Monday, April 19, 2010

The Light dims on our best and brightest in Australia!

Andrew Bolt is one of the best journalists we have in Australia and the tag “best and brightest” would fit him admirably. He calls a spade a spade; in other words, speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. And, this stupid political correctness is anathema for him. Good on you Andrew, we need a few more like you in Australia. - Werner
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By Andrew Bolt. See picture. • From: The Daily Telegraph • April 2010

The month our 1000 "best and brightest" should remember with shame.
It was two years ago that these 1000 - glorying at being hailed as our finest minds - gathered in Canberra to show just what fools they really were.

You'll laugh, but most really did think Kevin Rudd had summoned them to his 2020 Ideas
Summit to help him design "a strong successful future for our country".

They really did think that they would produce a report, stuffed with brilliance that would guide their new Prime Minister through the next decade. Click on picture to enlarge.

Many were even so arrogant as to believe they really did deserve to map our fate, despite being unelected, unrepresentative and, as it turned out, utterly unknowing - these handpicked stooges of the most shameless spinner of our political history.

"We do represent the entire community," burbled Sam Mostyn, a former Labor apparatchik now inserted in a dozen taxpayer-funded boards.

"Rather than certain groups, powerful groups, setting the agenda, the direction, it's actually throwing it over to us," enthused World Vision chief Tim Costello, so flattered by his invitation that he mistook Rudd's hand-picked clique for a real parliament.

Oh, you "best and brightest". You court toadies, mainchancers, stringpullers, wheeler-dealers and dupes. Look around you now, two years later, and point.
Point out which ideas ever saw the light of day. Point out a single one that's been adopted, to the country's good. Any one at all? Can you name a single summit idea that has made the slightest difference? Can you even name one that hasn't?

Rarely, if ever, in our history has so much talk produced so little action. Do you remember that orgy of summiteering two years ago? Rudd had, five months earlier, won an election on the promise that he "had a plan for the future".
He didn't, of course. Still doesn't. So he immediately called an ideas summit to get one. Or a seeming one.

But he didn't call just one summit. In fact, he had state summits, regional summits, MPs' summits, a Jewish summit and more than 500 school summits, in which children were enlisted like so many Rudd Guards to help their Dear Leader.

And then, in April, came this ultimate summit, for which Rudd anointed 1000 Australians as his "best and brightest".

Except, of course, he'd rigged the selection so that, a handful of token conservatives and business heavies aside, they were in fact 1000 of our "Left and lame", unlikely to cause much trouble by thinking for themselves.

That's why 118 came from a single Left-wing activist group, GetUp, whose former spokesman is now Rudd's press secretary.

That's why the heads of all the big green groups were invited, along with the leading climate alarmists, from Tim Flannery to Gaia worshipper Clive Hamilton. Union heavies came, too, along with past or present ABC staff and the obligatory "stolen generations" propagandists.

And to make sure the media coverage was kind, Rudd invited the heads of almost every big media organisation - people who should have kept their distance.

Result? This rigged assembly produced precisely the group think you'd expect. Of the 100 summiteers brought in to discuss global warming, not one was an identifiable sceptic. Of the 100 asked to discuss a republic, only one was a monarchist.

And of the 100 invited from the arts industry, not one protested at the comical stampede for the golden feeding trough, as these prize oinkers, led by Cate Blanchett, demanded "targets to double artists' income", "mainstream recognition", a "Prime Minister's Prize", the donation of all "surplus government space", and "1 per cent of each government's portfolio funding", so that, say, the Health Department would have to give artists fistfuls of cash meant to cure the sick.

This gathering demonstrated three maxims. First, a crowd is more stupid than a single wise man. Second, crowds aren't creative. Third, ask the intelligentsia to run things and they'll always demand more power and more money.

And so this particular crowd of brilliant minds didn't even predict, for instance, the financial crash that was just a few months away. It had no idea that a key election issue two years later would be cutting immigration, not boosting it. And it recommended another 20 government bureaucracies, with power even to make bosses have you exercise at work.

So what did they actually propose these 1000 of our "best and brightest"?

Rudd, in his official response to the summit's report last year, claimed they'd given him "over 900 ideas", kindly failing to add that many were plain crazy.

The "best ideas", he claimed, "continue to have a strong impact on the Government's thinking and strategy", and had "subtly changed priorities". "Subtly" is to explain why you haven't noticed.

But examples, please, Prime Minister!
Rudd gave four. First, he said, he'd agreed to a review of the tax system (already planned by Labor anyway). Second, he'd made "critical partnerships" with the states on education and health - which you may have missed, since they don't include the brawl he's now having with the states over hospitals.

Third, he'd designed a tax to help stop global warming - a tax that was already Labor policy and is now so unpopular that Rudd barely dares discuss it.

And fourth, he promised to halve homelessness - only to have it rise instead. Pathetic isn't the word for this.

Rudd also promised to take up another "nine practical initiatives proposed by the Summit". This time the word is "feeble".

For instance, he'd create a force of experts for overseas emergencies; a new "Indigenous Cultural Education and Knowledge Centre"; a "Golden Gurus" mentoring plan; scholarships for students and courses to give workers "green skills".

None of these is in place. Nor would you notice or care if they were. But wait! The Government has now given money for two other 2020 "ideas" - a new ABC children's channel, which is actually an old plan, and the development of a bionic eye, which had been invented already.

And that's it. That's all you got out of all those summits, all that talk, all those egos.
It's worse than a joke.

It's a fraud.
Those 1000 of our "best and brightest" were used by Rudd as props. They were used to make him seem consultative, popular and backed by all the country's smartest people.

So how do they feel today, Rudd's 1000 patsies? Still bright? Still our best?

My thought for today. – Werner I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble. - Rudyard Kipling


Perturbed Australian said...

Werner, I totally agree with your and Andrew Bolt’s sentiments. For Kevin Rudd to summon 1000 of his “best and brightest” (what a laugh) 2020 Ideas Summit to help him design a strong successful future for our country, just shows that the Rudd government was devoid of good ideas from day one, despite his pre-election rhetoric . What he has achieved so far proves the point that he still is devoid of good ideas. What he is good at though, is to spend money left right and centre and one has to wonder where he get it from.

T. Asquith said...

I'm not so sure News Limited opinion writer Andrew Bolt deserves to be tagged "best and brightest", though "clever" is certainly befitting. Bolt can apply his writing skills to just about any subject and, almost always with benefit of hindsight, can cynically dissect it to focus on what he perceives as the failed outcomes of what are often good ideas by well-meaning people. But then it's always easier to be a knocker. The 'left' hate him, hence such labels as "right-wing hack" and "the village idiot". However, he undoubtedly has a large support base of readers - probably the same wavelength group who hang on the every word of shock-jock Allan Jones (aka "the parrot" to his detractors), who is to radio what Bolt is to print. Both cater to the extreme right of the political debate. Conversely, there are commentators of the extreme left, and those of with extreme politico/religious ideologies doing much the same thing; also catering to the views of their constituency.

Contained in his article, Bolt includes a truism; "a crowd is more stupid than a single wise man". I would suggest that anyone who seeks to take account of the widest possible commentary of all sides of the political spectrum before coming to their own considered conclusion is doing what a wise man would do. I also think that is a good thought for the day.

P. Fuller said...

Andrew Bolt writes as it is, no ifs and no buts, likewise, Alan Jones says it as it is, but people like you, T. Asquith are ostensibly hurt by the plain and unadulterated truth – plainly amazing!