Stan Grant stacked ABC’s Q&A with republicans to debate colonialism after Queen’s death

How Stan Grant pressured the ABC into letting him stack a Q&A panel with anti-monarchists to debate colonialism and an Australian republic just days after the Queen’s death

Q&A host Stan Grant pressured the ABC into letting him stack the program’s panel with republicans to talk about colonisation just days after the Queen‘s death. 

Grant also vented in an opinion piece about his frustration at being unable to speak up about Aboriginal issues after Her Majesty died.

Former Liberal senator Eric Abetz said it was frustrating to be the only supporter of the British monarchy on the last Thursday’s edition of Q&A.

Grant said he ‘fought’ for particular guests on the program, despite having at first ‘chosen respectfully to play no part in ABC’s coverage’ of the monarch’s death. 

Stan Grant (pictured presenting Q&A) pressured the ABC to let him stack the program with republicans just days after the Queen's death

Stan Grant (pictured presenting Q&A) pressured the ABC to let him stack the program with republicans just days after the Queen’s death

The five panellists were Indigenous lawyer Teela Reid, writer Sisonke Msimang, Ethics Centre director Simon Longstaff, American historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Mr Abetz.

Introducing the program, Grant, who is Aboriginal, said the panel would discuss ‘colonisation, the republic, truth telling and is King Charles right for the role’.

He later said it was the first serious discussion on ABC television about colonisation, empire and Australia becoming a republic since the Queen died.

‘I fought for that and to feature the important voices of black women Teela Reid and Sisonke Msimang,’ he told The Australian

‘Australia needed to hear that, it is always the right time to hear those voices.’

Mr Abetz, who is chairman of the Australian Monarchist League, expressed his frustration at being the lone voice in support of the Royal Family on the show.  

‘What I can’t understand is that the ABC didn’t have another constitutional monarchist or Senator Jacinta Price, or Anthony Dillon, or Warren Mundine, to provide some balance that they so desperately needed,’ he said.

Despite feeling cornered and targeted, he got a positive response from supporters. 

‘The feedback I got was I gave a good account for the cause, albeit when you are one against four,’ he said.

Former senator Eric Abetz (pictured) was a lone voice supporting the monarchy on last Thursday's edition of Q&A

Former senator Eric Abetz (pictured) was a lone voice supporting the monarchy on last Thursday’s edition of Q&A

The five Q&A panellists (pictured) were Indigenous lawyer Teela Reid, writer Sisonke Msimang, Ethics Centre director Simon Longstaff, US historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Eric Abetz

The five Q&A panellists (pictured) were Indigenous lawyer Teela Reid, writer Sisonke Msimang, Ethics Centre director Simon Longstaff, US historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Eric Abetz

Gran on the weekend wrote that he felt ‘asphyxiating anger’ at being forced to remain silent out of respect for the late monarch.

‘We aren’t supposed to talk about colonisation, empire, violence about Aboriginal sovereignty, not even about the republic,’ he wrote in an opinion piece for the ABC.

‘I’m sure I am not alone amongst Indigenous people wrestling with swirling emotions.’

The ABC, which employs Grant as its international affairs analyst, also looked at the dark side of The Queen’s reign.

The veteran journalist, who is of Aboriginal heritage, said he felt 'asphyxiating anger' he has been forced to remain silent out of respect for the late monarch

The veteran journalist, who is of Aboriginal heritage, said he felt ‘asphyxiating anger’ he has been forced to remain silent out of respect for the late monarch

Grant’s piece was one of the national broadcaster’s top two stories on Sunday, both of which criticised the monarchy – breaking with the media’s otherwise respectful observance of the mourning period.

‘Queen Elizabeth’s empire is a shadow of its former might – but its damage can’t be undone,’ the first headline read.

The second was the opinion piece written by Grant airing his frustration with the headline: ‘As my colleagues have worn black in mourning for the Queen, I’ve wrestled with asphyxiating anger — and I’m not alone’.

Grant said he was ‘wrestling with swirling emotions’ wanting to speak up on Aboriginal issues but being told it was not an appropriate time.

‘Everyone from the prime minister on down has told us it is not appropriate,’ he said.

The ABC, which employs Grant as its international affairs analyst, also looked at the dark side of The Queen's reign

The ABC, which employs Grant as its international affairs analyst, also looked at the dark side of The Queen’s reign

Grant turned his attention to the latest push by prime minister Anthony Albanese to introduce an Indigenous Voice to Parliament

Grant turned his attention to the latest push by prime minister Anthony Albanese to introduce an Indigenous Voice to Parliament

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has prompted a number of high-profile Aboriginal Australians to criticise her 70 year reign

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has prompted a number of high-profile Aboriginal Australians to criticise her 70 year reign

Grant touched on the racism experienced by his family and witnessed first-hand.

He recalled stories from his mother who grew up poor in regional NSW and almost missed out on seeing the Queen during her 1954 visit.

His mother could not afford socks and almost missed out on a day trip with her school because of it – but managed to borrow her brother’s pair just in time.

Grant shared stories of his grandfather being tied to a tree, his aunts and uncles being taken to welfare homes and his family living in poverty.

‘The girl with no socks got to see the Queen, while her family and other black families lived in poverty that the Crown inflicted on them,’ he wrote.

‘Living homeless in a land that had been stolen from them in the name of the Crown.’ 

Grant turned his attention to the push by prime minister Anthony Albanese to introduce an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. 

‘Australians will likely vote in a referendum for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament, but what good would that voice be if at times like these it is reduced to a whisper?’ he wrote.

The Indigenous Voice to Parliament is proposed to be an elected body of First Nations representatives enshrined in the constitution that would advise the government on issues affecting them. 

The ABC was contacted for comment but declined to do so. 

Daily Mail Australia also contacted Grant seeking comment.  

Indigenous NRLW star Caitlin Moran was also served a one-game ban after appearing to celebrate the Queen's death in a since-deleted Instagram post

Indigenous NRLW star Caitlin Moran was also served a one-game ban after appearing to celebrate the Queen’s death in a since-deleted Instagram post 

Indigenous Australian newsreader Narelda Jacobs (pictured) called on Britain to apologise for its colonisation of First Nations people following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Indigenous Australian newsreader Narelda Jacobs (pictured) called on Britain to apologise for its colonisation of First Nations people following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Indigenous Voice to Parliament slammed as ‘waste of money’

Aboriginal senator Lidia Thorpe has labelled a referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament a ‘waste of money’. 

Ms Thorpe first wants a treaty with First Nations people and believes a referendum to change the constitution is a waste of time.

‘The costs involved in a referendum are better spent on what is needed in our communities,’ she said. 

Ms Thorpe has also dismissed the indigenous leaders who will steer the Indigenous Voice to Parliament as ‘captain’s picks’.

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney has launched a working group to push the issue towards a referendum in the next two years.

Aboriginal senator Lidia Thorpe has labelled a referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament a 'waste of money'

Aboriginal senator Lidia Thorpe has labelled a referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament a ‘waste of money’ 

The group included prominent leader Noel Pearson, human rights lawyer Megan Davis, and health advocate Pat Anderson.

But Senator Thorpe said they were ‘captain’s picks’ who did not reflect indigenous voices and the focus should instead have been on grassroots leaders and activists.

‘I mean, we want to talk about grassroots. I don’t see anyone different in the list that I’ve seen so far, so they haven’t gone very far and wide,’ she said.

‘There’s a lot of work to do and grassroots people have been contacting me since the announcement – they’re not happy and they need to do better.’

‘We need to define who Aboriginal leaders are in this country, because it’s very easy to label one, and we also need to define who grassroots are in this country.

‘Grassroots don’t have big paying jobs; they’re not CEOs or chairpersons of organisations, grassroots are the people who you never hear from and they’re the people that should be behind the microphone today.’

Senator Thorpe complained she was ‘locked out of the conversation’ with the Albanese Government but would soon meet with Ms Burney about ‘truth, treaty and voice’.  

Advertisement

Source

Related posts