The most amusing outcome of the 2020 summit has undoubtedly been the spectacle of Alexander Downer, grandson of Sir John Downer, son of Sir Alexander Downer, old boy of Geelong Grammar, former Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce, former Foreign minister, now enjoying retirement on full salary at the expense of the Australian taxpayer, denouncing the participants as “elites”.
Of course, Downer has been backed up by his leading rival in the “anti-elitist” toffee-nosed snob stakes, Professor David Flint.
The full phrase was “Keating loving elites” which is indication of how thoroughly culture warriors like Downer are stuck in refighting the battles of the past*. A substantial proportion of those attending the Summit were too young to have any significant recollection of Keating, and a substantial portion of the rest were not Keating-lovers by any stretch of the imagination. The only time I heard Keating’s name mentioned was in the context of a recommendation to see Keating! The Musical which came from a friend and colleague with impeccable conservative credentials.
* Of course, Downer has done his best to traduce the memory of every Labor leader in history, most notably John Curtin.