G20 fantasy politics
Posted by Fraser at 9 07 PM on Saturday, April 4
COULD the G20 summit be the biggest con in political history? Because its claim of a trillion-dollar bailout is utterly fake.
We were told this sum would be “injected” into the world economy. But how much new money is there? None.
And for all the talk about helping poorer nations, the next country in the emergency ward could be Britain.
Look closely and there is NO deal to save the world. The G20 was a soufflé summit — tap it, and it collapses.
I’m not saying Gordon Brown didn’t do a good job. The aim of these summits is to fake progress. He did it brilliantly.
He started off with 20 bickering leaders who couldn’t agree on a penny of new money.
Undeterred, our PM deployed his elite team of financial spinners, who opened up their box of tricks.
They took old promises, dressed them up as new. They set a fundraising “target” and called it an “injection”.
Other G20 leaders looked on in amazement. Gordo did the impossible: faked a trillion out of nothing.
This is the deceitful art of hosting a summit. You have to draw up a statement that sounds tough but means nothing.
And the G20 is, of course, all about theatrics. It’s about Michelle Obama’s dresses, and her husband giving an iPod to the Queen.
Obama really has a knack for presents. Now Her Maj can listen to Lily Allen as she walks the corgis without being interrupted.
Given the state of the US economy, it wouldn’t surprise me if Obama asked the Queen if she wanted America back.
She’d answer: “Only if you take our Prime Minister.” Because I suspect she’s worried his spending will bankrupt the nation.
That fake trillion dollars is supposed to go to the International Monetary Fund, which bails out collapsed economies.
But could the UK be next? Lord Mandelson is suspiciously saying there should be no “stigma” in taking IMF funds.
And another Cabinet member is saying also (in private, of course) that an IMF bailout is like “going to a spa”.
More like an A&E ward. Look at the IMF’s patients: Armenia, Iceland, Pakistan, Serbia and Romania.
If Brown does think Britain could be needing a bailout, he might be tempted to have an early election. Some members of the Cabinet have long thought that the G20 summit would give them the best chance of success. But I doubt it. For a very good reason that was summed up in about two seconds on the steps of No10 last week.
A policeman was standing guard outside when Barack Obama and Gordo walked into No10 for talks.
On the way past, the American president reached over and shook the copper’s hand. The officer was surprised and delighted.
So delighted that he then offered his hand to our PM — who just walked straight past him. And this says it all.
Brown has stopped thinking in terms of real people. He thinks it’s a success to conjure a number from thin air.
Together, they could be a team. From the adoring look on his face, Brown would love to be Obama’s Chancellor.
The Obamessiah could do the talking-to-voters thing, while Brown could sit in the backroom with his calculator.
Once, Brown had someone to do the charming for him: A guy with a toothy grin called Blair. He’s gone. Now there’s no one to interface with Middle England. No one to notice a policeman’s outstretched hand.
And 40 million voters who will notice that the G20 hasn’t helped: and give their verdict at the ballot box.