grieving the loss of justice

The idealist, the wrecker and the broken nation

Monday 16 October 2023 11:29 AM

The devil in the details: Inside the Yes campaign’s defeat

I've feared this outcome pretty much from the start. I like and respect Albo, but his approach to the public promotion of the Voice has seemed to me woefully naive, expecting the fabled Aussie sense of the fair go to conquer all. A particular failure has been any accounting for the power of misinformation in the digital and post-Trump age. Sadly I can only call it a grave failure of leadership.

But that's not to say it's all down to the PM, by any means. Successes require teamwork, and so do failures. This analysis makes depressing reading for anyone who prayed, hoped and laboured for a successful referendum. It opens the door to some of what transpired in the backrooms of the government, the opposition and indigenous-led strategic planning. That's not a pretty picture either.

I hope Peter Dutton does go down in history as the wrecker he is. He deserves nothing less. But beyond that we may only mourn with those who mourn. That above all is the indigenous people, especially those in remote communities, who clearly wanted the Voice, judging from voting figures from booths in regions where they live in significant proportions, including Senator Price's home territory.

Xavier Herbert’s award-winning title seems an especially apt closing. Poor Fellow My Country indeed.

P.S. Some blunt and chilling thoughts here on Dutton in wider context