Apparently, the highlight of the round-up of the G8 summit in Lough Erne might just have been that David Cameron went for a morning dip to swim a couple of lengths. That’s about as far as he might have got anyhow, considering that little all else was decided.
But, hey, it doesn’t matter. The G8 only cost a whacking $50 million in running costs for security. That’s eye-watering. All of that so that we could see Vladimir Putin pouting in press conferences because the others didn’t want to play cowboys and Indians with Syria’s Bachar Al-Assad.
But what exactly has come out of it all? The money, the guys and the one girl with no ties, that cool, no-flies-on-me look as if they were all buddies. Then came the press conferences with the pouting and the scowling as if the KGB, MI5 and the CIA were standing there behind them all breathing down their necks at the same time. Have we all paid for that? Let’s face it. If I’m paying, I want to see a smile on their faces, at the very least. The pizza-delivery guy has to do it when he turns up at the door. The till operator has to do it when she has been scanning your tea-bags all day long. We don’t care how long people have to work, but they have to smile. Especially, when I’m paying for it. So, why were there no smiles at the G8? Easy to understand why.
Tax evasion was the point that was the highest up on the agenda for the two-day summit. A set of principles were agreed. Is that all? Principles? I have principles. We all do. Just depends along what scale of measurement that we are using. It was agreed, therefore, in principle, that they would all share tax information and stop countries shifting profits from one country to another so that they could avoid tax. But, principles have limits, don’t they? Nobody wanted to agree to go too far. Registers of public ownership will not be published and transparency is not the order of the day. A little. Maybe a little a lot. But, not too much. New feeding method of the public? Obama went as far as to say that that US tax information being made public would have an adverse effect if corrupt nations got to see what they were doing. Really? The UK’s overseas territories signed up and agreed to the principles, in principle.
The principles have been lambasted as nothing more than ‘windy’. Probably, only on principle though. Whatever happens anyhow, we know that the tax evaders will not be waiting for the G8 to catch up with them before they decide to change tactics and exploit another loophole. Oh, the joys of politics. Long, hard and very slow slog, in principle.
Vladimir Putin was sticking to his principles too with regard to Syria. Naturally, recognizing that something had to be done to aid the population of Syria in the face of Al-Assad, would mean that Putin would have to forgo his arms deals with that country. It would also perhaps question the principle of Putin’s own regime and how it deals with its opposition. Some are saying that the next G8 summit in which Russia will assume the presidency (June 4th_5th2014, Sochi, Russia) will be another time for sour grapes and sulking. But, there are quite a few others that are demanding that the world take action to help the Syrian population out of their present plight and that something should be done way before 2014.
We shouldn’t forget either that principles were also decided upon concerning EU-US trade. Figures were branded about that would bring in €119 billion a year for the EU and €95 billion for the USA. Not bad! But, just how that is going to happen has yet to be decided upon. But, the principle is there! The US and the EU will be working together on this one to make sure that we all help each other out. But, it seems that they forget to address the principle of lack of stimulus and growth in the economy. That’s a harder one to deal with, surely.
The G8 summit closed with camaraderie and back-slapping. Words like ‘potential’ were branded about and ‘success’. But, maybe that was just out of principle too!
But, out of principle, maybe, nobody seems to give two hoots, anyhow. the only thing that is worrying everybody at the moment is the Federal Reserve and what Ben Bernanke is going to announce.
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