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Former Prime Minister John Howard says Australia was 'lucky' to be colonised by the British

Former Prime Minister John Howard says Australia was 'lucky' to be colonised by the British

The country's former leader also weighed in on the Voice.

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard says Australia was ‘lucky’ to be colonized by Britain.

As Australia gears up for its referendum that will decide if a voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be enacted in the Constitution, the country's former leader has weighed in.

And no surprises here; it’s controversial.

The conservative politician, who led the country from 1996 until 2007, told The Australian that the Federal Government shouldn’t focus on pushing the Voice.

Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Instead, they should be ‘talking about how to lift up Aboriginal people', and how to ‘put them in the mainstream of the community’.

He suspects that if the Voice goes ahead, it will be one of Australia’s biggest downfalls.

“We must remain one people, living in one nation under one law which applies with equal force to all of us. If any proposal to amend the Constitution goes against this principle, it will not have my ­support,” he added.

The former leader then rounded on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese being asked if the Voice would lead to a treaty and reparations.

Roni Bintang/Getty Images

Howard believes that Albanese is holding his cards close to his chest regarding the changes that would come if Australians voted ‘Yes’.

“I think it’s very clumsy, with a dash of deception,” he said.

But aside from being fiercely against reparations, Howard then made a shocking claim, explaining the country can thank its lucky stars that Great Britain invaded it.

“I do hold the view that the luckiest thing that happened to this country was being colonized by the British," he said.

"Not that they were perfect by any means, but they were infinitely more successful and beneficent colonizers than other European countries."

Last year, The Guardian reported that research uncovered that more than half of all massacres of Indigenous people were conducted by police and other government forces.

The final findings of the eight-year-long Colonial Frontier Massacres Digital Map Project also found that many massacres were carried out by settlers who had government approval at the time.

According to the map, there are 415 sites on the map, each representing a place where six or more people were killed.

But The Guardian reported that Aboriginal deaths were around 27 - 33 times higher than colonizer killings.

Approximately 11,000 and 14,000 Indigenous people died, while only 399 to 440 colonizer deaths had been recorded.

Featured Image Credit: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images. Hanna Lassen/WireImage/Getty Images

Topics: News, Australia, Politics, Racism