With the Masters of the Universe gathered in Mexico Frankie has been wondering just what the G20 might do for the People of the Pond. Here are my thoughts, predictions, and suggestions for our great leaders to weigh in the balance in between the canapés and Monte Cristos.
The Environment: This year’s G20 is supposed to finish the spadework ahead of the Rio+20 talks, with delegates agreeing to a beefed-up Unep, the UN’s environment programme, so vital for our future the UN located its HQ in Nairobi.
Expect: lots of hot air about C02 and ‘sustainable development’.
Result? The truly big issues, like biodiversity, hydrogen conversion, pollution, and food and water resource depletion, get ignored again.
G20 reform: Dismissed by some as a rich man’s club, or “another Congress of Vienna” and “the greatest setback since WWII“ by the Norwegians, the G20’s membership, says one recent study, would more accurately reflect global wealth if Russia, Mexico, Argentina and Indonesia were expelled, and replaced by Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, and…Norway. Good luck with that. Mind you, some members see the G20 as more or less useful. While heads of state or prime ministers abound, Britain has sent…Nick Clegg.
Development: Under Mexico’s stewardship this was supposed to be a summit all about spreading development. The G20 wants all of us to enjoy the pleasures of tumble dryers, microwaves and 20-speaker surround sound digital Dolby delirium, just as long as the rest of the world hands over all its arable land, natural resources, cultures and traditions. In 20 years we’ll be able to witness the resulting natural disasters in 3D with realtime updates on our mobiles…but we’ll struggle to see the crystal-clear screens through the smog, and the hi-fi sound will drowned out by the rumbling in our bellies.
Human Rights: the G20 routinely calls for more empowerment of women as part of its development mantra. Strangely only Angela Merkel and Argentina’s Christina Fernandez have a place at the top table to chew the fat with the boys, and only the former will be taken at all seriously.
Austerity: It’s high political fashion at the moment for our leaders to make a show of making do with less, so delegates will this time be getting only one complimentary case of Kristal, a single free pass to the “Bunga bunga Tequila paradise” nightspot, and some Taco Bell gift vouchers on arrival in their hotel rooms.
Nobody mention: the ongoing massacres in Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Tibet etc; the contents of the brown envelopes each participant received from the Bilderberg representative, and the extraordinary waistline of the Mexican foreign minister, as he’s very sensitive about his weight.