Speaking of the Greens, Senator Lidia Thorpe – a DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman – says her tone in taking the oath of allegiance yesterday “was the tone that you use when you really, really, really don’t want to do something and you ‘re being forced to do it”.
“To be told that I have to swear allegiance to a queen from another country, I feel really uncomfortable about that given I’m a First Nations woman, and my allegiance is to this country and the people of this country, not to a queen who lives in England and who has not been elected,” Thorpe told Melbourne-based radio station 3AW.
Thorpe was made to redo her oath in the Senate after calling the Queen to colonize in her first try, which was ruled out of order by president Susan Lines.
Today’s 3AW interview descended into a fiery debate in which host Neil Mitchell accused Thorpe of being disrespectful and a hypocrite after she said she was part of an “illegitimate” parliament.
“To be there with the Black Power salute, sarcastic tone, and in describing the Queen as a colonizer is divisive and destructive at a time where we need a unity of purpose,” Mitchell said.
Thorpe denied both accusations.
“I suppose what it does is it puts a spotlight on truth-telling,” she said. “This country was invaded, and this country does not have an agreement with its people.
“This country is rich and vibrant. And we have things here, our country and our own people, that we should be swearing allegiance to. So I wanted to inform the Australian public that we are still, today, swearing allegiance to someone who has nothing really to do with our everyday lives.”