Andrew Bolt attacks Yes campaign’s ad: Indigenous Voice to Parliament
The 30-second ad features the Aboriginal boy asking Australians to consider a series of simple questions about his future urging them to vote Yes.
‘Will I grow up in a country that hears my voice? Will I live as long as other Australians? Will I get to go to a good school?’ the boy asked.
The ad attempted to pull at the heart strings of Australians but Bolt appeared unmoved as he picked it apart in his latest News Corp column on Sunday.
The commentator referred to the unnamed boy as ‘Sam’ before saying he shouldn’t believe the people who told him that only a Yes vote makes a good life possible.
His column took a turn as he addressed one of the boy’s concerns about having a shorter life expectancy and told him to ‘eat healthy food and exercise’ instead.
The boy asked if he will ‘live as long as other Australians’ – a reference to the fact that Indigenous males on average die 8.6 years earlier than non-Indigenous males.
Bolt wrote there’s no reason he couldn’t live just as long as the average Australian.
‘Just eat healthy food, exercise and look after yourself. Don’t smoke or drink or do other dangerous stuff and you should be great,’ he wrote.
A company that gave $2million to support the Indigenous Voice to Parliament has been accused of ‘virtue signalling’ and ‘greenwashing’ over the huge donation.
BHP – Australia’s largest company and the world’s biggest miner – said its relationship with Indigenous Australians is ‘fundamentally important to our company’.
He added a warning that the Voice can’t ‘magically’ help him to live longer, he has to do it for himself.
‘Someone in the Yes23 campaign should have done a favour for the worried boy they got to star in their new ad for the Voice,’ Bolt wrote.
‘They should have told him the truth.’
The boy also asked the question: ‘Will I grow up in a country that hears my voice?
Bolt said the boy already has a voice and that being in the ad, which is part of a $20million television blitz before the October 14 vote, proves it.
He told the boy that if he wants an even bigger voice, he could become an activist like the people who put him in the ad, or a writer, business leader, preacher or actor.
‘Or become a politician, like the 11 people in our federal parliament who also identify as Aboriginal. What a mighty voice you’d have then!’
The Sky News presenter also addressed the boy’s question, ‘Will I get to go to a good school?’
‘I’m guessing by how well you speak that you’re probably at a good school already,’ Bolt wrote, adding that Aboriginal Labor politician Pat Dodson went to a better school than he did.
He also said the young boy could learn an Indigenous language if he wanted to, but that ‘you can’t beat English if you want to get ahead’ in Australia.
The boy was also concerned that he should be seen beyond the sport field – a reference to the many Indigenous athletes playing in NRL, AFL and other sports.
Bolt’s response to that was that there are many other areas that Indigenous Australians have found great success, naming prominent No campaigner and Coalition senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price as one of ‘my own Aboriginal heroes’.
‘Don’t trust anyone telling you Aborigines can only be sports people,’ he advises, adding that the Yes23 campaign is led by film director Rachel Perkins, whose father ‘was the first Aborigine to lead a government department’.
With less than four weeks to go before the referendum date, the Yes campaign is hoping its latest ad will change how people intend to vote as all recent polling figures say its headed for a big defeat.
The most recent Resolve Political Monitor survey showed just 43 per cent of voters supported a plan to enshrine the Voice into the Constitution, down 20 percentage points from a year ago.
It remains to be seen if the ad featuring the young boy has the same effect as the one using the John Farnham song You’re The Voice – that people like the ad, but it doesn’t make them more likely to vote Yes.
Labor-aligned advertising expert Dee Madigan wrote in the pages of Nine newspapers that the ad ’empowers the viewer’ and that using a child in a TV ad was ‘smart because parents instinctively listen when they hear a child’s voice – so it cuts through.’
The end line – ‘yes makes it possible’ – is ‘particularly powerful, she said, before going on to deem it a ‘good ad’.
Fractures in the No campaign about what happens should the Indigenous Voice to Parliament be voted down have let to bizarre scenes on Sunrise.
Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce failed to back leading No campaigner Warren Mundine on Monday morning, a day after the Bundjalung man suggested a No vote was the best way to achieve treaty and threw his support behind changing the date of Australia Day.