I waited for my invitation to the "Australia 2020 Summit" but it never came. I think someone spread the malicious rumour that I didn't vote for Labor in the last election and that I think Kevin Rudd is a peanut. And I think I know who started that story.
Anyway the 1002 'brightest minds in Australia' are getting together to help Australia 'think through' its future. I don't think that's a bad idea - it can't do any harm. Politicians definitely don't have a monopoly on knowledge and good ideas may surface.
It certainly has the effect of Labor cultivating an even greater attachment to intellectual elites and posers. That might generate a bit of much-needed internal party destruction among the comrades.
On the lighter side Cate Blanchett will be there in her jodphurs - she was the star at a pre-meeting photo session. Kevin Rudd and Glyn Davis will chair sessions and there will be lots of advertising types both with and without ponytails. Draped in her possum-fur coat Matilda House-Williams has already welcomed delegates on behalf of the traditional aboriginal land-owners. (I am tiring of the latter nonsense - we did it last night at a degree awarding ceremony!)
Anyway I will watch and listen and do my best to dispell cynicism - I don't want to get caught up in what Andrew Leigh calls 'sportsplay journalism'. Be positive (=don't be negative?), say nice things about everyone and smile. If you look hard at my photo logo to the right you can see that my grin has strengthened and in my eyes you can see a more enlightened, tolerant being.
Update. My spirit of tolerance and goodwill has waned.
Star attraction Cate Blanchett has praised the Government for putting creativity to the fore by forging links with the arts. While she stole the limelight her co-star Hugh Jackman made the scene too by urging expatriate artists to come home to be part of the emerging Australian paradise. Aging artists should teach and mentor said Foot-in-his-mouth Garrett to help stimulate Australian kulture. Australian content should be restored in the media, 1% of public funding should be allocated to the arts (oink, oink), a HECS scheme should be created for the emerging class of creative talent and politicians should be forced to attend cultural events declared these elitist porkers.
They might just get their wish list too judging by the sheer insanity of some other proposals – a doctor told the conference that all drugs should be legalised to ‘give drug addicts choices’ and to reduce the prison population.
Like Kevin Rudd himself – Summit 2020 is a show about nothing.