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02 April 2009

G20 .. "Anglo-Saxons" versus The Rest?

Well, the great and the good, the bad and ugly, are all gathered in London today for the G20 summit that's intended to put the world to rights.

President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany have formed an unholy alliance against those they see as the Anglo-Saxon originators of all the world's financial troubles, i.e., the USA and the UK.

They want more regulation rather than more spending boosts. I am tempted to agree with them. It is hard to avoid the fact that the present troubles did arise from the lightly regulated, laissez-faire kind of capitalism espoused principally by the United States and the United Kingdom. I am inclined to agree that we need more, not less, regulation; and as for delivering financial stimulus we are already up to our ears in hock for generations without borrowing even more to spend our way out of the crisis. We need to expose and close down all these tax havens as well.

Naturally the gathering has encouraged the appearance of thousands of protestors in London, some of which managed to break the windows of the Royal Bank of Scotland and gain entry to smash up a few computers. Since we own most of the RBS these days, I suppose these guys were pretty much breaking into their own premises!

There have been anti-war protesters, anti-globalisation protesters, anti-capitalism protesters, anti-nuclear arms protesters, environmental protesters, socialist worker protesters, trade union protesters, communist protesters, anarchist protesters, and for all I know anti-protest protesters. Apart from the break in to the RBS these huge gatherings have been largely peaceful and handled quite well by the Police. (Update 20th April .. there have since been 90 complaints to the Police Complaints Commission about some Police Officers hiding their identity numbers, and physically assaulting protesters, allegededly causing one death.) City of London bank workers who took it upon themselves to wave fistfuls of £10 notes to the assembled crowds probably cannot be described as the world's greatest practitioners of tact and diplomacy!

I wish the G20 gathering well in their endeavours.

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