Features Australia

The Treaty of Spring Street

21 July 2018

9:00 AM

21 July 2018

9:00 AM

History in the old sense of events and names isn’t much taught in our schools any more, such history as there is being a grim wallow in the guilt we are all supposed to feel for the dreadful behaviour of our forefathers to our foremothers and everyone else who fell beneath the shadow of their rapacious cis-patriarchal aspirations. But there must be someone under 40 who has heard of the Treaty of Versailles, if only because next year is its centenary, and the orgy of gravespotting which has marked the current commemoration of the First World War will presumably spill over into tours of the Salon des Glaces and much expert pontificating on how the stupid and greedy statesmen there assembled (among them our own Billy Hughes) humiliated and impoverished Germany and thereby set the stage for the rise of Hitler and the horrors of a second world conflict (rather like the authorised leftist view that the United States had only itself to thank for the destruction of the World Trade Center, so German militarism was the rest of the West’s fault too).

Before Versailles there was the Treaty of Paris after the defeat of Napoleon and the Treaty of Westphalia and the Treaty of Aix and treaties of other picturesque places, not to mention the Treaty of Rome, which is causing so much trouble between the elected and the unelected in our own time. Hundreds of treaties, bobbing in the wake of Western civilisation’s evolution. And now stand by for the Treaty of Spring Street.

It might not turn out to be called that; it will probably come with some fortuitously ‘rediscovered’ pre-Melbourne Aboriginal place name along the lines of Ngargo for ‘Fitzroy’, brought to light last week by the Melbourne Museum (difficult to decipher, it was explained, by all but ‘experts’), but the name’s not important, the substance is. For here we have a looming contract between two entities neither of which is empowered to enter into treaties with anyone. On the one side, Victoria’s devious Labor government; on the other ‘Aboriginal Australians’, or the pushy gaggle of ideologues purporting to represent them who make up the new ‘Indigenous’ establishment, many of whom seem thoroughly integrated into whitey’s Australia (actors, activists and ‘academics’ are among their professions). Legislation towards ‘advancing a treaty’ between the two sides is making its way through the Victorian parliament.

But how can a government which has no status as a nation negotiate a treaty, if we understand treaty as a nationally and internationally binding agreement? Everyone knows that Daniel Andrews is pretty thick, but how can even he suppose that anyone – the taxpayers who are stumping up for all this to start with – will feel obliged to recognise a treaty signed by an entity which constitutionally has no power to sign treaties? In Australia only the Commonwealth has that authority. You might as well have a treaty signed by the AFL, oops, don’t say that or they’ll probably try.


Well, the Victorian government gets around this by stating flatly that although a ‘treaty is an agreement between states, nations or governments, [t]his can include an agreement between Indigenous peoples and governments.’ So there. But don’t ask what will be in it, because there ‘is no set form for what a treaty with Indigenous peoples should contain. Each treaty is a product of the area’s history, social and political environment.’ It sounds like a case of sign the cheque and fill in the amount afterwards. For on closer examination, no set form or not, there’s quite a lot this treaty could contain. ‘A treaty’, says the website ‘Aboriginal Victoria’, could ‘recognise past wrongs committed on Aboriginal communities’, it could ‘include official apologies, reconciliation and truth-telling’ and ‘give autonomy and funding to Aboriginal communities for important matters’.

So there you have it. Tedious apologies in perpetuity plus a theoretically endless supply of taxpayer cash for ‘important matters’, however they turn out to be defined – I’d say keeping the new Aboriginal establishment in the subsidised style to which it has become accustomed will be high on the list – and hence the real or implicit recognition of Aborigines as a different polity from the rest of us. In other words, the nation split in two like a well axed log at a country woodchop.

Isn’t this apartheid? And isn’t apartheid a dirty word? The Left in particular fell over itself to shame South Africa out of apartheid to the point that rather than countenance any gradual change it would have been happy to see that country squelched into a bloodbath. Now it wants racial division here. It was opposed to apartheid when it thought opposing apartheid would destroy a white-ruled country sympathetic to the West. Now it’s in favour of it when it sees racial separation as an opportunity to rend Australia asunder. The hypocrisy is breath-taking. Is there nothing leftists won’t do in their hatred of the nation-state and their determination to bring about their Marxist dream?

One wonders, incidentally, how even a legitimate nation-state, which Victoria is not, could enter into a treaty with its own citizens. All of us who are not students of political science at university will have heard of the social contract, but that is not what is being proposed here. Rather a formal treaty is intended, as though Aborigines were a foreign power.

But they’re not, they’re Australian citizens like everyone else. So how can they be party to a treaty? Happily, that’s just the kind of question one can put to a website conceived by the Victorian government as part of its softening-up process to get the public on board for a treaty. ‘Deadly Questions’ might sound like a TV quiz show where if you give the wrong answer you don’t just miss out on the car, they slip you a dose of Novichok, but it’s actually an ‘invitation’ to put questions on thorny Indigenous matters to a selected panel that’s pretty well coterminous with the above Aboriginal establishment – all the questions you ‘always wanted to ask but may be too afraid or embarrassed to ask’, as the blurb puts it. I’m not afraid or embarrassed so here’s mine.

What happened to multiculturalism? For decades that has been the Left’s most sacred idol. Everything, especially our inherited Judeo-Christian culture, has had to bend the knee to multiculturalism. So why can’t our Aborigines be just another culture in the mix rather than a group of ‘nations’ apart, aloofly standing aside? The ghost of Al Grassby must be rattling the bling on its wrists.

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