The so – called “G7” are meeting over the next few days in Cornwall for their annual “summit”, and it’s all the media can talk about.
But what is the “G7 summit”, and why is it so important?
The “G7” is basically a posh club consisting of the heads of government in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2018 these countries represent over half of the world’s global net wealth and almost half of global GDP. The seven countries involved are also the largest International Monetary Fund-advanced economies in the world.
The heads of the seven member states, along with representatives of the European Union, meet at the annual G7 Summit. The first of these “G” summits (G6) convened in 1975, after President Nixon’s policies in the US had detached the dollar from the gold standard making the old Bretton-Woods financial system inoperable, causing an energy crisis and global rising inflation.
An era of FIAT money, money not backed by anything other than a governmental promise, was borne from that period of time.
When G7 members meet, it’s not just called a meeting. Since these meetings are really important meetings of really important people discussing really important problems, they have a different name to let us know how important they are – “Summits.”
The term “Summit” first became a popular term for meetings of important nations like these at the 1955 “Geneva Summit” – a legendary meeting between the major Western powers of the time and the Soviet Union, where peace and a de-escalation of cold-war tensions were the target.
Unlike many “G7” meetings, the 1955 summit was thought of as a success at the time since there was a renewed optimism of detente between the cold war factions following it. However, the Suez crisis a year later is thought to have scuppered any progress after Israel, France and the UK invaded Egypt after the Egyptian President nationalized the Suez canal.
So there you go, that’s all you need to know about the G7 and summits.
Well, all that, plus there’s absolutely no point in having them if you ask me.
They’ve met 46 times so far, and every year they meet to attempt to solve the world’s financial problems that were borne out of the period of time they started meeting, and every year they fail to achieve anything. I’ve looked pretty hard and in 46 summits the only thing I can see they have done of any note, is in 2003 they set up a global fund to fight malaria and aids.
That’s it. I can’t really point to anything else they’ve achieved. That’s the only positive thing I can say these summits have achieved in 46 meetings. They set up a fund once.
The G7 can’t do anything like pass laws or have any real binding power since the G7 is made up of separate nations with their own democratic processes. I really can’t see any point to the meetings at all apart from to get a nice group photo every year and an opportunity for Western leaders to openly critical of Russia and/or China.
The cost to the country that holds the meeting is stupendous, too. Policing at this summit in Cornwall will cost an estimated £72 million – you’re paying for all this. They’ve got money and time to waste on pointless meetings during a pandemic that won’t solve anything pressing and is an obvious security threat and target for large protests, no wonder there’s nothing left in the kitty for nurses!
I wonder why there’s so much public negativity right now towards governments and elected officials?
Also, if the meetings have to go ahead, there’s no point to these meetings being held in person. Last time I checked the media were still saying we’re in a pandemic and need to be cautious. Isn’t having dozens of leaders and no doubt hundreds in their entourages coming through our borders at this time a little risky? Since last year’s was done via video-conference after it was canceled due to Covid, why can’t it be held remotely on video-conference again?
Aren’t these people the very same ones telling us to work from home wherever possible? Couldn’t the UK have hosted Biden and his buddies to a meeting on Skype instead of him flying his entourage and multiple other planes, helicopters and cars over for it?
It makes no sense to me to keep holding these summits. Not unless every nation is invited, including Russia and China. And it makes no sense to me for our media to be paying them any attention – they never achieve anything. It makes no sense to expend all this time and energy on a theatrical event which solves none of the world’s problems and costs a fortune whilst being a security threat to the host nation at the same time.
Even when these leaders do agree on anything, it doesn’t take long before one of them changes their minds. This year the countries involved pre-agreed a 15% global minimum tax rate for the entire world before coming over. This is being heralded by some as a resounding achievement, however I have serious problems with it.
First of all, if they have already agreed a plan before they flew over, why did they need to fly over? Presumably this proves they can get things done without all the pomp ceremony and expense?
Secondly, almost immediately upon agreeing the global tax plan the UK’s chancellor, Rishi Sunak, began pushing for the City of London to be exempt from it. You know, because the City of London has paid so much tax in the past it would be unfair for them to pay 15%?
Anyway, this doesn’t fill me with confidence that the UK will stick to it, which means none of the other countries who agreed to it will stick to it either, let alone any of the countries not invited to the meeting and who therefore had no say in any of it.
Undeterred by a history of failure at these G summits, though, they’ll be attempting to fix the global economy again over the next few days. This year, on top of trying to do this like they always fail in doing, they’re going to do it following an 18-month long global pandemic during which time all of those involved have been printing money like it’s confetti going out of fashion.
They’re also going to figure out how we’re going to solve climate change and pay for that, too.
Now I don’t know about you, but given past performance, I’m not brimming with confidence that this year’s summit will achieve anything other than a nice group photo.
And even if by some miracle this meeting is different, and a period of financial fairness and equality ensues where globally we come together to fix the world’s problems, I don’t hold out much hope for it lasting long.
For if the meeting in 1955 that popularized the term “Summit” is anything to go by, any progress made will be scuppered by a crisis next year caused by war, with some country somewhere invading another.
It’ll probably be Israel again.
Before you go….
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