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G20: Banging the British drum in East Asia

Nick Robinson | 10:25 UK time, Friday, 12 November 2010

Seoul: We can't say we weren't warned. David Cameron had predicted that this was not going to be one of those summits that saw the G20 in a "heroic phase".

David Cameron

 

He insists that while the summit may not have produced a "glistening headline", it made good and steady progress and that we should treasure what the G20 does and understand that if it didn't exist, something like it would have to be invented.

Britain helped secure a commitment to try again to get a world trade deal and the solution to the issue which dogged this summit - the so-called "global economic imbalances" between the old industrialised countries like Britain and America, which have spent and imported too much, and the newly developing economies like China which have saved and exported too much.

In the early hours of this morning, fractious negotiations between China, America and the hosts South Korea broke down in acrimony, according to a British source. The "summit sherpas" from the UK, France and Russia were called in, it's claimed, to settle the dispute. They did so by calling on the International Monetary Fund to produce a study and for the G20 to discuss the issue all over again next year.

It may be that Downing Street wants to counter the impression that the prime minister has played a much more marginal role here than Gordon Brown did at the London summit last year. Privately, officials who have worked for both men say, though, that there are good reasons for that. Britain is not now chairing the G20, the world is no longer facing a crisis and the UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem.

Mr Cameron ends his week in East Asia feeling that at the very least, he's banged the drum for British trade in a part of the world which looks like creating wealth and jobs for a very long time to come.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Sounds like a pointless exercise - the heads of government have escaped their domestic woes for a few days but nothing has changed.

  • Comment number 2.

    #1
    Pretty much:

    'UK, France and Russia were called in, it's claimed, to settle the dispute. They did so by calling on the International Monetary Fund to produce a study and for the G20 to discuss the issue all over again next year.'
    You don't settle disputes by delaying discussion.

  • Comment number 3.

    Nick,

    Bit unclear there. Was David Cameron trying very hard to say that he and 19 other leaders were simply talking hot air at each other? Or that 19 others merely ignored him?

    Oh dear. The rumours of lightweight are not helping...

  • Comment number 4.

    I can well understand people thinking that there should be more action at the G20. I have a great deal of sympathy with that view - BUT....

    We need to recognise that the global financial and governance systems are in the process of being rewritten to reflect the new underlying realities. Since 1989 the increased speed of globalisation (in certain areas at least), the advances in multilateralism and the so-called 'Washington consensus' essentially relied on the fact that there was a single global power which shared many values with the EU. It was for this reason that the G7 or G8 could work.

    We are now seeing the emergence of a new multilateral world which no longer reflects the global power relationships that existed in the immediate post war period. Obviously it is way above my pay grade but it seems that neither the EU or the US has come to terms with the new realities, in part because it inevitably means recognising some loss of power/influence.

    If the US and EU can get their act together they can have a very significant say in the shape of the new world order. To do that they must recognise the need for new global arrangements that will mean each have less power/influence than was enjoyed in the post WW2 era. The longer it takes for the US and the EU to recognise their position the less say they will have in shaping the future.

    Unfortunately it seems to me that both thhe EU and the US are focussed on domestic issues at the moment. Moreover China (and other BRICS) are playing a pretty good game of divide and conquer. It is also why China is happy to play a long game.

  • Comment number 5.

    Lord snooty in a marginal role?

    Must admit, the body language of him alongside serious world leaders did look a bit like when one of the kids wanders into an adult party.

    Good to see the rest of world has a realistic appraisal of the importance of both the individual and his crumbling 'nation.'

    Excuse me if I laugh.

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    Just as an example of how we in the UK (and the rest of the EU) have failed to get our head around the rise of China.

    I still hear people talking about China as the far east. I used the same phrase until I met a senior Chinese lawyer. He pointed out to me that in China and the US all of the maps show China, ASEAN and Australia (and the Pacific Ocean)in the centre, with the EU in the top left corner and the Americas running down the length of the right hand side. This projection makes the Pacific Ocean the focus.

    In this country and the EU we use maps showing Europe and Africa in the centre, with the Americas on the left and Asia on the right (which makes the reference to the Far East understanndable). This projection makes the Atlantic Ocean the focus.

    My Chinese friend asked me which map I thought would be used in the 21st century.

    According to him the correct nomenclature is East Asia rather than the Far East (which is considered to be the product of a colonial mindset).

    Glad to see Nick (and I assume the Cameron communications team) understand the new realities.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Britain is not now chairing the G20, the world is no longer facing a crisis and the UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem."

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

    Are you serious? Britain is no longer seen as a problem! Firstly the policy has barely started and the pain is yet to be felt. Down the line growth has to happen but todays news is that European growth is slowing. Personally I think these summits are a waste of time - what agreements are made are vacuous and no one concedes anything anyway. As in the Orient it is important not to lose face.


  • Comment number 9.

    Nick Robinson.

    "He [Cameron] insists that while the summit may not have produced a "glistening headline", it made good and steady progress.."

    another bit of glib, unquantifiable verbiage to waste our collective bandwidth.

    the man has nothing to say, so, you dutifully report it. sigh..

  • Comment number 10.

    Well, the Chinese made it clear that it's partly the US and Britain's fault for allowing Western companies to play the off-shoring game taking all manufacturing to Asia!

    We haven't heard Mr Cameron respond to that. As we speak, IT jobs are still going to India and China, and now increasingly Eastern Europe. What's Mr Cameron doing about it? Nada!

    So much for China bashing.

  • Comment number 11.

    UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem

    I am amazed at that statement Nick, as the majority of the proposals have yet to be implemented and even when they do they will take a couple of years to work through fully.

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

    #11
    'UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem
    I am amazed at that statement Nick, as the majority of the proposals have yet to be implemented and even when they do they will take a couple of years to work through fully.'

    Maybe it's all just one big fat con!

  • Comment number 14.

    UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem

    I am amazed at that statement Nick, as the majority of the proposals have yet to be implemented and even when they do they will take a couple of years to work through fully.
    ----
    True, but apparently the G20 leaders feel the plans will address the issues and mean we will not be a problem from now on. I hope they are right. No doubt if things take a turn for the worst they will reconsider whether we are a problem or not.

  • Comment number 15.

    David Cameron is not a substantive figure. The savage austerity drive he is pursuing in the UK is not universally admired. So, he hasn't achieved much there, but then again, he's all talk anyway, and most of the world know that. What he has achieved is to put up the UK for sale to any bidder with enough money, without a care in the world of the consequences on the ordinary working people of this country that he is assigning our lives to the vagaries of foreigners for a quick profit. It's just another jolly for him with or without his filthy-rich business pals.

  • Comment number 16.

    What solution can there possibly be, ' to the issue which dogged this summit - the so-called "global economic imbalances" between the old industrialised countries like Britain and America, which have spent and imported too much, and the newly developing economies like China which have saved and exported too much'
    Reminds me about the Parable of the Foolish Virgins (Mathew 25, 1-13)

  • Comment number 17.

    "the world is no longer facing a crisis" so what the hell is there to talk about and have acrimony over. The crisis is the failure of major western economies to be able to manage their own affairs and to deal with their sickness by administering treatment to others - at least that is the view of the BRIC's who it is difficult to see what incentive they have to 'self harm'.

  • Comment number 18.

    Britain no longer has a Labour government , so is no longer seen as at risk of going bust. The only people who don't see this are Labour party members and those who haven't been taking their medication.

  • Comment number 19.

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

  • Comment number 20.

    Telling each other that China is so economically powerful that we're now clearly doomed to the cheap seats and so might as well not bother doesn't seem to me to be a useful strategy.
    I'm not suggesting that we take them on, but forging as many links and agreements as we can and looking for new ways to do that does seem, to my untutored mind, to be a reasonable way forward.

  • Comment number 21.

    sigh.

    The trolls on this forum are out of control. I understand that it's fun to be snarky, but comments #1, 2 3 and 5 to start with are little more than cheap shots that don't contribute a damn thing apart from either ad hominem or reflect grapes of a particularly sour taste.

    @ 8 & 11 - Nick is perfectly correct in the statement in that whatever the reality of the situation, the issue is market perception and currently both the currency and bond markets are focussing fire elsewhere: the UK is *not* under pressure right now. As to whether the deficit reduction programme works is neither here nor there: the operative words in his sentance were the all important 'seen as' qualifiers.

    @10 - absolutely correct. The fact that this analysis seems to escape everyone is completely beyond me. The current account deficit is merely the outcome of a policy pursued by western governments and private companies for the last two decades. The west needs to grasp that the solution to this is either to accept that this structural problem will continue to exist alongside cheap manufactured goods, and the resulting low inflation & stability or that the other alterntive is to onshore these industries and accept higher prices.

  • Comment number 22.

    "Privately, officials who have worked for both men say, though, that there are good reasons for that. Britain is not now chairing the G20, the world is no longer facing a crisis and the UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem."

    Thank god for the officials who can safely say that the crisis is over, pity about reality.

  • Comment number 23.

    12. At 11:43am on 12 Nov 2010, sagamix wrote:
    I can remember not too long ago the colossus which (loath him, dislike him or just not keen) was Gordon Brown pretty much running these G20 shows, achieving global agreement on weighty issues.
    =========================================================================
    And what did Superman actually deliver, the saviour of the global finacail institutions.

    If I may be so bold but to quote Eminem;

    'Cuz I can't be your superman,
    Can't be your superman,
    Can't be your superman,
    Can't be your superman,
    I can't be your superman,
    Can't be your superman,
    Can't be your superman,
    Your superman, your superman...

  • Comment number 24.

    Hate to shatter any romantic illusions here. But Cameron is going to China to discuss jobs to China.
    Meanwhile in India - Obama is doing an arms deal. Two months ago the US sold $2 billion of kit to Pakistan, now they are doing the same in India. Only with a discount.

    The Rolls Royce deal was a two fingered salute to the US's Pratt & Whitney over the currency war (which we took no part in).

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    Should have sent van Rumpuy. He claims to be our leader now.

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    #21
    Troll? Moi?
    I don't quite understand your ad hominem jibe (Or the sour grapes one!) Would you care to elucidate?
    I thought my point was quite valid: How can you settle a dispute by not discussing it? It's doublethink!

  • Comment number 30.

    Nick,

    It may be that Downing Street wants to counter the impression that the prime minister has played a much more marginal role here than Gordon Brown did at the London summit last year. Privately, officials who have worked for both men say, though, that there are good reasons for that.

    Mr Cameron ends his week in East Asia feeling that at the very least, he's banged the drum for British trade in a part of the world which looks like creating wealth and jobs for a very long time to come.
    =========================================================

    The comparisons with Gordon Brown are now irrelevant in this context. Gordy is yestrdays man - gone. Who's interested ?

    I hope that David Cameron feels he has done something genuinely positive and constructive here, which will benefit the country in the future. The reality is, however, that we now have real pressing problems in the country now, which concern the people much more than the gloss and spin on the G20 meeting.

    On the subject of spin and trivia - which is what your blog is increasingly focussing on - one thing that has emerged during this week is that David Cameron seems to have put on quite a bit of weight recently. I barely recognised him the other day on the news - and his hair was a mess - is he morphing into Boris Johnson? Very soon his private photographer will need a wide angle lens to get him in the frame - lets hope the taxpayer doesn't have to pick up the bill for it.

  • Comment number 31.

    @ #27

    reading comprehension fail then since I don't think that was what Nick's saying at all.

    Lord Snooty comments are tired, but nevermind. Likewise statements like 'pathetic little country' demean you.

    As I say - bring something constructive to the discussion, or just be discounted as a Troll.

  • Comment number 32.

    Nick Says:

    “Britain helped secure a commitment to try again to get a world trade deal and the solution to the issue which dogged this summit - the so-called "global economic imbalances" between the old industrialised countries like Britain and America, which have spent and imported too much, and the newly developing economies like China which have saved and exported too much”.

    Then proceeds to say:

    “Britain is not now chairing the G20, the world is no longer facing a crisis and the UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem”.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well I don’t see much of a plan to sort out the former statement, so the latter is rather a contradiction Nick.
    So they are TRYING to get a deal; that’s not the same as saying they HAVE achieved a deal is it?
    I’m afraid the problem of the UK Balance of Trade Deficit will remain as long as we keep on spending the amount of money we do on cheap imports & can’t balance this with our exports.
    Even if we manage to get the likes of the China to import some of our goods, our manufacturing base really isn’t up to much these days is it.

    It’s taken 30 years; maybe the penny has finally dropped with the Tories that manufacturing exports really are important to the UK & we can’t just rely on the Finance & Service sectors to support our economy on their own.

    I won’t be holding my breath over it though.

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    It was always going to be a tall order for Mr Cameron to follow in the footsteps of a true world leader Mr Brown. Doesn't appear from what your saying Nick, that Mr Cameron's up to the job.

  • Comment number 35.

    Nick says:

    "Britain is not now chairing the G20, the world is no longer facing a crisis and the UK's policy of deficit reduction means that Britain is no longer seen as a problem".

    Well that’s not what Mervyn King is saying is it Nick, maybe you’ve been hanging around the same crowd for too long.

    From the Mail yesterday:

    “More than half of families are struggling to pay back their debts, research reveals today
    It follows a warning yesterday from the Bank of England that the cost of living is set to soar”.

    Now read on:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328355/Bank-England-chief-Mervyn-King-warns-new-surge-cost-living.html

  • Comment number 36.

    china is right why should they have to take any medicine, when they are not ill , but we are, at least DC+GO have started

    1) 50% going to uni, at great expense , BUT we still have to import brains and export brainy jobs for the last 13 years

    2) Record levels of people on benifits coupled to record levels of imigrants , how did that work , oh Blair wanted to **** off the right he did that the BNP got 2.5 times the votes of the Greens , beware PR then.

    3) Sovietisation of area of the Uk dependant of the elected HMG's patronange


    Oh yeah blair and brown presided over this gigantic waste of taxpayers monies.

  • Comment number 37.

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

  • Comment number 38.

    China can produce goods more cheaply because their labour costs and environmental standards are lower. Hard to criticise that strategy when we used similar tactics or colonialism to create our own wealth.

    Maybe we will see the US and EU retreat behind ever higher tariff walls but I am not sure that is the answer. I certainly don't think it is an answer in the long term.

    In my view the answer is to complete (not retreat from) the globalisation project.

    To start with I think we should introduce a range of global environmental and human rights/labour standards linked to things like national GDP. Once countries improved their levels of development they would progressively need to improve their human rights/labour and environmental standards to ensure they do not obtain an unfair advantage.

    I would also introduce global regimes for the banking system and in relation to the taxes paid by (say) the largest transnational corporations. We have created a globalised world only for a select few - the large transnational corporations, their employees and advisers. The only way to deal with their power is at the global level.

    This is the framework that the US and EU should be championing NOW. Unfortunately I suspect that will not happen:

    - in part because the US and EU will not be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to get China, India etc. on board.

    - the largest TNCs will never allow it to happen. In the current system they have the perfect world. The can make their products and profits in lesser developed countries with lower standards on things like labour, human rights and the environment. Meanwhile their executives can live and holiday in "more civilised countries".

  • Comment number 39.

    The developing "backstory" here is that Cameron is not "good with the detail". He is a media man. If anyone is surprised that global leaders view him as lightweight in comparison to Gordon Brown I am amazed.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think it would be a good idea if we stop complaining about what happens at these summits and those of us who are capable get off our backsides in the name of the UK and start being entrepreneurial, beat the drum for low taxes and a free economy (which still means regulation on the banks which is how they always used to be run) so we can emulate the success the British taught to Hong Kong and China.

    Britain was built on 10% public sector investment and 90% entrepreneurial spirit with low taxation. That's what built the buildings of the great workshop of the world. The rest is semantics. We need to re-teach ourselves about what build us before and what is building Asia now.

  • Comment number 41.

    Meanwhile, back in GB. Who is going to create jobs and wealth for the ordinary people of Britain? The unemployed are going to be given gardening jobs so they are going to be alright (watch out council gardener employees, your jobs might get gazumped) Nothing adds up. If WE are not manufacturing and exporting, just HOW are we making money to run the country? TOURISM! Welcome to GB ;-(

  • Comment number 42.

    21 Tynan

    The current account deficit is merely the outcome of a policy pursued by western governments and private companies for the last two decades. The west needs to grasp that the solution to this is either to accept that this structural problem will continue to exist alongside cheap manufactured goods, and the resulting low inflation & stability or that the other alterntive is to onshore these industries and accept higher prices.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

    What about western consumers who wanted to pay the lowest possible price for everything and didn't care where it was made? You can't place all the problems at the door of government and business. We elect the government and we buy the goods and services that business produces.

    The UK needs to increase exports of high skill goods and services to countries like China and India rather than rebalance our economy towards unskilled sectors where labour costs are much lower overseas.

    We also need to rebalance the economy back to the productive part, i.e. the private sector.

  • Comment number 43.

    #20 I suppose you have no knowledge of the appalling working conditions & penury wages earned by the labour force when Britain was the workshop of the world. I fear we aren't going to go back to those days - not least because people won't vote for them. Indeed, it won't be too long before the Chinese workers start demanding some of the fruits of their labour in improved living standards & the ability to consumer more of what they produce. This sort of demand is as unreal as the expectations for this sort of summit.
    For once I agree with Cameron - these summits may not produce much, but they are better than not having them at all. At least people get to hear others' point of view & are under some pressure to move things forward. The problem is that those who have the strong hand - China & Germany - who export & lend - can't see that the obverse is that others have to consume & run deficits. If they cut back consumption to reduce these deficits, the world economy will contract & everyone will be poorer. If we're not careful we'll end up with a horrible moment when the Chinese realise that they are funding their production through lending their profits to the US to buy their products - a vicious circle that will eventually end up in a disaster that will make 2008-9 look like a storm in a teacup.

  • Comment number 44.

    34 mrnaughty2

    "It was always going to be a tall order for Mr Cameron to follow in the footsteps of a true world leader Mr Brown. "
    =================================================
    Given the mess that Gordon Brown created and left us with, it would be a tall order for anyone to follow in his footsteps. The legacy of his unique contribution to the UK will unfortunately be with us and felt by us all for a very long time.


    "Doesn't appear from what your saying Nick, that Mr Cameron's up to the job."
    ==================
    Nick doesn't actually say anything. Ever. He just gently implies it, and passes it off as "informed analysis".

  • Comment number 45.

    Methinks China has been cornered here and is being a complete walkover. According to many, China has been doing more than its fair share in encouraging growth in other countries - read this interview with Goldman Sachs' Jim O'Neill - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11733233

    ""The underlying trend shows a significant slowdown in the Chinese trade surplus and many countries that are good at exporting - Germany being the best example - are doing very well from it. Right now, German car companies have people on overtime producing cars for export to China. There's a lot of unfocused comment on these things.

    "The relation between the Chinese authorities and US economic policymakers is good - it's just a lot of the noise is coming from politicians."


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

    So essentially, the Chinese are keen towards narrowing the deficit and helping other countries' export things to China - but that's impossible to do if the country has nothing of worth to export. Many times the West has no-one to blame but themselves, but no American or British politician would dare say that.

  • Comment number 46.

    27. jon112dk:
    'Apparently snooty and co. see me as an enemy of the state. So be it. You will need to get used to me taking delight when the state suffers a misfortune. Hostility runs both ways.'


    I'm sure we're all used to you by now, jon, snooty or otherwise. But not for the reasons you think.

  • Comment number 47.

    34. mrnaughty2
    'It was always going to be a tall order for Mr Cameron to follow in the footsteps of a true world leader Mr Brown. Doesn't appear from what your saying Nick, that Mr Cameron's up to the job.'


    Let's hope he doesn't follow in the footsteps of Mr. Brown or he may end up in a cupboard.

  • Comment number 48.

    #45 see my post 36, thats what I'm on about we have had all this so called "investement" for 13 years of record tax take and have absolutly nothing to show for it

  • Comment number 49.

    The last line of Nick's blog sums this up: much of our economic recover is dependent on increasing overseas trade - and by that I mean exporting UK goods, services and expertise overseas.

    To date, we've been very hungry consumers of imports, in that we buy more goods/services from overseas that we export ourselves. And those markets we used to import to (e.g. USA and Europe) and themselves reigning in their imports and attempting the same strategy: so essentially everyone wants to sell, and fewer nations wants to buy.

    The current government wants to change this; I imagine they realise that a home-grown economic boom is unlikely, hence the need to increase imports in growing markets, the biggest of which is China.

    All well and good... apart from the glaring elephant in the room - that being, this strategy is all about trade and not necessarily jobs. It may benefit our economy overall, but it won't be mopping up the rising numbers of unemployed.

    Not that that's a reason to avoid the export market. But simply, I for one am still waiting for Government to announce a clear strategy for job creation within the UK.

    As often quoted: "without work, it won't work".

  • Comment number 50.

    The picture associated with this piece features David Cameron with the backdrop of the G20 Seoul Summit 2010.

    However, it is credited to Getty Images.

    As vain Dave has put his personal photographer on the public payroll, then the least we could expect is this chap to be doing some work.

    Politicians eh?

    Does'nt take very long for them to become accustomed to the trappings of power, does it?

    Especially those who came from a very privileged background in the first place.

    Nevermind the G20, the way it is going in England, it won't be long before we're just like America, where the top 74 earners make more than the bottom 19,000,000 people.

    Dave and his cohort (the top 5%) already control 95% of the countries wealth but I guess one can never have enough.

  • Comment number 51.

    Did I really just see Britain, France and Russia described as "summit sherpas"? What does that even mean? The point you are missing, surely, is that these three countries complete the Permanent group of the UN Security Council, along with, of course, the USA and China.

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    #38 Cassandra

    I suppose it was only a matter of time.

    Your outline of global this and global that would depend very muvch on there being a global government, else who is going to monitor and administer these proposals?

    I mean, here we are squabbling about Europe (actually quite rightly, in my view) and now you're suggesting a layer on top of that.

    Never mind the cost of such a structure, and who's going to pay for it, who's going to cede the power to it? And what if, in fact, it's the US who gets the power?

    Oh, I don't know though, on reflection it's got a few good points. The professional politicians, who casue so much damage, would eb caught up in the arguments, and leave us just to get on with our lives.

    Now, all you've got to do is get the mindless thugs, I mean students, to study global politics instead of applied street violence, and become tomorrow's global leaders, and job done. They will be earning so much money as a global leader they can easily afford there own, and some of their friends, tuition fees.

  • Comment number 54.

    I agree with posts 6 & 15.
    Why not onshore all those off shore jobs
    start to manufacture our own goods and sell them to ourselfs then we wouldn't have to worry about China & India etc.
    Because capitalism's only function is to create profit ,it will do this in what everway in can and if that means the west goes down the pan, then so be it, capital doesn't care, it will just move to where it can make the most profit. Business needs to start operating for the benifit of the country not the shareholder

  • Comment number 55.

    #27 Balls,Brown,Blair and Harman see me as an enemy of the New_labour project which was a systemastic distruction of the UK. Glad they are gone a we can piece together broken britian

  • Comment number 56.

    Cassandra #38.

    "In my view the answer is to complete ... the globalisation project."

    yes, and let's start with a global currency unit, to allow meaningful comparison of production costs and incomes, and to help us get to a point where human labour has the same value around the world. as an added bonus all these parasitic currency traders will be out of a job.

  • Comment number 57.

    Have the Americans got their way again?

  • Comment number 58.

    #49 there are 21,000 imigrants picking the strawberries in the UK each year, these should be done by some of the 9m on benifits , that wouldbe a start.

  • Comment number 59.

    Nick Robinsons negative comments are becoming somewhat tedious and certainly irritating!!Irritating because we have a right to expect the BBC,having spent public funds sending Robinson to the Far East,would objectively report a balanced article on the proceedings. What on earth is the relevance of Brown'sdealings of 2 years ago,got to do with this current matter. Nick, the was an election earlier this year.....Labour lost.....get over it!!

  • Comment number 60.

    #49
    'All well and good... apart from the glaring elephant in the room - that being, this strategy is all about trade and not necessarily jobs.'

    Other elephants are available:

    Environmental issues
    Sustainability
    Population

    It's no good for everyone to own a car if we've run out of everything else and the roads are full of people.
    Politicians do not like to focus on everything at once because it highlights their inability to actually do anything apart from tinker at the sidelines. They're much more interested in their own personal glory. Hence David Cameron having the time to work out that... Hey, I can get the taxpayer to pay for my glamour shots. He wants to look good for nothing. Dave, take it from me: You do!

  • Comment number 61.

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

  • Comment number 62.

    How does the ideology of 'free market ' fit with all this?

  • Comment number 63.

    #56 jr4412
    Global currency unit eh? Comparing productions costs and incomes (apples and pears) and heading towards human labour costs being equal everywhere.

    Ah, Thomas More, where are you? Whilst we have dictators, from all sides of the political spectrum, it will never be possible to get to that kind of equality.If you had a common, global currency, with which you could buy anything you wanted any where in the world, how much of it would actually end up in the hands of the actual down trodden poor anywhere in the world? Ask Zimbabwean workers how many US dollars, or other convertible currencies they get paid in each month. I'm only using that as an example.

    There is no easy answer, and not one that could be cogently argued within this comment, and probably not by me, before you start. However we have two international currencies, the SDR, used at the IMF, and the Big Mac. The problem with the Big Mac is it is perishable, nutritious, and tasty, so does not get out into circulation much.

    Failing that, get your hands on some gold. Its worked for thousands of years. Get back on to the gold standard, and you'll be able to whip these profligate politicians back into line mighty quick, I'm telling you.

  • Comment number 64.

    Tory and Proud @53 you do raise a good point but do you really think any national government on its own can actually regulate the top 200 transnationals who are responsible for something like 80% of what is bought and sold in the world.

    I agree, however, that we need to think carefully about how we do it.

    As I am sure you know there are already two areas where governments can take proceedings against others to enforce global rules. One relates to international trade through the WTO and the other is foreign investment through the thousands of investment treaties signed over the last 20 years (more complicated than I have made it sound but the point remains the same).

    In other words we have already made established global rules with enforcement mechanisms in two areas - trade and investment. And we have done so without creatiung a global government. Unfortunately we have made no progress at all in establishing enforceable global rules in the area of human rights, ebvironment or labour. I would suggest that is because transnational corporations support the former but not the later.

    I was not sure from your comment if:

    1. You were not in favour of any enforceable global rules in which case we better start dismantling the WTO and the global investment regime.

    2. You were in favour of globally enforceable rules in which case we better start looking at areas like the environmnet and human rights.

    3. You were only in favour of enforceable global rules if they were of assistance to large transnational corporations. In which case I guess you would be happy with the status quo.

  • Comment number 65.

    GD4P

    Nice idea but not sure how we make it work.

    1. 50% of China's exports are actually made by EU and US transnational corporations who have relocated their manufacturing to China. Do we pass a law telling them to close down in China and come back to the EU? Even if the law is enforceable do you think they will listen to us.


    2. Okay I hear you say lets set up new companies to make goods to compete with China and India. But where do we get the money from. The existing SMEs are having difficulty raising funds from banks. I also suspoect the banks might think it is not a good investment.

    3. Given our wages and environmental standards are higher goods made in the EU will be more expensive. How do we compete then with China - raise tarrifs? If we do that they will take retalitory action.

    I am happy to consider your idea but I think you need to explain a lot more about how to make it work

  • Comment number 66.

    Skol303

    'Not that that's a reason to avoid the export market. But simply, I for one am still waiting for Government to announce a clear strategy for job creation within the UK.'

    Goverments don't create jobs, businesses do. The left don't understand this which is why Labour always leave office with unemployment higher than when they entered.

    The governments strategy for job creation is already in place. It is to make this country a better place for business to invest and grow by cutting business taxes and scaling back the over bloated public sector.

    People who don't recognise this are simply displaying their ignorance of what is required to create a strong and sustainable economic recovery.

  • Comment number 67.

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

  • Comment number 68.

    IR35 @ 58

    Why are you so keen for people on benefits to pick strawberries?

  • Comment number 69.

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

  • Comment number 70.

    68

    See the fruits of their labour?

  • Comment number 71.

    You are absolutely right, Nick banging on the British Tory party drum, as he was, very effectively all through the recent election campaign. At least he is true to his colours, but one wonders if the BBC chief political correspondent, should be showing a particular colour, during an election campaign, so overtly.

  • Comment number 72.

    @ route

    Wrong there, Jobs - on jobs. You're being way too simplistic. The public and private sectors are inextricably linked in our modern mixed econony.

    For instance:

    If the government funds a major capital works programme, that creates real jobs.

    If we were to have a state bank delivering "no frills" fairly priced credit to people and businesses who need it (for something worthwhile and wealth creating), that creates real jobs.

    Jobs.

  • Comment number 73.

    Why are all post being pre-moderated, as we are members, previously long standing members were not moderated, only new ones.

  • Comment number 74.

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

  • Comment number 75.

    69 sagamix

    No, that "i.e." doesn't work - there's plenty of non-productive activity in the private sector. We need to rebalance towards real wealth creation (which sector it occurs in, public or private or hybrid, is secondary to this).

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Remind me where the public sector gets its money from?

  • Comment number 76.

    #68 because its a job on the job ladder and gets them of off benifits , I used to pick Hops when at college rather than have debt, did me no harm
    fresh air , hard workk and a bit of respect etc.

    why are you so keen that they should stay on benifits ?

    if we cannot grow strawberries for example in the UK with the work done by UK nationals then there is no chance for the UK .

  • Comment number 77.

    Dave Camera-on goes somewhere, makes no impact, talks a lot but says nothing...

    What's new...

  • Comment number 78.

    sagamix 69

    'No, that "i.e." doesn't work - there's plenty of non-productive activity in the private sector. We need to rebalance towards real wealth creation (which sector it occurs in, public or private or hybrid, is secondary to this).'

    Couldn't agree more. It's just that people on the right happen to believe that there's far more money being spent unproductively in the public sector than the private sector. Especially after Labour's epic 13 year public sector spending binge.

    I suspect you do too but your ideology prevents you from acknowledging it.

  • Comment number 79.

    Sabremesh @ 51

    The Permanent group of the UN Security Council is currently the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France.

    However, the permanent membership should now change to reflect the current geo-political balance of power i.e.

    China, European Union, India, Russia, and the United States.

  • Comment number 80.

    58. At 3:32pm on 12 Nov 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    #49 there are 21,000 imigrants picking the strawberries in the UK each year, these should be done by some of the 9m on benifits , that wouldbe a start.
    ___________________________

    And there's thousands of young british lay-about types going on gap years picking fruit and veg in spain and portugal each summer, for FREE!
    Backwards innit? But thats what you get with free movement of labour within the EU.
    Germany are a prime example of the direction we need to head. Hi-tech, hi quality goods, that the rest of the world wants to buy. We cant compete at the lower end of the price spectrum, labout costs are too high.

    We need to rid ourselves of this awful disease of "short-term-ism" that we suffer from in Britain. We have loads of top quality start-ups, become moderately successful, then cash in on their success and get sold to some multi-national who in time forces redundancies and ships the work abroad. Businesses in britain (or rather the directors and big wigs runnin them) only ever seem to want to turn a fast buck.

    And on an earlier comment, 50% of the population going through univeristy enducation is completely unsustainable, and is just plain wrong. The balance is all wrong too. Far too many people going on a state-funded 3 year drinking session, only to emerge out the other side 3 years older with a degree in "media studies/film studies/sociology/photography/sports science" that isnt worth the paper its written on. We need a return to techical colleges and more vocational based learning at an earlier age.
    I went to a catholic secondary school in a rough town in west yorkshire, if you had half a brain you were encouraged to go to uni, everyone else they didnt care about. But at 16 years of age i had know idea just how many well paid careers are out there in Britain. After muddling through A levels and a degree i now find myself working for a highly successful corrosion engineering consultancy, which has expanded enormously through the recession. In the last month we've taken on 3 graduates, of which 2 are foreign. They were the best candidates for the jobs.
    I know plenty of intelligent lads who dropped out of education at 16 because thy were just forgotten about. Technical drawing and practical skills would have been far more beneficial to us than RE or english literature.
    We need a to refocus secondary education towards the areas britain can compete, to provide the scientists and engineers that can drive growth.

    Cue sarcastic comment regarding my casual dismissal of Eng Lit and numerous spelling/grammar mistakes. I have no time to proof read this, as its friday night and i'm off to the pub!

 

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