Ignominious isn’t it? You get invited to the 2020 Summit as one of the (cough) ‘best and brightest’ and they ask you just a few questions, and the leave the hardest till last. What have you been wrong about in the last 10 years?
I could say that I was wrong in expecting that my beloved Colliwobbles would get creamed by Geelong in last year’s preliminary final – we only lost by a kick. But they want more. It’s not as if the question isn’t a good one – one that brought forth a torrent of good things when it was asked of a large number of the world’s seriously high fliers at Edge. But I’m a bit stumped. I’ll have to give it a bit of thought.
If they said ‘what has surprised you’ I would be able to say lots of things. Web 2.0 has surprised me. But what have I been wrong about – well no doubt any number of things, but concrete predictions that turned out to be wrong, and that are interesting. Well I’ll just have to keep thinking.
Actually I know. I was against the war in Iraq from the start, but I thought it might turn out well. Might be one of those miraculous events, like the fall of the wall of the release of Mandela, that didn’t happen because anyone’s clever management deserved it, but happened nevertheless. But my expectations were so unclear, that it doesn’t really count as being wrong, any more than the alternative happening would have counted towards my being right.
I also expected that by now we’d have broken our run of steady economic growth. But we haven’t – yet – and we may not for a good while. Perhaps that’s the problem – all these predictions were probabilistic and I think they’re after something more clear cut than that.
I definitely thought those sunnies that make you look like an insect would have gone out of fashion by now. But I don’t think they want that. I was wrong that John Howard would (surely!) retire when his number came up. But that’s not very interesting either.
Anyway, I’m open to suggestions. Serious or less so, about what you’ve been wrong about – or me – in the last 10 years.
Postcript: the actual question is “What is one issue over which youve changed your mind in the past 10 years?” But I’m still stumped. Perhaps I could offer this: that competence in government and interest in policy seems to be more important than ideology. Though I didn’t vote for it, I thought a change in government in 1996 might work out well, but it didn’t take long before it became clear that, as had been the case in the late 1970s, the right of centre parties in Australia were not particularly interested in policy. But that’s not really a policy idea. . . . Back to the drawing board.