Kevin Rudd’s 2020 summit symphony fell flat

Today in The Australian

Listening, on the eve of its 10th anniversary, to recordings of the Rudd government’s 2020 Summit, it was hard not to be reminded of Rossini’s quip about Wagner. “One cannot judge Wagner’s ­Lohengrin from a first hearing,” said the maestro, “and I certainly do not intend to hear it a second time.”


About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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10 Responses to Kevin Rudd’s 2020 summit symphony fell flat

  1. Up The Workers!

    Marvellous quote.

    It reminds me of Groucho Marx’s famous quote concerning a book sent to him for review. He said: “From the moment I picked up your book, until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”

    Things are bad when even the rank and vile membership of the A.L.P. give you the Blundstone boot – not once, but twice.

  2. Rafe Champion

    Re Wagner someone quipped “Its actually better than it sounds”.

  3. John Constantine

    Massive publicity win when it counted, their media were full on involved in the celebrity luv in.

    Like placing tree guards on a hillside and claiming credit for a forest, it is the front end profit that counts, the tail end result is irrelevant.

    Like putting up a thousand windmills and claiming you have saved the planet through deindustrialisation, or importing millions of polity transforming peasants that will never compete for work against robots and A.I. and claiming the population Ponzi has saved the housing market or dumping the water of the murray darling basin unused into the sea and claiming you have saved the basin.

    Tail end costs several elections out, even if they push debt to a trillion crushing dollars have no cost for the election a few months out.


  4. Atoms for Peace

    Let’s not forget the alco pops moment either.

  5. Leo G

    I recall another quote- that though Wagner might have glorious moments, he has terrible quarter-hours.

  6. Dr Fred Lenin

    Rafe and Leo, how dare you mock the Furhers favourite composer , up the chimney with you . OH. I forgot that branch of socialism lost the war ,the other branch is still going well,promoting the great ideas of the 1880s ,Narxism lives !0

  7. zyconoclast

    The problem was that Yammi was too young to attend.

  8. H B Bear

    KRudd’s 2020 Summit gave us the NDIS that morphed into Gillard’s Fabian monster.

    Letting dozens of IYIs loose with butchers paper and asking for unfunded ideas was always going to end up with something like this.

    (can’t read behind the paywall)

  9. Percy Porcelain

    Letting dozens of IYIs loose with butchers paper

    How long did it take until the resulting nationwide butchers’ paper shortage was ameliorated?

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