Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Prime Minister of Ruritania Tries to Look Statesmanlike in East London Supermarket

The shambles that is the organisation of the 2 April London 'Summit' (formerly known as G20) has at least three well springs:

New Labour's acclaimed inability to organise a booze-up in a brewery;

The very divergent statuses of the invitees ;

Implacable opposition to debt and spend statism by leading member states of the European Union confronting implacable opposition to the regulation of financial markets by the United States and, despite false propaganda to the contrary, the UK prime minister's giunta, (and, from the US, any other infringement of United States sovereignty).

The venue being what appears to be a large supermarket in the east end of London, just about as far from proper London as you can get without sinking into the Essex marshes and surrounded by the tarted-up dereliction of Docklands is a choice matched by directing the President of the United States to fly into Stansted. Will he be coming by Ryanair? No wonder Downing Street organisers of this disaster cannot get through to arrange further inconveniences for the President and his entourage.

Some of the invitees are heads of state and leaders of their country's Executive. Some are leaders of their Executive but not heads of state. At the moment the only head of state who is not leader of an Executive who appears to have been entangled in this mess is our own. The Queen must be peering anxiously at the biggest protocol cock-up of all time and wondering if it's being done on purpose to be rude back to President Obama. She can't have him in for a state banquet, or even for dinner, without asking all the other heads of state; but what about the Chancellor of Germany, or Mr Putin? Perhaps she'd better have them all over, for a buffet lunch or tea, but then that rather lumps Mr Obama in with everyone else and anyway the Sarkozy's have just been and the rota is very strict (that's going to be thrown out too with people coming in unexpectedly). That's what comes of Brown inviting people round to someone else's house without asking first, putting on public display (again) his conviction that he is head of state really.

France, Germany, and Italy are the three biggest voices from the eurozone flatly rejecting debt, public spending and, doubtless, a visit to the wilder shores of inflation later. But they are not speaking for themselves alone; case by carefully considered case is their choice - so judgmental of them, so not New Labour - and so far Italy, at least, hasn't spent a lira adding to its public debt (well it wouldn't be very wise, would it? It's being paid down as fast as Mr Tremonti can go while Prime Minister Berlusconi ended the Italian part of the recession by uttering the magic word 'Condono'). What they want is international financial regulation observed, and member-state co-operation in ensuring transparency in observance. Brown wouldn't like that and the US won't put up with it.

If New Labour hadn't got their hands on some of the levers of power in our country this Ruritanian shindig would be funny to watch. But they have and it isn't.


roym said...

Excel= handy for the dlr though! Im sure the presidentiary carriages are being iron plated as we speak.

i wouldnt worry about no one going to see the queen. im sure they'll rustle up a half decent 10 course supper.

I read the EU also want to act on tax havens and bonuses, but im still not clear on what brown wants to achieve here. no surprises then, but we can appreciate that any implication that existing regs were insufficient might not be "on message"....

Nomad said...

Le cocky uppy des cocky uppies? Or, as Our Gracie used to say, the biggest aspidistra(sp?) in the world.

Bring it on! I'm afraid I have reached the point of willing the most almighty hash up ever seen with respect to this one. There is no way any meaningful agreements will emerge from this lot of irreconcilable positions, especially with Mr Big Boots trying to lay down the law. I can't wait - and at least I'll be able to watch the chaos in full on CNN, as opposed to just the Brownie bits on the Beeb, from the comfort of my armchair.

Nomad said...

PS: It is probably easier to get to Barking from Stanstead than from LHR too.

Caronte said...

It used to be Mancunia. When did it turn into Ruritania?

hatfield girl said...

Nomad, the way things are going the venue might be a bit big.

What it takes to get a snapshot these days.

All he wanted was the chance to be snapped shaking someone (anyone?)'s hand with his trouser-leg tucked into his sock. Now it's looking as if he's propelled the grand refusal


to surface. He really is supernaturally endowed to bring the worst out in all and any circumstance.

Look what has engulfed Benedict XVII since he gave him an audience.

hatfield girl said...

It's when it becomes Reykjavik that frightens us all, isn't it C?

Caronte said...

"Look what has engulfed Benedict XVII since he gave him an audience."
Quite. He grew an extra digit.