Australian Citizens Party Citizens Taking Responsibility



To heal bitter divides, unite on common aims

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Lead Editorial

18 October 2023
Vol. 25 No. 42

Third BRI Forum
Foreign leaders with Xi Jinping attending the Third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Cooperation on economic development is the only hope for peace anywhere, including between Israel and Palestine. Photo: Li Jingjing

The violent legacy of the British Empire is playing out today in both the tensions in Australia over the defeat of the indigenous “Voice” to Parliament, and the bloody atrocities in Israel and Gaza. The question is: How can we help people rise above the sense of justified grievance that perpetuates conflict to bridge bitter divides and achieve unity around the things that all human beings share in common?

The 14 October referendum rejected enshrining the proposed indigenous Voice in the Constitution, with the majority of voters not persuaded, including by the endorsements of the big banks and corporations which are raking in record profits in a cost-of-living crisis. But that doesn’t resolve the grievances of Aboriginal Australians, which shouldn’t be automatically dismissed. Aboriginals were victims of the British Empire, which, yes, brought Western technology, but also brought racist mistreatment and massacres. Aboriginal Australians listen to Constitutional debates knowing they weren’t even included as citizens when the Constitution was originally established as an Act of British Parliament. Since they were finally included in the 1960s, five decades of governments trying to address entrenched Aboriginal disadvantage has achieved little.

The Australian Citizens Party’s view is that all Australians should recognise that Constitutional disenfranchisement is actually something we all have in common with indigenous Australians. That is because, at Federation in 1901, Australia did not become a sovereign nation, but a “self-governing colony under the Crown”; while white Australians could vote, all Australians were subjects of the British Crown, not citizens, and not sovereign. The Constitution had to be approved by the British Colonial Office, which inserted provisions to ensure permanent Crown control over Australia, its economy and resources. These include Section 59, which allows the Monarch to unilaterally disallow any law passed by the Commonwealth Parliament within a year of it being enacted—which still exists in the Constitution! The truth we must recognise is that Aboriginals lost their sovereignty, such as it was, to the British, but Australia as a whole has never had any! Australia’s lack of sovereignty is evident in our foreign policy, which is permanently submissive to the British and Americans, and in the London/Wall Street control of our financial system.

For Australians, indigenous and otherwise, to be truly sovereign, we must become an independent republic, with our own head of state chosen by all the people (not the faux republic model rejected by Australians in 1999), and a Constitution in which all the people, including indigenous Australians, have input and representation, righting the wrong of 1901. Once established, all Australians would have equal say in ensuring government of, by and for the people, which requires policies like a national bank to oversee investment in economic development for the benefit of everyone.

The bloodshed in Israel-Gaza is also a legacy of British divide-and-rule imperialism. This week’s AAS Almanac recaps the history of the conflict, but also shows how the greatest opportunity for peace, the 1993 handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organisation Chairman Yasser Arafat, was brought about through a commitment to shared economic development for the region. The Oslo Accords defined areas of cooperation in the fields of water, electricity, energy, and transportation, among others, and proposed cooperation on regional development programs.

The premise of peace through development is that all human beings share the same basic economic needs—food, water, shelter, clothing, energy, transportation, etc.—and economic cooperation reminds implacable foes of the humanity of the other, which is the only durable basis for peace. Tragically, Rabin’s assassination destroyed that chance and set the Israel-Palestine conflict on its current course. However, as bad as the conflict is now, a positive potential exists now that didn’t exist in 1993: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is achieving unprecedented economic development around the world, and could sponsor economic development in Israel-Palestine. The 10th BRI conference is underway in Beijing (p. 13).

In this issue:

  • Send Treasury consultation a loud message: Protect cash in the payments system!
  • Cheng Lei’s release proves China is friendlier to Australia than our US ally
  • Support E-Petition to the House of Representatives calling to end the Force Posture Agreement
  • Is Pompeo the Svengali behind Morrison’s Taiwan-AUKUS provocations?
  • Morrison’s Taiwan visit designed to goad China into war
  • Nazi-obsessed Australian politicians and media have no interest in actual Nazis
  • RBA planning more hurt for households?
  • Opening a prosperous future: Ten years of Belt and Road
  • Aims of the BRI: ‘A path to peace’
  • Action, not words or tokenism!
  • Transforming communities and nations: BRI case studies
  • ALMANAC - The Oasis Plan: A Westphalian solution to the ‘Mideast’ crisis

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Page last updated on 18 October 2023