Perhaps the thing is not to focus on the quality of ideas produced, but rather on the fact that a forum was constructed around the notion that ideas are important building blocks of our national future. What we have here is a government that seems determined to engage the minds of its constituents, which is something of a contrast. Never mind that what the summit came up with was, if not motherhood, then at least something with a strong sibling tie.

But really, no matter. The accepted wisdom in much of this morning’s coverage is that this 2020 weekend has served a cathartic collective ejaculation for Australia’s repressed liberal elites (a mental image that need not include either Gerard Henderson or Phillip Adams if that makes you more comfortable). But let’s just hope that delivering a bound volume of well-thumbed concepts to the Prime Minister is not the end of the affair. 

We need more of this kind of talk, more forums, perhaps some of them a little more detached from the limelight and the big rooms of power. Not so much summits … more the productive little floodplains of the lowlands beneath. That’s where some of this might take root.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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