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What is your reaction to the G8 and G20 meetings?

13:12 UK time, Friday, 25 June 2010

Leaders at the G20 summit in Canada have agreed to cut national budget deficits by 2013. What do you think about these cuts?

Representatives of the G8 industrialised nations meeting in and near Toronto, discussed security issues as well as plans to improve the health of women and children in poorer regions of the world.

Host Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, said at the G20 on Saturday, that despite cuts, short-term economic stimulus measures would still be needed. However, proposals for a global levy on banks have been dropped, Mr Harper said. Instead, that will be left to individual countries.

Have the G8 and G20 meetings made a difference? What should have been their main priorities? Has the worldwide economic crisis affected the provision of international aid? Are you in the region?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    I would like them to acheive a decision to stop holding these costly junkets that acheive nothing.

    Why cant the 8 leaders just meet in a pub somewhere, or even video conference?

    Nice holiday for all the hangers on though........

  • Comment number 2.

    If on form there will be a big pile of rubbish, including uneaten food, and a load of very hot carbon dioxide above Canada. When are we going to have a G6.5 billion? We need cheering up.

  • Comment number 3.

    The outcome of meetings depend on understanding of issues and commitment to find solutions. The health of children and women are the most vulnerable groups almost in all societies. But their position is quite precarious in developing countries. The G8 countries can make difference to life of these groups only if they remain focused on designing workable programmes.
    The scope of G20 meeting is much wider.It would require a great of diplomatic agility on the part of participants to narrow down differences on key issues and come out with a meaningful action plan to put the world economy on the path of sustained growth.Nevertheless,setting up an equitable mechanism to smoothening the functioning of international financial system should get special attention.

  • Comment number 4.

    Very little. We all here about how we'll protect the environment, we all here about how the banks will be reigned in, and we all hear about how the poor will be helped and so on. But in ten years time, we'll still have global warming, we'll still have overpaid bankers taking risks, and we'll still have a third of the world struggling to live. These discussions achieve so little, and this will be the same as the others.

  • Comment number 5.

    What will the G8 and G20 achieve?

    Pretty much the same as last time ...

    An excellent menu ... followed by

    Promises ... followed by

    Not much, really; but a jolly nice time, eh, chaps.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    What would you like the G8 and G20 meetings to achieve? A ban on socialism.

  • Comment number 8.

    What is the point of the G8/G20?
    What are they even for?
    Don't we have a UN for international get-togethers?

  • Comment number 9.

    Quite honestly I would like the G8/G20 to decide that it's not economical for world leaders to keep jetting around the world to hold these talking shops & that in future these summits will be held over teleconferencing. Might I suggest they use SKYPE, it's free & has a very good video conferencing facility.

    I think Mr Cameron was correct in his assessment of these conferences, nothing worthwhile has come out of them for the amount of tax payers money that goes in to organising one of these events. It always feels like an excuse for leaders to jet off to stay in fancy hotels, gorge on fancy food & be protected by hoards of security all paid for by the tax payer.

  • Comment number 10.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 11.

    How about holding these meetings in less developed countries and allowing them the benefit of a huge influx of visitors and cash. I understand the security bill alone for this is $1bn, that could be money well spent in other countries.

  • Comment number 12.

    There is no point for the rich to give to the poor unless the gifts are to enable the poor to organise & help themselves.

  • Comment number 13.

    If the G8 meeting reinforces the return to the economic policies that prevailed post the 1929 Crash, which the thinking behind Osborne's Budget certainly reveals, then we are in for another Great World Depression.

  • Comment number 14.

    What will G8/G20 achieve? Absolutely nothing, just like every other such junket. A complete waste of money and a misuse of the time of those hired to run their respective countries... maybe they should take the next few days out of their annual leave allowance!

  • Comment number 15.

    Ah yes, World Leaders attending a G8 and G20 in Canada all at the same time? Naturally, all government leaders inform their own populations that purport to represent what this G8 and G20 is actually about?

    The fact that their populations are paying huge costs for their representatives, and their highly expensive staff and hangers-on to attend, is inconsequential and unpublished?

    Surely, the G8 and G20 delegates in Canada is not a complete elitist tax-paid expenses rip-off during austerity measures forced on the population by the same parasites attending in Canada?

    Unless the costs of this 'event' are published, there is deep shame and disgrace on all World Leaders attending this 'hot air beano' in Canada?

    Shame and unspeakable disrespect on all tax-payers if the cost of this 'party' not declared? Want to say more, but can't find the words in a polite and eloquent way at the anger our family feel at this G8/G20 in Canada? aaagh!

  • Comment number 16.

    "Just a jolly boys outing for the few". Nothing gets' done only a lot of talk {Hot Air} {The poor stay poor but the rich get richer.

  • Comment number 17.

    So.. Mr Geithner... We "cannot depend as much on the US as it did in the past"?
    What exactly is that to do? Destroy the world Banking system by allowing stupid Sub-prime lending? Lead the world into "full body scan" paranoia over the threat of terrorism?
    Please, please, stop taking the lead!

  • Comment number 18.

    Sir, in BBC News: "Geithner tells Europe to focus on growth", the term "debt" is used several times incorrectly, when it should have been "deficit". This is confusing.

    Politicians presently aim to reduce annual deficits -- while continuing to increase accumulated debt levels at a smaller rate of increase. Reduction of debt can only begin after annual deficits are turned into annual surpluses.

  • Comment number 19.

    Every single G8 meeting that has gone before has achieved nothing.So its business as usual then?

  • Comment number 20.

    G20 priorities should be focussed on ensuring that the temperatures of the champagne and caviar are just right, everyone has their hair brushed for the photos, and most importantly of all make sure that the taxpayer pays for every penny of it.

  • Comment number 21.

    I would like the G8 and the G20 meetings to pay more attention to the probems of the environment in various parts of the worlds, such as deforestation of forest lands, air pollution, global warming, extermination of many species of living organisms etc. Sadly, these meetings are focused more on how to boost the global economic growth than on how to make the planet Earth, affected severely by anthropogenic activity, a better and cleaner place to live in.

  • Comment number 22.

    I would like them to adjourn their meeting without deciding to pick my pocket any more than they already do.

    It's ludicous for Obama and Giethner to be lecturing anyone on fiscal responsibilities given the state of the U.S. economy. I'd apologize but no doubt Obama will do that soon enough and he's so much better at it than I am.

  • Comment number 23.

    Comment 1, We as goverments apologise to you the people for allowing the banking system to take us through the worst reccesion in modern history.
    Just tell us you all messed up.
    Be honest with us we elect you we can remove you.
    Stop the spin start the real politics of the next decade with the truth as hard as it is for you.
    Give us hope and we will begin to beleive in real goverment again.
    Spin it at your cost.

  • Comment number 24.

    What would you like the G8 and G20 meetings to achieve?

    The cancelling of all personal and national debt.

    Money is an imaginary concept that was intended to facilitate the exchange of goods and services, it doesn't really exist anywhere other than as virtually worthless bits of paper and metal or as numbers on a computers hard drive so maybe we could reset all of the worlds finances and eliminate debt altogether.

    Then we could change the banking system so that instead of relying on wealthy individuals and organisations lending money to governments in the form of a national debt we could have a single central world bank that allocates every national government a set amount of money per citizen per year.

    I know this sounds silly but seriously, money is only worth however much people are willing to exchange for it and it has no intrinsic value of its own so maybe it’s time we changed the system that regulates it so that it doesn't involve the majority of people in the world being enslaved by the minority.

    As John Lennon said;
    We think we're so clever and classless and free,
    but we're all ****ing peasants as far as I can see !

  • Comment number 25.

    An intresting point from RP

    Some would say that banks and bankers should be grateful that governments - including our own - seem to have chosen to preserve bankers' way of life, at the cost of scaling back public services.

    How are bankers choosing to repay the favour?

    Well we'll see whether they manage to sustain the flow of credit necessary to keeping the recovery on track.

    In that context, the Bank of England's new Financial Stability Report contains a chart that should probably be studied by all finance ministers and bank shareholders.

    It is Chart 4.22 on page 54 (PDF). And it shows the proportion of banks' revenues that they have been paying out both in dividends to shareholders and in compensation to staff over the past few years.

    What it demonstrates is that after the banking crisis of 2008, there has been a very sharp drop in dividend payments but a rise in the share of banks' income allocated to salaries and bonuses.

    Which is striking, because it indicates that banks' owners have apparently been happy to make significant financial sacrifices while bankers preserved and possibly enhanced their own living standards. Or perhaps those investors just haven't noticed the uneven distribution of financial pain (which would be more worrying).

    What the Bank of England helpfully points out is that if dividend payments as a share of revenues were kept at the levels of 2009, but compensation ratios reverted to pre-crisis levels, banks would retain an additional £10bn of earnings.

    This would represent £10bn of new capital, which could support - says the Bank of England - some £50bn of additional lending in the UK.

    If the banks simultaneously cut both pay and dividends (or paid those dividends in shares), the banks could provide even more useful credit to businesses and households.

    Which is a formula for public gain from private belt-tightening that could well commend itself to the new Chancellor, George Osborne, as he frets about the economic affects of the unprecedented public-sector belt-tightening he has imposed.

  • Comment number 26.

    If its like all the previous ones it will acheive nothing except costing the TAX payer money. I cannot understand why in this tecnology age we have to fly around the world to hold meetings surley it would be more cost effective and carbon efficient to do it by video conference.

  • Comment number 27.

    I would like to think it will achieve some sort of consensus on global banking regulation, but I wont be holding my breath for meaningful change anytime soon.
    Looks like Obama's going for Fortress America, he doesn't like the outside world very much now that his ratings are nosediving faster than BPs shares.
    Deep sea drilling will continue unabated, so we will probably be enjoying oilier than usual mackerel.
    Cameron will come back with a Tony Blair suntan and a bill for BPs ballsup, and that's about it.

  • Comment number 28.

    NOTHING!

  • Comment number 29.

    What will the G8 and G20 achieve?

    About the same as all the other meetings have achieved. Zilch, zip, nil, nada, nothing, zip.

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm with Benjamin Disraeli:

    “The very phrase 'foreign affairs' makes an Englishman convinced that I am about to treat of subjects with which he has no concern.”


    Our elected leaders keep doing this. Meeting up to talk about stuff that we the electorate haven't any interest in. I ask you. If there was a straw poll of a thousand average English people on the question, "do you think that Cameron should go to the G20?", I reckon the overwhelming response would be, "NO, sort out the home front first."

    Cut ALL foreign aid.

    Britain First. We have people here who are poor or who are dying before their time. Sort out Britain FIRST.


    I pay my taxes to pay for services at home, not to prop up some despotic militarist regime in Africa or Asia.

  • Comment number 31.

    What would I like them to achieve?

    Peace on earth and goodwill to all.

    FAT CHANCE!

  • Comment number 32.

    "What would you like the G8 and G20 meetings to achieve?"

    Perhaps a conclusive understanding of irony can be established. A $1.2 billion photo-op country club get-together to discuss how governments can limit spending....obviously our leaders have no idea what irony means...

  • Comment number 33.

    The G8/G20 gathering will only reinforce the feeling that self-interest will be paramount for every other country but the UK who will give further inane undertakings to cut our CO2 emissions, self-flagellate and generally grovel and waste another few million of tax-payers' money.

    Everyone else will look on horrid fascination...

  • Comment number 34.

    Well I just hope someone is going to stamp on Obama's neck and get him to admit it was the USA fault for this recession, then stand him in front of the world banking organisation to admit fault, then fine the USA the total losses of all the other countries.

  • Comment number 35.

    Top of the Gxx agenda should be to ensure that loonie governments such as the one that plagued the UK for the past 13 years should be denied access to power or even influence.

    In these times, humankind needs the smartest leaders. Labour's greatest deficiency was not its morals, ethics or cunning (bad though these were/are) - it was its sheer incompetence and stupidity.

    A few more governments filled with such thickos and the whole global capitalist system will meltdown. Capitalism may well be a lousy economic system, but in the last 3,700+ years (since Hammurabi) it is the best one found (so far). ;-)

  • Comment number 36.

    Have any of the other meetings achieved anything other than a day out? Why don't they work out what it costs to hold such a meeting and give the money to charity. That would at least achieve something positive.

  • Comment number 37.

    Same Question. Same Answer. Nothing but empty promises and prewritten resolutions. Then we all go home happy

  • Comment number 38.

    To those those who think that these meetings provide cheap holidays for the supporting officials - you couldn't be more wrong. You have to be at the meetings, and what would normally be your own time is usually taken up with preparing records, analysing the the meeting's outcome and reporting it back to (in our case) London, briefing your Delegation Head on the likely moves of other delegations, feeding into the preparation for the next day the comments from London on the reports you've sent a few hours before, proposing how to go forward in the light of all this, and working with your Delegation Head as to what s/he will say in the next session. And much more. The jollies to see the country are usually only for delegation Heads. You come back shattered, particularly if there's a time difference. You need to love your job, because there's no other satisfaction about it.

  • Comment number 39.

    There are many news items (including on the BBC) hailing Canada's relatively mild recession as a result of "adept" governmental handling of their economy.

    Let's just hope G8 and G20 don't take economic cues from successive Canadian governments, not that I expect the G8 or G20 to do anything useful at all, anyway.

    I lived in Canada for a year while working for my company. The taxation is a rip-off - no clear explanation of where all the vast tax revenues go to. Roads are left unrepaired; the subway in Toronto is staffed by lazy and overpaid workers; cut backs on prescriptions (you apparently have to pay for them now); no dental or eyesight coverage at all; working people taxed at extortionist rates and sales tax of 13% (I think) for almost everything. Get this, tax on speeding tickets! That is tax on governmental revenues! The civil servants always unreachable by phone, and when you ask them to do something, it usually takes them weeks to get back. And the last I heard, non-uniform taxation, e.g. extra charges for drivers to register their cars in Toronto, but not in neighbouring cities such; Toronto-specific taxation upon both purchasing a property as well as selling it.

    Where does Canada's revenues go? I suppose its fleeced taxpayer's money goes to silly venues like G20 meetings.

  • Comment number 40.

    Wave the money flag! What was once a G7 has now become a G8, and now there is a lower level G20, but could there yet be an attractive third level coming soon, perhaps a G50 or something like that? After all, the pursuit of money might only be valuable were there to be a discrimination as to just who has the money and who does not.

  • Comment number 41.

    These select few rich leaders are only concerned with propping up the monetary system that they use to enslave 6.5 billion people.
    I would like to see them make it more democratic.
    I would like to see them eliminate all the secrecy.
    I would like to see them abolish fractional reserve banking system.
    I would like to see them go back to the gold standard.

  • Comment number 42.

    624. At 2:25pm on 25 Jun 2010, Wiser than you wrote:

    There is only one "Labour enabler" on here. Tory Central Office must cringe every time they read any of your pompous, arrogant, abusive postings on here which will surely undermine all their attempts to show the Tory party has changed. On the other hand you probably are a ZanuLabour supporting moderator.

    Bertrand Russell's saying
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”
    was never truer than you.

  • Comment number 43.

    "Representatives of the G8 industrialised nations in Muskoka, Ontario will discuss security issues as well plans to improve the health of women and children in poorer regions of the world."

    Is that what they think about as they needlessly spend millions on lavish conference and hotel rooms in the most scenic places and in the most affluent parts of the world?

    Who are they kidding?

  • Comment number 44.

    UN,EU,European Parliament,Council of Europe,NATO,G8,G20,etc,etc,etc,etc..

    How many talking shops do the political elites want?

  • Comment number 45.

    Like all the other posters who think the output will be empty promises at great public expense: ditto.

    If we have senior, highly paid officials with the time to spend on preparation for and attending these events, we have identified staff and costs that can be cut, now.

  • Comment number 46.

    What would you like the G8 and G20 meetings to achieve?

    I Don't know what I'd like them to achieve, but what I don't know is it will result in countries trying to protect or improve their economy through political posturing. It's just a big game of international chess.

  • Comment number 47.

    A new politic financial/economic system for the 21 Century agreed by all major powers;the old system is clearly not workink at all.
    Economic incentives to control the population explosion.

  • Comment number 48.

    I would be suspicious of any forum created by the French.

  • Comment number 49.

    It'll achieve exactly what it's supposed to achieve - the rich will get richer, while the poor will stay in misery, penury and hunger, especially the poor of the third world. Does anyone honestly believe that the leaders of the world's richest countries gather for the purpose of discussing how to loosen their hold over the poor nations that supply them with all their raw materials and cheap labour?

  • Comment number 50.

    They need to put their best minds to ensuring that the capitalist system is strong and able to produce and encourage wealth production. Then systems are in place to ensure that wealth is distrubuted fairly BUT not encourage idleness and moral decline. Easier said than done but we must ensure that socialism and national socialism do not rear their ugly heads again. What worries me is the Obama administartion appear TOO left of centre and as most left wing, incompetant and just hot air.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    It is interesting that the "G" meetings largely originated as a means for the United States to push its global economic aggenda. Those days are over and Obama is taking his seat as a member, not the supreme leader of G8 or G20. Europe, China, Russia, and others, all now have something to offer that differs, sometimes radically, from any position that Mr. Obama is likely to represent. We live in interesting times, as America takes on its role as a fellow player in the economic game, and no longer its supreme dictator.

  • Comment number 53.

    Perhaps I am dumb - but as far as I am concerned these International meetings talk a good talk but walk a very poor walk.

    Every nations looks after its own and will only make changes if it suits them. The leaders all know this so why the need to meet, shake hands and talk the same old rubbish.

  • Comment number 54.

    Well, I would love to visit Canada, but ..... I can't afford it. Wait a moment. I've just participated on somebody's trip to Canada. Something just doesn't add up here. Why can't these politicians meet and think a little about the rest of the world?

  • Comment number 55.

    It is really annoying for us Torontonians as all our movements are restricted to the down town core what a nightmare this is! The G8 leaders have admitted that the last summit produced very litle results, what makes the G20 think they can do any better? What a waste of time and resources and in all probability I will be taxed to death in the next fiscal year for this shamless extravaganza. Oh well what can you 4 days less off my summer in a land of 90 days of real summer. what a joke this is, in our days of teleconfrencing.

  • Comment number 56.

    #35 Dumber than anyone said:

    In these times, humankind needs the smartest leaders. Labour's greatest deficiency was not its morals, ethics or cunning (bad though these were/are) - it was its sheer incompetence and stupidity.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Are these the same smart millionaire leaders that have asked the Swedes, the Canadians and, now, the public, how to do their job?
    The same ones that had a package of "emergency" measures ready to roll just prior to the election?
    The same ones that u turned on vat and the NHS care summary record database and, if Fox is to be believed, will soon do a turn on commitments to front line soldiers whilst wasting billions on full blown cold war missile systems.......absolutely crackers isn't it?

  • Comment number 57.

    G8 and G20 are merely rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic that is a doomed way of life.

  • Comment number 58.

    Honestly I'm not trying to be funny but, If the G8 meeting is for the top 8 Richest Countries in the world. What on Earth are we doing there?

  • Comment number 59.

    Promises about poverty were made at the last G20 meeting and since, charities say the results did not match promises made. When oh when will the Rich nations get into thier bigoted finance controlled brains that the way to proceed is to get people out of poverty and hence reduce massive birth rates which are overstretching resources. Seems the Rich nations are controlled by the Markets to our Planet's destruction. Deregulated economics has made poverty and enviornmental catastrophe worse. There was NO need for any cuts, the Nations should have reigned in the tax havens, imposed robin hood taxes on financial markets releasing energy and demand at home which would allow for greater aid and development abroad. Net effect would be impoved enviornment, protection for endangered species and people emerging out of poverty. You cant trade to do this if everyone is forced to cut back domestically due to Banker and Market dictate which is damning our Planet right now.

  • Comment number 60.

    "What would many like the G8 and G20 meetings to achieve?"

    Well, IF the past is anything to go by then these Leaders will all treat this event as a usual going nowhere Talking-Shop and a long - weekend away from their boring Home Domestic problems while watching the World Cup football upon TV.

    Or, they could decide between themselves to CANCEL each others Financal Deficits to each other out, so that every Nation can start afresh with a clean slate, in Terms of: World Recession - What World Recession.

    But then again, doing things the simple way is by far to easy since it will only Benefit those living in poverty in every Country around the World.

  • Comment number 61.

    Astonishingly they have spent about $1 Billion hosting the G20, which is about $900 million more than anyone else has spent hosting it. Even gold and diamond encrusted riot truncheons can't possibly account for that extra $900 million.

    Considering that there is a world financial crisis and people are really struggling, it is doubly obscene.

  • Comment number 62.

    27. At 4:40pm on 25 Jun 2010, professor plum wrote:

    I would like to think it will achieve some sort of consensus on global banking regulation, but I wont be holding my breath for meaningful change anytime soon.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Now this would be a worthwhile output.
    I would suggest,by way of incentivisation that any dissidents are subjected to a night out with Michael Gove - that ought to get things moving.....

  • Comment number 63.

    In this sever economic climate in which we are told we have to cut, cut,cut to save us all from oblivion it indicates to me that it's "Business as Usual" for our leaders and betters.
    Things cannot be that bad after all or they would not be spending our money, in vast amounts, on a great get together that has never produce anything positive than hot air.
    Well would they........?

  • Comment number 64.

    78. At 5:06pm on 25 Jun 2010, TheBlameGame wrote:

    Hopefully Cameron will be able to spot the difference between a cupboard and a conference room.

    =================================

    Yes, a couple of days in the cupboard sounds the best option.

  • Comment number 65.

    Nothing, as usual. Why should it be any different?

  • Comment number 66.

    Nothing...except the expenditure of $1.2 billion dollars

  • Comment number 67.

    Nothing much. This G.anything is purely anti-democratic in structure.

    Apart from that; an opportunity to further discuss in what ways - if any - the recent Chinese initiative to sell nuclerar reactors to Pakistan differs from the de facto agreement to have both the US and Russia to sell India the same technology. Neither have signed NPT.

  • Comment number 68.

    It would be a bit of a giggle if the Americans ordered Cameron and Clegg to put an immediate stop to their austerity programme. They would have to do it as loyal puppets.

  • Comment number 69.

    Nothing. It will only give courage to Obama to push his USA destroying ajenda further.

  • Comment number 70.

    i qaurantee they wll never do ANYTHING FOR THE GOOD OF THE COMMON PEOPLE! i'm glad the meeting was in canada so they can absorb the 1 billion plus in cost for these fat bloated criminals because the american cash cow is broke. maybe the meeting was about why hasn't the NORTH AMERICAN UNION BEEN FORMED YET AND WHEN CAN THEY EXPECT THE AMERO TO REPLACE THE DOLLAR? THEY HAVE ALLREADY ENSLAVED EUROPE AND TAKEN AWAY YOUR SOVEREIGNTY. NOW THEY ARE AFTER AMERICA. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT SUBMIT. WE ARE FIGHTING NOW TO ABOLISH THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANKING SYSTEM AND THIS IS SOMETHING THE G8 AND G20 GANG ARE AFRAID OF.

  • Comment number 71.

    As a group they could agree to reset the global economy in reality way too much power has been gigted from the US and Europe by the leaders to maximise profit of retailers, who make cheaply abroad.

  • Comment number 72.

    Another “barking up the wrong tree” exercise, I fear.

    We have to learn (but will we ever?) that fiscal claptrap has little to do with the functioning of the physical world in which we all live. One may play with figures until there are no cows left to come home. Not even a billionaire will survive without clean air to breathe or potable water to drink.

    Growth in economic terms does however have a corollary in biology. A bacterial colony cannot grow beyond a certain critical size without “suffocating” itself.

    The planet’s resources are dwindling exponentially under the weight of human overpopulation. So, IF we are to survive we must find another formula that excludes unbridled growth.

    I very much doubt if we are up to the challenge quite frankly.

  • Comment number 73.

    Achieve is hardly a word I would use in describing these junkets

  • Comment number 74.

    I think we should call in all of our international loans to other countries to pay off the national debt.

  • Comment number 75.

    38. At 5:13pm on 25 Jun 2010, deanarabin wrote:
    To those those who think that these meetings provide cheap holidays for the supporting officials - you couldn't be more wrong. You have to be at the meetings, and what would normally be your own time is usually taken up with preparing records, analysing the the meeting's outcome and reporting it back to (in our case) London, briefing your Delegation Head on the likely moves of other delegations, feeding into the preparation for the next day the comments from London on the reports you've sent a few hours before, proposing how to go forward in the light of all this, and working with your Delegation Head as to what s/he will say in the next session. And much more. The jollies to see the country are usually only for delegation Heads. You come back shattered, particularly if there's a time difference. You need to love your job, because there's no other satisfaction about it.


    I dont doubt the effort that goes into these conferences but the question was do they achieve anything. Or is all your hard work to no avail?

  • Comment number 76.

    sfa

  • Comment number 77.

    39. At 5:18pm on 25 Jun 2010, Muhammad Zaman wrote:
    There are many news items (including on the BBC) hailing Canada's relatively mild recession as a result of "adept" governmental handling of their economy.

    Let's just hope G8 and G20 don't take economic cues from successive Canadian governments, not that I expect the G8 or G20 to do anything useful at all, anyway.

    I lived in Canada for a year while working for my company. The taxation is a rip-off - no clear explanation of where all the vast tax revenues go to. Roads are left unrepaired; the subway in Toronto is staffed by lazy and overpaid workers; cut backs on prescriptions (you apparently have to pay for them now); no dental or eyesight coverage at all; working people taxed at extortionist rates and sales tax of 13% (I think) for almost everything. Get this, tax on speeding tickets! That is tax on governmental revenues! The civil servants always unreachable by phone, and when you ask them to do something, it usually takes them weeks to get back. And the last I heard, non-uniform taxation, e.g. extra charges for drivers to register their cars in Toronto, but not in neighbouring cities such; Toronto-specific taxation upon both purchasing a property as well as selling it.

    Where does Canada's revenues go? I suppose its fleeced taxpayer's money goes to silly venues like G20 meetings.

    ---------------------------------

    While you may consider Canada's taxation ridiculous, it is considered average for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which includes most countries from Europe and North America. Generally countries with high Human development indexes (such as Norway, Australia, or Canada) have higher taxation than other countries.

    Dental and eyesight aren't considered life saving healthcare, so employment insurance handles them. We also have to pay for drugs, but usually at a lower subsidised cost.

    Regarding our roads; unfortunately many parts of Canada as subject to extreme changes in seasonal temperatures which play havoc with asphalt, and maintenance can be daunting. There is also room for improvement in Toronto's public sector & transportation, but for a North American city, it's definitely not the worst. Most level headed people consider these issues a mere annoyance rather than sticking point to despise a particular country. Then again, most level headed people wouldn't judge the second largest country in the world after visiting just one single city within it.

  • Comment number 78.

    More dead Lobster and a worldwide shortage of Goose Liver.

  • Comment number 79.

    The USA has already put the finishing touches to the' Volker Bill' which effectively puts a leash on the banking and investment houses. This restricts financial betting among american banks and the rest of the world. Whilst the USA have moved fast, the rest of the G8 & G20 have prevaricated and promised much, but have been side-tracked by squabbling and disagreements, and swayed by the powerful banking lobbyists, unlike Obama who has dug his heals in against the banking lobby in Washington DC. The British Prime Minister would do well to follow suit in this instance and truly demonstrate he represents the interests of the British citizen and not the values of fat cat bankers. We'll see !

  • Comment number 80.

    Nothing.

    A weird situation. They want to stimulate growth (which means persuading people to buy more stuff).

    At the same time they want to cut debt. So people can't borrow as much.

    As most people are in debt or will be when the austerty measures start to bite, they won't be able to borrow to consume. It's a bit of an impasse.

  • Comment number 81.

    Great food, beautiful women, & a wonderful time for all.

  • Comment number 82.

    There are a couple of videos that the G8 and G20 should watch as these videos define the problems of the monetary system. I am not a money wiz kid or economist so I cannot vouch for the validity of the ideas presented. I can say that if what the videos portray is true then we are all in deep dodo until the governments of the word engage in meaningful monetary reform.

    Money as debt.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2550156453790090544

    Money as debt II - Promises Unleashed.

    http://vimeo.com/6822294

    Lord Acton quotes: 
    The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.

  • Comment number 83.

    I bet our esteemed Prime Minister travelled first class with his entourage and I bet somebody carried the red ministerial box for him.

    Would it not be a lot cheaper to discuss things via a secure tele-broadcast rather than jet off to another land. If these cuts Mr Cameron has made are for the benefit of us all, then clearly he is getting the biggest benefit of all those cuts that people are suffering.

    Mr Cameron should set a good example but no doubt he will have an excuse for all this unnecessary cost.

  • Comment number 84.

    I think they will achieve little that will fundamentally change the way the world operates. Many people really know that the Investment Bankers, 'Big Business', the super rich, the advertising industry will wield their power supported by the right wing media. We are ultimately powerless - they must laugh at how the sheep, sorry members of the public, are manipulated and will take their medicine and squabble amongst themselves. Look at how the public sector are now being kicked and used as the scape goats - divert attention from the real culprits!! We all pay the price to keep them wealthy whilst they look at ways of retaining and indeed building on their wealth. They have returned very quickly to 'business as usual' these people have no honour andthere is every likelihood we will have a financial crisis again as they cannot restrain their greed. Wealth and power are their driving force. I don't think that any governments have the stomach or any real power to take them on. The Governments know to some extent they have limited power and are just puppets I believe this is why Cameron is so reticent about properly tackling the banks they could destroy him plus deep down he probably wants them to start making massive profits again as the UK benefits and he has banking family and friends. He may be on the Board of a Bank when his PM days are over. He has to play it canny. Lets face it if Murdoch wanted to slur and turn public opinion against a Prime Minister he is in a powerful position to do so and will use this power as we have seen. The only way governments can take on the Investment Banks, super rich etc is multi-laterally. Have they really got the courage and will to do it or will they run scared?

  • Comment number 85.

    58. At 6:05pm on 25 Jun 2010, Droschke wrote:

    Honestly I'm not trying to be funny but, If the G8 meeting is for the top 8 Richest Countries in the world. What on Earth are we doing there?

    ------
    I believe we are still regarded in the top 6.

  • Comment number 86.

    My father always used to say that Labour are for the people and Conservatives are for themselves. He always used to say that voting for the Conservatives will make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Mr Cameron within his first six weeks has proved both those saying right in my view.

    Jetting off to meetings spending money that this country Cameron said hasn't got. Unacceptable - totally. And what will it all achieve? Disagreements from all sides probably!!

  • Comment number 87.

    For whatever the reason, or whoever you blaim, the countries of the G8 are in a ness or slowly coming out of a ness.. Perhaps fixing there own problems first before trying to sort out the rest of the world would be a good start.

  • Comment number 88.

    “What would you like the G8 and G20 meetings to achieve?”

    I would like all politicians to announce that they will:

    1/ accept their allotted place in life and stop trying to make economies into one-way wishful thinking perpetual motion machines to please their democratic voters.

    2/ never again encourage growth through the sort of excessive consumer borrowing that led to the recent banking failures.

    3/ relinquish interference in the global economy and focus instead on providing infrastructure services that cost less than they receive in taxes.

    In short, for politicians to know their place and stop trying to emulate King Canute…

    (well, one can but dream)

  • Comment number 89.

    The G20 should be scrapped. It's a nice jolly but all the trade and other agreements were made earlier so it's just an expensive front. At best it's a talking shop; a chance for an old friends' (or enemies') meet up. Anything that comes of it will have already been decided anyway.


    It says all that need be said about austerity measures, a fine example of cutting back.

  • Comment number 90.

    America shows weak export revenues and imports poor quality products. The Bush-Obama Administrations prefer war overseas, not business. Congress must be voted-out of office. The Electorate should choose progressive candidates.

  • Comment number 91.

    The gravy train is now in town again all aboard those for free food and drink ; 5 star accommodation and travel O and expenses for what a load of drivel printed on paper !!!!! that will mean absolutley nothing . Will someone please stop these ridiculous meetings asap

  • Comment number 92.

    Obamas a spending kind of President, with marked similarities on welfare and public spending as the last British government.

    He will no doubt be doing his best to cajole and convince the rest of the G8 to spend spend spend.

    Everyone knows it is a bankrupt policy.

  • Comment number 93.

    What should be top of the agenda?
    I agree with the G8 agenda.
    I thank our Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper for placing the item on the agenda. What I would like to see now is Mr. Harper setting an enample for the world with our own indigenous people.
    I find the G20 agenda incomplete. In addition to
    - efforts to support growth in the global economy
    - reducing national deficits and
    - possible bank levies,
    I would like to see
    - weather & climate i.e. the potential manipulation of both as caused by such instruments as HAARP and SURA which the United Nations has already made off limits. I can think of no other way that these strange weather patterns are occurring except by artificial interference, and until that is resolved, all future talks about climate are worthless.
    Will the G8 and G20 meetings make a difference?
    Only if there is honesty + the will to make a difference.
    Are you in the region?
    Yes, and security & fences & guns are all over the place; I've never seen anything like it, and I hope never to see it again.

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm hoping David Cameron can hammer home and help the G8 to make decisive decisions to finish the crisis. I agree fully well that Gordon was just playing for time there only to come back and borrow more money which the country is forced to pay for now. Cameron is not in the wrong, it would have been easier for him and us if we had had an election when Gordon Brown became leader of the labour party.

  • Comment number 95.

    These meetings are useless and hypocritical by the G 8 and G 20 leaders since they are the main suppliers of weapons to the rest of the world. if they really want to help the poor countries maybe I mean maybe they should consider of stop selling them guns first and help them to get themselves out of their poverty?

  • Comment number 96.

    The meeting will achieve temporary boosts on hotel and airline takings to the cities hosting them and a lot of indigestion due to rich food and wine to those who claim we are all in this together.

    That is all.

  • Comment number 97.

    Nothing.

  • Comment number 98.

    nothing has been achieved yet all the domis talk about promisses ,but they don`t do anything .they might as well stop meetimg and save us millions or whatever it costs to stage these meetings

  • Comment number 99.

    will this G8 meeting be a disreali moment for cameron, nick

  • Comment number 100.

    #94 Dave's track record on decisions, let alone decisive ones, isn't that good.
    Unless, that is, unless you count his decisions to ask Canada, Sweden and the general public to decide how the tories should do their job - so I suppose he could be described as being good at deciding to delegate decision making!

    Oh, and it's possible that it could say he's made some decisive u turns on vat , NHS iT systems and the numbers of front line troops (unless Foxy's just being mischievous that is.....)

    Oooh, perhaps you were right after all.....

 

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