FitzSimons claims No vote will be ‘greatest day of national shame’

Prominent Yes supporter Peter FitzSimons highlights a column declaring if Australia votes No it might be ‘our greatest day of national shame’

Prominent columnist and author Peter FitzSimons has declared that the Indigenous Voice to Parliament fails it will be Australia’s ‘greatest day of shame’.

FitzSimons made the comment while tweeting an opinion column with the same headline from lawyer and investment banker Duncan Murray, arguing that the No campaign has employed ‘a disingenuous dog-whistle’.

Mr Murray said ‘harm’ was being caused by No campaigners maintaining ‘the Voice proposal will introduce a racial divide in the Constitution’, which caused people to object being welcomed to their ‘own damn country’.

He labelled such sentiments as ‘rabidness at the margins’.

‘Given everything that we have done to First Nations Peoples for more than 200 years, this is a humble and gentle request,’ Mr Murray wrote of the Voice.

Peter FitzSimons (pictured right with wife Lisa Wilkinson) says if Australians reject the Voice it will be our greatest day of shame

‘If we say No, it will perhaps be our day of greatest national shame.’

FitzSimons, a former Wallaby who lives on Sydney’s north shore and is married to TV star Lisa Wilkinson, is one of Australia’s best known authors and columnists. He is also the head of Australia’s republican movement and a dedicated supporter of enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the constitution.  

FitzSimons, who has inserted ‘#Yes’ in his Twitter profile, stated he is ‘a strong supporter of the Voice’ while Interviewing his ‘friend’ and left-wing Yes advocate Thomas Mayo in April.

The tone of his interview was far different to the combative one he conducted with  Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price for Sydney’s Sun Herald in August 2022

The interview with Mr Mayo ended in a jokey exchange about him not threatening FitzSimons’ ‘entrenched white privilege’, while the interview with Senator Price ended with a terse ‘thanks’. 

Senator Price said the August 2022 interview with the columnist started out well, but that Fitzsimmons became ‘aggressive… condescending and rude’ to her.

She said it ‘was like talking to a brick wall’ and she felt ‘insulted’.

‘I’m not a wilting violet but he’s a very aggressive bloke, his interview style is very bloody aggressive, he doesn’t need to launch in,’ she said.

‘Accusing me of somehow giving power to racists because the issues I raise are confronting – he loses the point completely.’

FitzSimons made the comment while tweeting an article arguing for the Voice by businessman Duncan Murray

FitzSimons denied Senator Price’s characterisation of how the interview went and said her claims were ‘complete and utter nonsense’.

The interview was a ‘professional exchange’, he said.

During the interview with Senator Price, FitzSimons disputed her claim the Voice would drive a wedge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians that wasn’t the case.

‘With a progressive mood sweeping the land, we’re far more unified now than we’ve ever been in our history, and the most prominent wedge, I respectfully submit, Senator, is people like you and your supporters?,’ FitzSimons said. 

‘I don’t accept that. How is having a bureaucracy based on race placed into the Constitution not driving a wedge?’ Senator Price replied.

‘That peddles racial stereotypes of Indigenous Australians being an homogenous separate entity, and we’re not.’

FitzSimons also asked Senator price whether ‘in the silent watch of the night’ did she ever ‘think that, in the seriously prominent and powerful position you have, you are misusing the platform you have and are actually hurting Indigenous causes?’

FitzSimons and leading No advocate Jacinta Price had a combative interview in August last year

Senator Price replied she had no doubt ‘whatsoever’ about what she was ‘trying to achieve’ and the truth she was ‘trying to unveil’. 

The referendum to constitutionally recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution by the creation of the Voice will be held on October 14.

Polls published so far show the referendum is likely to fail. 


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