2020 reflections

21 04 2008

Tried to watch a bit of the 2020 summit this weekend but gave up pretty early.

I couldn’t get past the meaningless speeches full of motherhood statements. All the carp-talk of taking the nation forward, increasing productivity, improving conditions, boosting whatever… Who on Earth is against any of this? Why do we need to bring together so many “best and brightest” to restate these sort of banalities?

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The forum was hopelessly stacked to present the last century wishlist of Labor-left ideas as the fresh ideas for the 21st century. This was evident in the republican vote that was passed by a 100% vote with one abstention. This is clearly not reflective of community views.

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I was shocked by the sheer greed of our artist whose central argument boiled down to the demand that government should pay the artists regardless of whether what they produce is any good or has the audience in the community. They really think that the government owes them a carefree living while the the taxpayers (talent-less nobodies that pay their wages) have to do something productive. Parasitic is the word that springs to mind…

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Didn’t catch any big ideas that I didn’t hear before. I guess that’s what happens when you bring together the people most of whom have already had numerous opportunities to put their ideas forward to the public.

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Rudd’s hanging with celebrities and hip sitting on the floor antics are again borrowed from Tony Blair’s “Cool Brittania”. Anyone wants to puke?

Brendan Nelson is a fool for turning up to this sham. He should’ve stated a simple case against going. We already have a system called democracy where people elect their representatives. If they have a good idea, they can take it to their local MP. Furthermore all ideas, good or bad, need to be scrutinised in vigorous debate, not agreed upon by the like-minded committee. Parliament is a much better place for this than a stacked talk-fest.

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2020 summit presents some dangers and opportunities.

Danger: 2020 has potential to stifle the national debate and cement one set of ideas as legitimate expression of what all Australians want. Rudd was already spruking about groundswell of support for republic. What else was he expecting when he stacked the panel with republicans? (By the way I am in favour of the republic. I just have a soft spot for democratic process and don’t claim to know better than the great unwashed).

Opportunity: Rudd is playing a dangerous game. To stay in government Labor needs to be popular with the grass root voters. Not the urban elites, not the 1000 “best and brightest” and not the adoring media.

Rudd’s summit was clearly designed to give him the answers he wants to hear. This is not the same as what the voters want to hear. Great opening for the Liberals to take advantage of, while Rudd is greasing the 2020 rope to hang himself. The more Rudd is convinced that his elite vision represents the consensus of what all Australians want, the sooner he will be out the Lodge.

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