Talking Points for 2 April

_45625936_sarkozy_pa_i466Many world leaders are arriving for the actual G20 summit in London… But with France threatening to walk out unless tough financial regulation is agreed by everyone, do you agree with Sarkozy?

Is this the end for Anglo-Saxon capitalism? Have a read of Paul Mason’s blog here.

Lots of talk on closing tax havens, curbing bankers pay and bonuses, and precious little about climate changeDo you think these leaders have genuinely changed their thinking? Should they have?

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While most news media focussed on the scuffles between police and some protestors, yesterday’s diverse protests were more like a festival than a fight…

“Am woefully disappointed – biggest let down since rumours Bros were reforming….If this is Armageddon, maybe hell isn’t that bad after all.”

A city banker near the Bank of England

But what of the authorities’ response?

Police tactics of “kettling” protestors in London had tragic consequences when a man died. Protestors complain of police brutality during peaceful sit-down protests and a university professor is suspended for saying bankers may get lynched.

In a country that has gone to war to protect other’s freedom and democracy, does it make you look at Britain anew? Or is this just par for the course in troubled times?

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The new Israeli government is not bound by previous peace agreements.

“Those who think that through concessions they will gain respect and peace are wrong. It’s the other way around; it will lead to more wars.”

New Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman

Do you agree?

9 Responses to “Talking Points for 2 April”

  1. 1 "Rick" South Bay Ontario Canada
    April 2, 2009 at 12:14

    I feel the G20 summit has an important role to play and this one in particular has several very serious issues that need to be addressed. The policitcal theatrics are all part and parcel of what is to be the expected behaviour of our elected officials. The Canadian Prime Minsiter is boosting about how Canada has dodged the bullet by regulating its Banking system, The French President is playing hard ball and the US President is walking on egg shells for fear of upsetting the rest of the world. All of this is good if when behind closed doors our leaders can get down to business and map out a plan for the global well being. Now is not the time for headline seekers, the populus will not appreciate any grandstanding. In other words just do what we’ve sent you there to do.

  2. 2 VictorK
    April 2, 2009 at 13:12

    Linked to the Mason blog. Is there a single person at the BBC who actually understands what a free market is? It’s not a ‘model’. It’s not an ideology called ‘capitalism’. It’s simply what happens when you leave ordinary people to freely exchange goods (within the context of the rule of law – including contract and tort, with security & respect for private property). It’s economic democracy.

    The G20 meeting is an act of solemn futility. There isn’t a ‘world economy’. There are many different markets, that operate at many different levels, involving many national and sub-national economies. No government can direct any market to a desired end, though they can impede its effective operation thru intervention. 6 months from now journalists (who understand politics but are largely ignorant of economics) will be asking why the G20 meeting achieved so little.

    Hmmm – even for the purposes of debate I think it’s farfetched to present the British government as having gone to war to ‘protect’ (!?) other’s ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. The BBC rightly doesn’t swallow that line of propaganda when reporting on Iraq and Afghanistan, so an about turn now lacks credibility.

    The issue that led to the deaths of African illegal migrants is worth talking about: immigration.

  3. April 2, 2009 at 14:29

    Global warming is a catastrophe that will happen in a millennium, a century or decades, depending how well we abuse the earth’s resources. On the other hand, the global economic crisis threatens to destroy the system of production as we know it; my point is: folks the world over will prefer to be able to buy their food, and have a roof over their head even if all that will be in a climate that is a couple of points warmer. So, let’s face the economic crisis first, and then return to the challenge of global warming, we just have to be careful we do not revive our economies in a way that negates all the gains we have made on tackling global warming.

    I think Sarkozy is right; we are where we are today not as a result of non-stimulation of the economy, but as a result of running an unregulated system. Therefore, it is only logical, that we take some time to set down the basic rules and regulations that will henceforth govern our economies and financial systems before we venture into the risky business of stimulating the economy. For those still in doubt, Sarkozy needs only to point out to them the case in AIG where the bosses took tax-payers stimulus and shared into lofty bonuses, I guess that is what you get when you attempt to stimulate before regulating.

    Unless that is done, we may find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of being unable to explain to tax payers why the economy is not picking up after billions have been spent stimulating it. I think we just have to be a little more patient to regulate, and then we can stimulate all we want, and do so with confidence that we are not stimulating an individual’s retirement scheme!

  4. 4 John LaGrua/New York
    April 2, 2009 at 18:41

    If the American people through some moral awaking recognize that US funding of Isreal provides the means to reppress the Palestinians and murder hundreds of innocent people in Gaza making them co-conspiritors to these crimes ,then the arrogance of the new right wing Isreali governent could be blunted .The Isreal Lobby has so far escaped a serious counter reaction to their subversion of the moral and political position of the US in the world..Peace in the Mid-east will only come when the US ends its failed war strategy and become an honest arbiter fo reconciliation.Unfortunately, no US politician has yet to show the moral fibre and courage to make the neccesary changes.

  5. April 2, 2009 at 19:54

    The G20 Summit should be more focused on Africa though we do not participate much. For some other Countries in Africa, they can make it on their own but for us especially in Liberia, with all the vast resources we have, only top Officials of Government live good life while the rest of the masses who voted them to power suffer and even live without ballance diet. About 90 percent of the Liberian population is living in poverty and cannot afford to live on Five Dollars aday.

    I would be very glad if the G20 discuss and prioritize challenges of Africa.

    Mohammed Kondawa

    Monrovia Liberia

  6. 6 Jim Newman
    April 2, 2009 at 21:31

    Hello again
    If the world financial system is worth saving then it is logical that tough financial regulation is needed. That a light weight like the ‘petit Magyar’ said it is of no importance. Sarkozy was described by a french journalist as a little boy that strayed into the big boy’s playground. And that just about sums him up.
    As far as cheating on the society is concerned the people who do that should pay for it not be paid for it.
    Kettling is an interesting tactic to use against demonstrators. I think it was first used by Pinochet when he seized power in Chili.
    The country that went to war to defend the democracies of others. I’m not sure which country that was. If it means Britain in 1939 I always thought that it was more a question of Churchill not liking Hitler.
    As far as Avigdor Lieberman is concerned he is not nearly as loving as his name might suggest.
    ViktorK! Friedman economics has absolutely nothing to do with democracy. Think on it …………………

  7. 7 Jim Newman
    April 2, 2009 at 21:39

    Hello again
    I forgot to say that I saw Barak Obama’s press conference (after the G20 meeting) on Aljazeera and I was not impressed at all. He spoke like a man who had not any convictions and who had not yet learnt the convictions of his masters. Sorry. As I said before we’ll be getting more of the same.

  8. 8 Dennis Junior
    April 3, 2009 at 05:44

    SARKOZY: I think that he is making an losing argument, and he should go to the Meeting…

    Is this the end for Anglo-Saxon capitalism? Yes, it is the ending scene of Anglo-Saxon capitalism….

    The new Israeli government is not bound by previous peace agreements. (Yes, I agreed with the Government of Israel (new) that they are not bound by previous peace agreements)…..
    Do you think these leaders have genuinely changed their thinking? (NO)…Should they have? (Yes)…
    ~Dennis Junior~

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