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Nothing has changed (Dutton’s preferred outcome)

By Allan Richardson

I haven’t heard much comprehensive analysis on how Dutton will fare if the No vote gets up in the upcoming Recognition and The Voice referendum.

Much superficial political commentary seems to suggest that a victory will set Dutton up as the strong opposition leader for the next federal election, because Albanese recklessly (some might say) pinned his and his government’s achievement on a successful referendum. Eggs/basket.

Just imagine the chat in the increasingly likely event that the Yes vote will fail.

The backslapping and merriment in which the LNP will indulge with much fanfare and ceremony will be short-lived.

Forget the rusted-on advocates for either position; the referendum was never about them. Like forever, the goal for each side was to capture the ‘undecideds’. And if the referendum fails, the LOTO will be seen as the strong leader. Until the dust clears …

And after the hullabaloo, when nothing has changed to close the gap, the First Nations People will still be just as disadvantaged as before in every way; ways that have been decried by all parties, with whatever level of sincerity one normally attributes to politicians. And many of the undecided-but-No voters will start to wonder about the wisdom of their actions. Too late.

The advocates for the Yes vote are not going to shut up, and all the Labor, Greens and Teals will pile onto Dutton as the self-appointed ‘Nokesman’ for the ‘debate’. Any half-decent election campaign will have him seen as the bigoted racist that he is. And given the broad remit of the NACC, there’s every reason that he and his co-liars should be referred to the Commission, for clearly identified misinformation relating to something as critical as modifying our founding document! But this won’t benefit Labor. Albanese would be (correctly) identified as a Prime Minister unable to prosecute his signature policy. The disenchanted would migrate to the Greens and the Teals.

And my guess is that he’ll be blamed for any political unrest that a failed Recognition and Voice referendum will engender. And there’ll be plenty of that! He’s a goner, but his vitriol and spitefulness will never be forgotten. Being publicly dismissive of respectful requests by a 65,000-year civilisation is glaring, unmitigated arrogance.


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  1. Terence Mills

    Dutton has set his sail and is heading for the rocks when the YES vote gets up he will have shown himself to be a mean spirited naysayer and his leadership of the Liberal party and his career will be be cactus.

    If the NO campaign get up there will be national disappointment and international embarrassment : there will be no appetite for a treaty or truth telling (I’m not even sure what that means).

    The Moir cartoon says it all !

  2. RomeoCharlie

    If he has any self awareness at all Dutton must be starting to realise the whirlwind of racism his opposition to the voice has unleashed. His pathetic attempts to pull himself out from under the mountain of dogshit he has created with the ‘brain farts’ as Lambie called them, of another referendum or a legislated voice ( predicated on at least one vain hope..that he wins the next election) have a small whiff of ‘oops, what have I actually done here?’ about it.

    Albanese’s reputation – already in a hand basket – would certainly take a hit from a failure of the referendum but ultimately all of the opprobrium and contempt would be sheeted home to Dutton. In the, hopefully wrong, case that the referendum ends in failure, I predict Dutton will suffer the same fate as the pathetic former Governor General Sir John Kerr did for his sacking of Whitlam, becoming an object of ridicule and heckling at every public appearance until he fades into irrelevance.

    Sadly the potential trashing of Australia’s international reputation means nothing to the small-minded, gullible No voters who are unable even to see how they are being misled and deceived by those promoting the no case.

  3. Harry Lime

    Dutton has descended into the pantheon of despicable,lying,DIVISIVE arseholes of recent years,including Howard,Abbott and Morrison.If he thinks he’s on a winner,he’s deluded.He has demonstrated in spades his unsuitability to be a leader of any merit,and is close to surpassing the mental ugliness of his predecessors.He will be responsible for putting the final nails in the’Liberal’ party,and good riddance.
    I agree that the disenchanted will migrate to the Greens and Independents,which will also eat into Labor’s vote.Goodbye,duopoly.

    Paranoia Pete might as well join the Red headed harpy and be done with it.He will only be remembered as the last of the destroyers.

  4. Clakka

    Nothing has changed – he can’t think why.

    He only turns up to be fed via the public purse.

    How his makers managed to stack blancmange so high is boggling. Nobody knows what he stands for. The Qld wallopers came close with their can of Biff. Even off the leash he chases his tail and barks at shadows. As a guide, he’s like the blind leading the blind.

    Undoubtedly all that he will leave behind are his remains to be scraped from the public’s shoes.

  5. Andrew Smith

    Interesting how Albanese stands back to let people vote with their conscience, while Dutton is central to and betting his leadership on ‘No’ by ‘whatever it takes’ to oppose ‘Yes’, a la Abbott & US GOP, while their muse Howard uses the Whitlamesque ‘maintain the rage’ (suggesting old Labor white Oz types?); all supported by Murdoch led MSM and the IPA.

    One is always concerned that Australian voters are sub-optimally informed by media, while the ‘No’ campaign, namely Advance Australia, have learnt how to leverage social media for astroturfing campaigns running for months for ‘No’ (highlighted by ACTU’s McManus but not countered?), in addition to their permanent 24/7 campaigns vs. ALP, climate science, immigrants, woke, elites etc.

    Further, watching the ABC decline into anodyne coverage of politics and issues of the day, while becoming more like MSM and constraining itself in the bush, the general focus of the LNP, SkyNews, Murdoch et al is the bush for a US GOP ‘mid western strategy’ vs urban types; fascism 101.

    If ‘No’ gets up, not sure how it will help the LNP vs. QLD LNP, except to let off some steam or angst, but elsewhere it may break support for and within the Liberal Party in urban or other areas; see Brexit and short term ‘collective narcissism’ and RW media still….. demanding that ‘clown car crash’ is seen as a success; Anglosphere, what is it good for?

  6. JulianP

    To the author and to all commentators above, allow me to say Thank You.
    One way or another you have judged the matter correctly.

    I have just read another essay [published today] on this precise topic and can recommend same. The author concludes his essay by saying:

    “Albanese should be taking the battle to the enemy. The enemy is Dutton…As between Albanese and Dutton, it should be a battle without quarter, one focused particularly on fixing Dutton with the responsibility and the accountability for both the strategy with which he entered the battleground, and the tactics he and his side are using.”
    [ ]

  7. ajogrady

    If the Voice vote fails the world will have no doubts that Australia is a pathetic backward looking country stuck in 19th century colonizing attitudes that is inhabited by petty racist bogans, bigoted redneck zealots, cowardly xenophobic ratbags, irrational fear mongering far right boofheads, fascist Christian drongos doing the bidding of predatory and parasitic billionaires Gina Rhineheart and Clive Palmer plus many multi national mining corporation bullys and bludgers, instigated and directed by the IPA (who has its own Voice to parliament) while the contemptible Murdoch Media and its paranoid echo chamber of lies and distortions are megaphoned to its moronic disciples.
    Advance a fair Australia, vote YES!
    Although the lack of any detail and transperancy of the AUKUS deal by the Albanese Labor government will and has cast a suspicious cloud over the Voice and it objectives is understandable. Getting the Voice over the line rests a lot on the credibility and trust for the Albanese Labor government, much like how it will impact on the next election for Albanese Labor.
    AUKUS is Labor’s Achilles Heel and Albenese’s Albatross of theirs and his making. The Voice will become a victim of Labor’s suspicious lack of transparency around Albanese’s flawed AUKUS deal.

  8. Ankisip


    The USUKA deal has left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, regardless of voting persuasion.

    Ps; Since Whitlam got the chop I have always denounced the duopoly

  9. Harry Lime

    Deceitful Dutton is aided and abetted by his idiot deputy, who is falling over herself to back up the outrageous lies and misinformation being peddled.A more repulsive combination of sorry,sad little people is hard to imagine.With the probable exception of the trash media.

  10. Nathan

    It’s too late to back out of the referendum. However, as a thought exercise, what if Labor had considered what the WA govt did back in 2006 when Colin Barnett negotiated the South West Native Title Agreement, aka ‘Noongar Treaty’?
    Four Corners ‘Muddy Waters’ (11/09/2023) made some interesting points. Brendan Moore (former Chair of South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council), noted the outcome was “essentially a treaty and the sky hasn’t fallen in”. He went on to say “Native Title Act was gonna deliver ancient rights . . on slithers of land that was left over by agriculture, left over by industry and that government didn’t want. We were better served by an alternative settlement that would make us engage into a, a modern economy. We are an urbanised people from an ancient culture.”
    At the time, the ‘Noongar Treaty’ cost the WA govt “$1.3 billion dollars worth of transferred wealth” according to grazier representative Tony Seabrook. There were about 30,000 Noongar people covered by the ‘treaty’ which was about $433k per claimant involved. How that was divided up I don’t know. Given inflation has led to a x2 or x3 increase in land prices since 2006, any future settlement would need to be adjusted.
    If Labor & Libs are prepared to soon give a $250B tax break to the wealthiest, why not offer that to Aborigines?
    Could it be that eastern state Labor and Liberal politicians are pretentious fools and couldn’t care less?
    If the YES vote fails, Albanese could contact Colin Barnett and take it from there.
    The PM can initiate negotiations on a similar ‘treaty’ with all Aboriginal nations, he doesn’t need a referendum.

  11. wam

    To this simpleton the fact that price says no because there is no power in the voice and dutton says no because there is power should have the yes case going on the morning shows to laugh at the lnp??
    Ajo the loonies are Labor’s achilles’ heel and should Albo sit back he will lose a minimum of 6 current members in 25.
    the AFL is not serious about head tackles a harmless punch rightly gets matches a terrible knockout is unpunished there should be no argument that both were deliberate.

  12. andyfiftysix

    standard political narratives is what i just read. If……then…….if……..then. We are free to make our own narratives, free from the shackles of past screwups. Dutton may win this referendum on who can generate a scare campaign, but he has no policies of note and Labor can still embarass the shit out of the LIBs. lets see how it plays out.

    Wam, Maynards hit was both right and wrong. I heard the analysis from 50 different people and they all had a valid point. Its an imperfect game mate. The result is also imperfect. Jack’s, well he didnt hurt the guy sufficiently but thems the breaks……yes a blues supporter.

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