at the huge cheering crowds of followers that appear at public rallies and political functions.

Now this is not to suggest that all indigenous people share their views – in fact quite the opposite. Both Thorpe and Mayo have come under intense criticism from indigenous people for their blatant racist and inflammatory remarks.

It has also been pointed out neither of them are full-blood Aborigines or Torres Strait Islanders. Thorpe has Irish and English ancestry, including her father. Mayo has Asian and Caucasian ancestry. In effect, their hate-filled rants are against their own ancestors as well as possibly even some of their current extended family members.

We can only hope that once the Voice referendum has been defeated, we can all get on with our lives and gain some level of reconciliation between the 3.8% of the population who claim to be indigenous and the rest of us.

However, our Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney, seems unlikely to be party to any attempt at reconciliation should the referendum fail. Her comments clearly indicate that she believes ‘No’ voters are racist and wouldn’t be able to look her “in the eyes”. From those comments, it can be assumed that she despises at least half of Australia’s non-indigenous population.

I’m sure that ‘No’ voters will be more than willing to look her in the eyes. Their votes will have stopped this country’s Constitution from becoming a race-based document that would have provided a few selected (not elected) indigenous activists with the opportunity to make demands across ALL areas of government and then, if not satisfied, take such matters to the High Court for final adjudication.

Such action would slow down important legislation or even prevent it from being enacted by our democratically elected government.

The Voice is a recipe for social, political and economic disaster and must be stopped.