Andy Blunden. April 2008

The proposal by Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit that the government websites should be accessible via a portal called (according to the conventions of domain naming this would be an American commercial site), rather than (the domain for all the diverse government and semi-government organisations in Australia), indicates both the naïvété of the participants and the essence of their agenda. Apart from the suggestion that the public sector should be swallowed up by the private sector, it seeks to reduce the government to a single point, while the private sector maintains a monopoly on diversity and complexity. Imagine if the entire private sector was told that they would have to offer their services through a single web page?

You may have voted for the ALP, but the program you will get is apparently to be determined by this milieu of celebrities, a raw expression of the Zeitgeist. The program is to eradicate the citizen in favour of the bourgeois; the subsumption of the public sphere by capital. The practice of the brand-naming sports stadiums is to be extended to primary schools, artists and even foreign relations.

At the same time, what remains of the right to vote has been supplanted by the status of approved celebrity that apparently qualifies a person to advise the government.

The 2020 Summit has not only signalled the magnitude of the difficulty facing the Left in criticising this reactionary program, it has itself erected a barrier. The charade implies that all worthwhile ideas have already been canvassed and if you have anything to say now, you must first explain why this idea was not raised at the Summit.