It is fair enough to mutter, but this is a bit rich coming from a notoriously tendentious source:
The Australian Institute of Public Affairs (AIPA) says the weekend’s 2020 summit was just a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
The conservative think-tank’s executive director John Roskam told ABC radio’s The World Today program that the summit was a blatantly political exercise.
He said contributors had been handpicked to provide Labor with a “false mandate” for policies involving more government spending and regulation.
Mr Roskam said Federal Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson was a lone cynical voice among the contributors.
“I don’t think that anyone can claim that the Rudd Government has got a mandate from anyone other than its hand-selected friends,” he said… — ABC News.
John Roskam “is the executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). He is a member of the Liberal Party, having worked on their election campaigns and run for Liberal pre-selection a number of times.” It would be surprising if he endorsed it, even if people like Tim Fischer and Warwick Smith were involved. Not to mention Miranda Devine, which I had promised myself I wouldn’t do, though Marcellous did mention her to complain about her being picked over him…
The next person to use the word “stunt” will be charged with language abuse, intellectual poverty and congenital meanness of spirit… 😉 It has become such a reflex in certain quarters! Honestly, every time a person like Roskam uses the word I remember why the Howard government lost the election! Coming after the Howard government’s notorious penchant for stacking inquiries and boards with hand-picked apparatchiks, they may also be accused of blatant hypocrisy.
Happens to be the Queen’s real birthday today, and I wish her well. I am sure her role as Head of Commonwealth will endure for some considerable time.
Meanwhile, another surprise: Professor David Flint whom I have met several times — and he is quite charming in many ways — has seen fit to draw comparisons between the 2020 Summit and gerrymandering and fraud in Africa. I don’t think I’ll go there, for a number of reasons. I guess the Prof had a sympathetic audience, though I can’t help thinking Fred Nile, who was in that audience of monarchists raising loyal toasts, may have had a smidgin of reservation about David.
And Alexander Downer at the same gathering talking about elites and political correctness is just so funny that if I hadn’t heard it I would have thought some satirist must have invented it! It certainly isn’t hard to see why only the few with Proper Opinions (and a fully paid up Quadrant subscription perhaps) ever got the ear of the Howard government. Oh that those nice days were still with us! Poor lambs…
I am tempted to refer again to Howard’s own board and inquiry stacking activities and excessive propensity to listen to American neocons. In fact I just did. 😉