I have just finished reading columnist Jeff Roach on the 2020 Summit. It did not make good breakfast reading. It was a reminder of all that is bad with the Rudd government. As Mr Roach kindly points out, not one of the financial wizards at the Summit managed to foresee the global financial disaster that was less than twelve months down the line.
I suspect the same will prove true of all other major issues supposedly discussed at the summit. It is difficult when 'teflon Kevin' and his mate 'glib Gillard' insist that they have a 'mandate' to do certain things. Their new IR legislation is likely to be an economic disaster - and that will translate into a social disaster. Labor and the unions will, of course, blame 'the previous government'.
But, the Summit was supposed to be about 'ideas'. If that is really what the government had wanted then there were ideas floating around. They did not make the lists that came out of the Summit. Why? Because they did not suit the agenda of the Summit. The Summit was really about rubber-stamping the Rudd agenda - and perhaps not even doing that. Perhaps it was about agreeing that the agenda had already been rubber-stamped. It was about making the government look good. They still plan to go back to it and claim that 'this is what you, the Australian people, wanted and (wait for it) we are listening to you'.
I am not sure how many submissions I have written to how many inquiries over the years. Most of those submissions have been requested and I have dutifully wasted hours writing them. One or two have not been requested but have been issues I feel passionately about or about which I have specific information.
Governments do not listen to submissions. I am not sure why they run inquiries or ask the Productivity Commission and other bodies to write reports. The reports do not get read. They most certainly do not get acted upon.