G20 – more thoughts

A round up of UK media today is shows a pretty depressing outlook on the economy and little belief in any useful outcomes of the Summit. Nicolas Sarkozy is apparently threatening to walk out and join up with Angela Merkel of Germany if strict monetary regulations are not put in place. Gordon Brown’s speech last night was that of a molding wet blanket in St Pauls. The Guardian’s editorial is pragmatic ie nothing will come of this….

Whatever the outcome of this week’s G20 summit, two things are certain. First, it will be hailed as a success. Second, it will be dismissed as a failure…………..Summits are often like that, ending in agreements long on principle and short on detail that allow all sides to chalk up a result. This time, however, another – more personal – game is afoot. The Tories, and many others on hubris-watch, are itching to write off the G20 as a humiliation for Gordon Brown

The Independent adds to the doom and gloom……….

“economic haemorrhaging” and a “bleak scenario” in which unemployment will rise to 36 million as a result of the “deepest and most synchronised recession in our lifetimes”

Whats for certain is the Summit has cost millions in money ($10 for London’s police alone) and greenhouse gases with Obama bringing a contingent of 500/ 600 (depending which paper you read) plus helicopters and a special reinforced tank disguised as a car. Clearly carbon footprints are not on the minds of these world leaders except Brazil’s President Lula who arrives from Paris on the Euro Star. A brief look at media in Nigeria, Kenya, SA and India shows very little interest in the Summit which highlights the exclusiveness and that this is about saving themselves (G8) from collapse with little concern for what happens to anyone else as long as it doesn’t affect them. Nonetheless I would have hoped that at the very least Africa’s media would take some position on how this impacts on the continent generally and their respective countries.

As far as the protests go, the media as reached new highs stirring up fear and panic and the police threatening to do battle should anyone step remotely out of line. The news is reporting that city workers are arriving as usual but “less suits” as they all try to pretend to be secretary’s, gofers and cleaners!

I repeat what I said in my last post which is the G20 is not the place for this discussion which affects everyone and should have taken place in a global space such as the UN. Secondly protectionism protectionism protectionism is the agenda and continuing Africa’s dependency through IFI and AID. Thirdly the countries in the global south need to organise their own Summit which will address their needs and develop a unified response to this group of elites – the US, Europe, Japan and China, the rest are not really important except maybe India but that is more about Pakistan and terror and 1billion people than anything else.

Now I’m off to meet the other bloggers and NGOs and hopefully get down to at least one of the protests in the City or Traflagar Sq. The University of East London has canceled theAlternative G20 in what is a cowardly and disgracefull act of shutting it’s doors to debate following the suspension of one the it’s professors for “inciting criminal action”. However from their press statement, the organisers intend for the AltG20 to go ahead.