The "best and brightest" at the 2020 Summit did not notice that tsunami, the global financial crisis, which was about to swamp the world. Instead, their centrepiece, passed 98:1 in the governance session and by acclamation at the penary, was the resolution to impose some sort of politicians’ republic on the nation.
That this contained a howler which a law undergraduate would have noticed added to the surreal nature of the occasion.
Now that the Prime Minister has promised another Summit, David Penberthy in The Australian (25/4) makes some predictions about the 2030 Summit. This is to be held in 2018, not in Parliament House, but at the Spanish Club in Narrabundah. This is because the parliament's maintenance budget has had to be cancelled.
The Summit opens with Hugh Jackman joining the arts minister Cate Blanchett in leading delegates through a “moving rendition” of “I am, you are, we are in deficit to the tune of about $120 billion.”
Julia Gillard is now Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd having collapsed while unveiling his 74th stimulus package. She asks the nation’s one thousand “best and brightest” to break into groups to answer just one question:
“What the hell happened to all of our money?”
After discussing this, the delegates adopt this key resolution:
“That, by 2050, Australia must absolutely (they put the word in italics) resolve the republic question and do more to foster independent Australian cinema.”
Meanwhile on the influential ABC TV programme The Insiders (26/4), the moderator Barrie Cassidy suggested a 21st century summit…. to resolve the republic issue.
And as Andrew Bolt reminded viewers on that programme, not only was there a 2020 Summit, there were regional, state, youth and other summits at this time. There was even a Jewish summit because the government called the 2020 summit during Passover.