When Chairman Rudd announced the Australia 2020 Summit the euphoria kicked in like a clean hit of a fresh new political drug. After 11 drab years of John Winston Howard, Change! Big, bright colourful change with sparkly bits and the sound of a thousand sitars! But now the euphoria’s wearing off. We’re coming down — and the Main Event is still a month away.
Kevin still looks pretty cheerful, though, doesn’t he. Why is that?
Look back through everything I’ve written so far and you can see the moodswing. “Chairman Ruddâ€™s got a clever strategy going,” my first post began. Another post was headlined Australia, let the Enlightenment begin!, quoting Maxine “Toadslayer” McKew and agreeing that the nation was ready to start a new conversation about its destiny. At the end of February I even nominated myself.
Given Rudd’s claim that his government would be open and transparent, and develop policies based on evidence, it all sounded pretty good.
As days go by, however, it’s become increasingly clear that the potential of the event will be stifled by the political “need” to placate the same old whingeing lobby groups, the same old middle-class middle-aged white men in dark suits (just flick through the Steering Committee) and, it seems, the “need” to pre-load the agenda with specific topics to… well, let’s explore that.