What’s the point of a summit?

Mrs Merkel wants compromises to make the G20 “a success”. Compromises are not always a good idea. The world can accept different countries having different views and running different systems, as long as they are not threatening to another. The pictures from the summit are certainly not the ones she had in mind when she approved the substantial spending to act as host. The decision to have this meeting of the powerful in a normal city environment has placed huge strain on the German police, and has provided a worrying set of images for the easily distracted media who turn their attention to the violence on the streets rather than to the tired cliches of the communique.

There is of course an important role for personal diplomacy between national leaders. They can sometimes cut through or change the decisions and moods between countries. This is more likely to be achieved through bilateral state visits, bilateral government meetings or even by personal phone call. There are fewer cases when summits achieve this, though in the margins of the official agenda national leaders can have bilaterals to fix pressing problems. Global summits work best when there is a major issue which needs a co-ordinated or collective response. During the period of madness by the Central Banks in the western crash of 2008-9 the meeting that agreed concerted interest rate cuts despite the resistance of the so called independent central banks was an important example of political leaders using an opportunity to shift a policy for the better when their institutions were doing damage.

This summit has an agenda much like past summits. The US is unwilling to sign up to the Paris climate change targets, taking the view that if they did they would be legally bound. In contrast the EU has a history of agreeing to targets it does not enforce, and China sets targets that allow it to go on growing its CO2 output. The countries will agree to further action to tackle tax abuses, but then Mr Trump will fly home to seek to press major tax reductions through the Congress with a view to repatriating more business and profits to the USA.

The world economy on which our prosperity depends is not going to be much affected by this meeting. Crucial to its future is continuing success in China in avoiding banking problems and the hard landing China’s critics have been forecasting for several years. The extent of Mr Trump’s reflationary package and how much he can get through Congress matters a lot. The main thing to hope for is this summit does no harm to growth, sensible credit expansion, and the adoption of the new technologies that are revolutionising our work, play and social fabric.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Beware of the bun in
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    These summits provide a focus for young people to dress up like soldiers, this time in black like Ninjas, act out their computer games and action movies, storm “the Winter Palace”, fight for the Good, feared by the bad, loved by the good Robin Hood, rob..whoops wrong movie. Kids like being soldiers and the idea of dropping national service just means they will invent an army of their own, obviously. But Merkel invites trouble and no-one but a fool would have thought there would not be policemen injured. She is the most irresponsible European leader . She knows what she is doing. She is intelligent and mature.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Merkel had the summit in a German city because (yet again) she is in her rightful place: Front/centre of the photo.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Did you see the Dauphin pushing his way to the front to be with Mutti?

  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    No point at all. I think they are generally ‘talking shops’ and jollies for Politicians. Lots get said, but not a lot changes.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Totally agree – but this is what our political elite live for – the luxury life style, the ability to be seen with important world leaders – it’s become something of a sham!

  3. matthu
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    The point of the summit is working out how to prevent a billion immigrants from impoverished 3rd world countries marching north into Europe.

    Already they are talking about using our foreign aid to buy “insurance” to cover he 3rd world from natural disasters (remember, it used to be called global warming? then climate change).
    Now insurance heads will rake off the very high commissions (instead of charity heads and people like David Miliband).

    But the end result will be the same: transfer of wealth from the developed world to the undeveloped world in an effort to prevent them all marching north. And why might they do that? Because we have deprived them of cheap energy in the form of coal and wood, and the revenues from oil, while the replacement technologies are either massively too expensive or not reliable.

    And when people rise up against paying increasing amounts of foreign aid? Then up will go the interest rates, and everyone who has accumulated any significant amount of debt, be it in the form of mortgages or student loans or car loans or credit cards will be in hock for the rest of their lives.

    The government is complicit in this which is why public sector debt continues to go UP even as we transfer debt to the next generation in the form of student loans or mortgages and when interest rates finally go up as well … the only people to do well will be those who have managed to invest in 3rd world countries (and not through an ISA!)

    The pound, the dollar and the euro will all plummet in value. There is almost no legal way of protecting your wealth other than by becoming a stateless person.

    (This is NOT intended to be investment advice – simply a note of despair.)

    Reply Despair is in the eyes of the beholder. It will make your life worse but does not seem well based in reality.

    • matthu
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      I read the following now:

      President of the Institute for the World Economy (IfW) Dennis Snower and his colleagues say the best way to stop migration from African countries is to develop “economic zones” funded by European Union subsidies.

      Renowned economist Snower is scheduled to attend the G20 meeting later this week in Hamburg where he will propose the idea of creating economic zones in various African countries. Snower says the proposal would not only help African countries but would be far cheaper than trying to integrate incoming migrants, Die Welt reports.

      “If the EU and other rich regions would subsidise special economic zones – through financial transfers, facilitation of customs, education and training, and the development of infrastructure – this would create a win-win situation,” Snower said.

      All very laudable – but stop and ask yourself where the EU will be getting the funds to subsidise these economic zones?

      Up until now they have done it by using foreign aid from the likes of UK and Germany, but also “fining” large corporations such as Google and German banks and VW and oil companies and the like. In fact, pretty much anybody who generates excess profits and is not already making large social contributions by investing in 3rd world countries. They presumably view this as an alternative to corporation tax?

      But when taxation dries up (because the electorate won’t stand for continued “austerity”) the interest rates will rise. Not because of Brexit, but because the developed world badly needs your money (and my money) to pay off the hordes of migrants who they fear would otherwise march north (having been shown on YouTube what a good deal they get once they arrive).

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Look on the bright side.
        Perhaps allowing these nations a free trade deal, at least with Anglo Saxon nations and China if not with the EU, will help them out of poverty better than EU-Miliband-type aid/subsidy?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 8, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          Indeed it would.

          Aid is hugely inefficient and so often totally corrupt or totally misdirected.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 8, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Why on earth is T May “disappointed” about the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement? Surely it is up them them. It is very clear now that the climate alarmist predictions have all been proven hugely wrong. Even worse than Carney’s financial predictions.

            She should be doing exactly the same and killing the insane climate change act too.

            Typical Geography graduate – zero understanding of scientific reality, physics, logic or maths – nor indeed even of the clear geological records of the past temperature and other records.

            Just why is she so very keen to piss taxpayers money and jobs away on this alter to greencrap? This while even freezing some pensioners to death – this as many cannot afford to heat their homes properly?

          • rose
            Posted July 8, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            Yes, better that the EU had not shut out Africa from trade and prosperity in the first place; but people are deceiving themselves if they think only the poorest of the poor are heading North for the European welfare states. This is akin to a gold rush and the men coming are well fed and well dressed. Their predecessors couldn’t have afforded the journey and wouldn’t have dreamed of making it. So sadly, enriching Africa with aid has backfired from the point of view of keeping people in their own continent. To get this in perspective, think of who went to America in the “brain drain”. It wasn’t the poorest of the poor was it? It was the upper echelons, lured by greater prospects the other side of the Atlantic.

      • stred
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        It has been tried before. My dad said it was known then as ‘give us the job and we will finish the tools’. Re the Groundnut Scheme.

        It might be cheaper to bung the Tunisians some money to take the boats into their nearby ports and then arrange transport back south or east. They need some dosh to make up for the lack of tourism. But the UN will not agree and thinks migration is a good thing for Europe, as they can make up for shortages of babies and become care assistants.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        If a country has a high population growth rate, as is the case for many of the African countries, then the economic growth rate must be high just to match the growth in the population. Only after that has been achieved can extra economic growth then start to increase per capita GDP. But it is now seen as implicitly racist to even mention excessive population growth as a root cause of poverty, the closest permissible proxy is to urge greater efforts to improve the education of girls around the world.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Here’s a relevant article published only this week …


          “Contraception is a human right, not a tool for population control”

          • rose
            Posted July 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            And overpopulation is impoverishing us too. Our GDP per capita is now below Ireland’s.

            The no borders extremists and big business interests won’t admit this, but importing cheap labour rather than improving efficiency and productivity is addictive.

        • getahead
          Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Point of order. Austerity is lack of public spending. Not the same thing as high taxation.

        • getahead
          Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Dennis if the population depends on the land to provide enough food,
          when the population is greater than what the land can support, that is the problem. Not enough food or water, starvation will result.
          The answer? Reduce the population. Contraception. Never happen.

        • jack Snell
          Posted July 9, 2017 at 4:51 am | Permalink

          One of the main problems for african countries is one of corruption at all levels. Bono and Bob Geldof talk about putting more money into africa but you might as well have a hole in the ground and pour it in.

          The second problem is that they are just not really able to manage for themselves in a modern western sense- they are only 99.5% there, there is a little something missing- now don’t tell me that it is not PC to say that

      • APL
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        matthu: “but stop and ask yourself where the EU will be getting the funds to subsidise these economic zones?”

        Good question.

        But also, worth asking another question. Would Africans need to leave Africa if the EU hadn’t raped their fishing grounds and by agreements with the despotic leaders of African coastal regions excluded African fishermen from their traditional fishing grounds?

      • eeyore
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Pace Dennis Snower, the best way to stop unlimited migration from Africa is to remove the tariff walls that prevent countries there from exporting their produce to their nearest and most natural market, Europe. As that would mean effective abolition of the EU, this obvious and humane solution to the problems of two continents will not happen.

        We must therefore expect that the trickle of economic migrants from south to north, already causing such terrible problems, will increase to an overwhelming flood. The human misery in store is appalling to contemplate. Such are the problems that bad government causes.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      They are marching north because our Lennonist leaders (John Lennon that is) don’t believe in protecting our borders any more.

      People could ALWAYS have ‘marched north’ (without border guards) as the wealth disparities have been there for centuries – they did not know what to do with oil.

      Such as George and Amal Clooney are very keen on open borders – etc ed.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        As for it being our fault that they are marching north…

        They were paid well for their resources, not robbed of them.

        Arab oil shieks and African mineral barons were paid handsomely. They are the richest people on the planet able to buy up swathes of Royal London boroughs and clog our roads with supercars.

        It really isn’t our fault that they didn’t distribute their wealth among their own people.

    • Original Richard
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      “The point of the summit is working out how to prevent a billion immigrants from impoverished 3rd world countries marching north into Europe.”

      Giving aid to Africa has only made the situation worse by enabling the population to explode and thereby increase the pressure for migration.

      Europe will be become part of the 3rd world if it does not have the will to defend its borders.

    • James Matthews
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.

      Few of my comments on the subject of migration, those responsible for it, and its consequences for English, British and European peoples and cultures, ever get posted. They are expressed in language which is neither offensive nor illegal (yet). They might perhaps make uncomfortable reading for anyone in the mainstream political establishment who recognises that they have some validity (at least I hope they might).

      The fact that they do not pass moderation certainly pushes me towards despair. It is of course for you to decide what is, or isn’t, published. However, I have long regarded you as an exceptionally brave and honest member of parliament. The fears I express are widely shared but seldom aired. If you prefer to ignore them there can be little hope that they will be ever be addressed by intra-parliamentary action

    • Mark B
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Japan does not have much in the way of natural resources. Did not stop them from rebuilding after the Second World War.

      Africa is still very much a tribal continent and their problems are mostly now self afflicted

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 9, 2017 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        Japan has faced up to the ‘march of the robots’ by not panicking about the population slump.

        I happen to think mass immigration to Britain has nothing to do with redressing the population slump but a self loathing elite using the working class as a whipping boy – and sating their own guilt complex over a leftist version of Empire.

        I wouldn’t mind if the George, Amals, Garys, Tonys sacrificed themselves and their offspring to this cause.

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Think big!
    China is losing its economic place as the workshop of the world. And it is heavily in debt too. USA has lost its economic edge and is losing the very white men who made it such a success. But it still sports an enormous military force. Russia is a dwarf economy with an ancient rusting military. Europe is powerless and sinking economically.
    Asia – yup. Skyscrapers all round. India – growing. South America same old same old…
    Add into this dangerous mix – weak countries with strong sense of their own importance – a couple of wild cards – the Presidents or USA and Russia – and you have the same recipe for disaster that we had back in 1914.
    All we need is a trigger – North Korea, national debts not being honoured, President Putin feeling threatened over Ukraine, President Trump failing to fix a deal…

    Reply Dont be so negative. China is a major industrial power and Russia/USA are not about to go to war with each other

    • Peter Wood
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Reply to Dr. R’s reply. China is currently a major economic power, but it is losing its ‘power’ rapidly. Its debts are unsustainable, half the economy is ‘shadow’, the banks are hiding huge bad loans, and the reason for its enormous growth over the last 50 years its labour, cheap and obedient, is no longer either. All this can be found online if you care to look. China will be a disaster when interest rates normalise. We have been here before with China, how many Chinese bond certificates did your previous employer have to decorate the corridors.

      Reply China’s rates are normalised! They are at 4.25% from memory. Dollar rates rising dont worry them in the way you suggest as they do not have big overseas borrowings and overall are net creditors with $3tn in the bank! China is less indebted overall than the US. Uk, France etc. Much of the debt is loans from a state owned bank to a state owned enterprise, so they control both sides and can write down and off as and when they need to.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Why when things have been getting better and better for all of recent history are you so pesimistic? You are however not alone, but the facts really do not support this pesimism. True it could be far, far better if the largely parasitic government get out of the damn way, but never the less we are certainly living in a golden age. Things get better by the day!

      Apart from the fact that we get older by the day I suppose, but even here life expectancy is improving hugely, medicine, heart treatments, drugs and many cancer and other treatments improve by the day. We are sorting the genetic code, information and entertainment is now largely free, even the unemployed in the UK are far better off than many of the wealthiest were just a few decades back.

      My grandfather for example died of a bacterial infection when my father was 14, back in 1945 and just due to a lack of available antibiotics!


      • Robert Christopher
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        The pessimists have probably seen that the chances of ‘the largely parasitic government get[ting] out of the damn way’ is about zero, and getting even less likely as time goes on! 🙂

        Many of us do see, in fact, did see that we were living in a Golden Age. That is why many saved, because they knew that saving would become harder, even though the savings would lose their value. And that only fuels the pessimism.

        If only the Conservative Party could have a Conservative leader …..

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        LL. There is a problem again with antibiotics. Too much use of them for the wrong reasons has led to a situation whereby some diseases are becoming untreatable with them. They reported that Gonorrhea in Spain is practically untreatable and many other diseases are becoming immune to the drug. We could have a big problem on our hands soon.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Russia’s “ancient rusting military” was probably a correct assessment at the end of the Soviet period..Not so now,Russia is a major arms exporter.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink


    I am all in favour of the adoption of new technologies that are as you say revolutionising our work, play and social fabric. But I would like to see them adopted when they are ready and competitive by demand & without government subsidy.

    The current large fiscal subsidies (little tax on electric fuel, reduced road tax, charge points and free parking) and the purchase grants for electic cars make no sense. Let them compete on a level playing field when they can. The subsidies for “renewables” likewise just litter the country and and seas with pointless white elephants. HS2 and Hinkley similarly make no economic sense. Evertime the governments incompetently intervene in these misguided ways they make people poorer and kill real jobs.

    • David Price
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      With the government of every other country on the planet subsidising their industries and commerce what advantage do you possibly think we get from not doing that?

      You can argue that our government places the wrong bets (HS2) as a person cannot be an expert in all things, especially predicting the future, but to pretend a company can rise to be a world player without government subsidy or patronage is unrealistic.

      What is a real job?

      • getahead
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        HS2 is too expensive and should never have been sanctioned. Likewise Hinkley Point. If the government is going to subsidise projects it needs to choose more carefully. Pouring money down the drain is indefensible.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink


          “Pouring money down the drain is indefensible”

          Oh, do you mean like throwing our money at wave power endlessly even when the businesses go bankrupt, kite power and giving thousands away to farmers to burn wood for heating an empty barn??? Yes, I see what you mean. Still it is Scotland and they do have English money to burn.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 9, 2017 at 5:01 am | Permalink

        @ David Price

        The advantage would be that we do not do daft things like HS2 and roll out premature white elephants like wind turbines, PV panels & electric cars.

        You can only subsidise one thing by over taxing some other business or person first. They would usually have invested the money rather better.

        Of course a company can rise to be a world player without government subsidy or patronage. There are countless example. Government subsidy and patronage is usually the death of them as they stop serving real customers and just please for more government help. UBER for example has been resisted by government and vested interest all over the place.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink


          Wouldn’t it be a good idea if the BBC who are biased in the case for wind and renewables were made to put in the corner of the screen the amount of energy provided by wind and solar for each day? It seems to be we only hear about the figures when they are good because the climate has been ‘right’ but are never told when they have to import as there is no sun or wind. They are like gamblers, they only talk about the wins and not the losses.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      The problem is that the government puts obstacles in the way of obvious advances-a talented potential 20 year old entrepreneur stuffed with debt for wising up on a STEM course at Uni, 60% marginal tax when he/she starts earning, VAT to pay up front before debtors have paid him, pays Corporation tax on profits just to acquire working capital to run the business etc., etc. Therefore difficult to put together a decent sum to invest in an idea without borrowing (again).

      Yet the government throw money at hopeless cases and causes, HS2, Ethipoian Spice Girls, Kids Company, who don’t need to borrow – it’s just thrown at them because they make cuddly pleading noises and look the right “sort” to naive Cameron/Blair types.

  6. agricola
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    For Donald Trump, the new guy on the block, to meet and get to know the other major players in the World, in this case the leaders of Russia and China. From such personal contact to discover what each really thinks about the Syrian and North Korean situations. This might lead to how to minimise the problems they each provoke.

    It is fairly obvious that the EU in incapable of sorting out it’s own internal problems and that of mass economic migration from Africa and elsewhere around the Eastern Mediterranean. In there present state they are of little significance in World affaires. Nor can it be said that they can speak for the people they supposedly represent.

  7. MikeP
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    These Summits are a farce. The leaders of the top 20 nations scrambling for the best spot for the inevitable team photograph. How about allowing photographers in to the meeting room so at least we see the leaders at work rather than strutting their vanity. Same goes for EU “Summits”, total embarrassment.

    • British Spy
      Posted July 9, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      MikeP. You are assuming, bless, that “The Leaders” are working.
      None of them have the qualifications nor experience to strike any trade deal of themselves alone nor come to any agreement bi-laterally or multi-laterally.
      It is a photo opportunity and to reassure the public they are not totally barking mad. They do not fool anyone.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I’ve learned to mistrust most of what Frau Merkel tries to do – She was a communist, and seems to believe still in state control of everything – She isolates Russia because Putin will not go along with her ideas of a OWG – she was a driving force with allowing in so many migrants.

    I have no love of her rival for German chancellor – Schultz, another disaster waiting in the wings, and he would be no better for us all, but she is no homely grandmother.

    One thing that these liberal-cum-communists have forgotten and that is how to mind their own business – they interfere and try to plot a future for others when they should just support 3rd world countries while they try to make their way….. they are so like the old Christian missionaries who decided they had to educate African savages, for example – but who is to say that these so called savages didn’t have it more right than the empire building political elite drones.

  9. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Just posturing by the great and good at taxpayers expense.
    Three cheers for Trump for upsetting the agenda of Merkel and company by having no truck with mass
    immigration. EU preaching open markets and free trade when it’s the biggest protection racket on the planet.

  10. agricola
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I read that some of the comment to date is centred on economic migration from around the Med to Europe. In the case of Africa the answer is trade not aid and certainly not the continued economic migration. Here there is an immediate problem in that the EU is an inward looking protectionist entity. Try asking the French to start buying all their mange tout from East Africa and all their cosseted farmers will be out on the streets. Delightful a place that France is, their first resort to a problem is revolution. We in the UK will I hope in two years have every chance to encourage trade rather than aid. The internal problems of the EU will not be resolved at the G20, but they will be by the increasing dissent of their population.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The answer is not just trade but to see that workers enjoy proper wealth redistribution.

      Arabia was not robbed of her oil but paid handsomely for it. Oil Sheiks are vulgarly wealthy – able to buy up vast swathes of prime global real estate, gold plate their supercars and update their fleets of superyachts.

      That they did not distribute the fruits of this trade among their people is not our fault, yet we just take it when George and Amal pipe up from behind their gated enclaves and tell us we little people must pay.

      • getahead
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        “That they did not distribute the fruits of this trade among their people”.
        That’s not true Anymouse, While the ruling families are disgustingly rich, Arab oil countries do have welfare systems that keep their own people off the breadline. But they also have excessively high population growths so it can’t last forever.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 9, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

          …not our fault then, Getahead.

  11. Chris S
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The G20 does seem rather loaded in favour of the EU, doesn’t it ?

    Current members are Britain, France, Germany and Italy and for some inexplicable reason, the EU is also a full member represented separately by the European Council. Why isn’t the Union of South American Nations invited as well ? Of its 12 member states, it has Argentina, Mexico and Brazil as G20 members, the same number as the EU will have after Brexit.

    At G7 meetings, the EU only has observer status yet while all seven countries have one delegate, the EU has two representatives, Juncker and Tusk.

    After Brexit I can see France coming under pressure to hand over its Security Council seat to the EU.

  12. Mark B
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    A sensible and wise article.

    When things are going well, it is wise to leave them alone.

    Clearly others, such as the German Chancellor, are fearful of a USA that is putting itself first. Germany has done well out of the EU, the Euro and having the USA and others subsidise their defence through NATO.

    Germany’s exports, financial and political position has been strengthened due to the aforementioned and is steering from behind the scenes the course of the EU and ultimately, the destination of the EU. Any weakening of the German position by President Trump is naturally a serious matter for them.

    Into this the UK can act as go between. Unfortunately the PM has really rather dropped the ball. She was the first person to be invited to Washington and, all she had to do was make sure he got the full State Monty soon after. But she wobbled due to some non-entity pressure and used a pathetic excuse to cancel his visit. Meanwhile President Macron and others get in on the act. This Bloody Woman is proving to be a disaster ! And whilst I am not one for opinion polls it is really rather telling that the only politician who can provide, Strong and Stable leadership and government is a Communist and Maoist friends.

    • Nig l
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Not true according to the DT this morning talking up an Anglo/US trade deal. Must have some truth as they are not her biggest fans and seem to be constantly running hares for Hammond.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        The UK is prohibited from negotiating any trade deals until AFTER we have left the EU.

        This trade deal nonsense is just purely for domestic consumption to prop up a weakend (by her own hand) PM

        Reply Untrue. We are negotiating already

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Some truth in this.
      May has to be respected for having the balls (or foolhardiness) to pick up the reins from Cameron, the shyster who walked away from his promises and responsibilities and now has the brass neck to call anybody who wants to elevate the UK’s debt “selfish”.
      There does however seem to be a problem with a couple of things-
      1 her fortitude – she doesn’t appear to possess the intellectual rigour to be strong with those around her. We can see in Rees-Mogg somebody who takes a particular line, can back it up with those around him and not U-turn or deviate. May as yet doesn’t show the same power.
      2 as you say, May doesn’t take any risks which aren’t copper-bottom guaranteed anyway. She should have stuck her neck out with Trump. He should have been given a warm welcome here as an ally who at least speaks out for us and doesn’t sneer at the UK like Juncker and his pals from Poland and elsewhere. Trump at least has some sense of history-by sneering at us, these Polish and German citizens are sneering at the USA and what the US military did for the continent in the last century. Now he’s asking them to pay for NATO and May should be shouting that in chorus with him, not slinking back into a “we don’t want to offend anyone” position…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Over the past year it has become increasingly apparent that the government has often been acting on the basis of bad, deliberately bad, advice.

      Theresa May is not only the Prime Minister, she is the minister in charge of the civil service, and she should be reading the riot act to civil servants – either do your job and fully commit yourself to the policies adopted by the elected government, or resign; if you do neither and instead work to damage or prevent Brexit then that will be treated as a sacking offence and there will be little mercy.

      But the politicians must also play their part in cleaning up the civil service, and I have no idea what on earth could have possessed David Davis when he accepted George Osborne’s choice to become his chief of staff:


      “Osborne’s ally during Project Fear moves to Brexit department”

      Utter madness.

  13. Epikouros
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    One main value of this summit is from the PR it generates for each leader. So on that score as it is not much to our benefit it has no value to us ordinary folk. As for the value in terms of increasing trade, cooperation and peace I have no doubt it is quite considerable. Nothing is better than personal contact wherever and as often as possible so as to have a greater understanding of the strengths and weakness and to aid better understanding of those who they have to deal with. Despite inane communiques and the grandstanding summits are probably of more value than not. The crazies get to let off steam and become identified and are an additional entertainment for the masses and keeps the hacks in their jobs to write their often inaccurate nonsense about things they are not told so make up and even if they were have little understanding off anyway.

    As for cost and location. Merkel I suspect decided on both the former to enhance her reputation by being lavish with her spending so as to impress her fellow leaders. The latter to put the maximum pressure on Trump by allowing as many pressure groups as possible access to air vociferously and aggressively their views that so much correspond with her own misguided progressive ones.

    As you point out the Paris agreement like all similar ones do not help tackle climate change assuming it does need tackling one jot. It is just an exercise in clever diplomacy as the best diplomats screw the worst and get them to pay more to those who are doing less. Internet scammers are thieving billions from the more credulous and gullible users. Developing and underdeveloped countries leaders are are no different they are milking trillions out off leaders of developed nations. Trump has seen through this scam no doubt because he is not adverse to using it himself (after all he is a successful businessman) and wants none of it. Theresa May would do well to follow suit and not argue the opposite.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The G20 summit is just a show place for World leaders to get together . Whether it will solve the North Korean threat to peace is doubtful ; whether it will solve the climate change issue is equally doubtful . The main positive for me was the meeting between Trump and Putin ; I think it is time to bring Russia in from the cold and move towards a conciliation between 2 of the worlds most powerful countries . We could all then sleep easier .

    Another positive is the statement from Trump about the uniqueness of the bond with us . His agreement to come to a speedy and major trade deal is a real smack in the eye to the EU ; the timing of this ought to give some backing to Theresa just when she needs it . Although Trump lacks the skill of diplomacy , I like him . Politicians are too prone to say things that , usually , are not black and white ; Trump is not like this .

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      True, but will May make the best of it?
      So many lost opportunities because we “don’t want to offend anyone”.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        I think I’m saying here, 1 year on, that T May isn’t the right person to be driving the Brexit bus. Opportunities are being missed, wrong judgements made, wrong people around her. It’s kind of like having asked Neville Chamberlain to rally the troops in WW2-it was never really going to work.

        Thanks for taking over at short notice, Theresa, but we need a Brexiteer at the head. D Davis is great as the technician-Brexiteer, and our host would also be good on the financial side of the team, but we need a hard-headed, creative, full-on Brexiteer with good judgement to create the team and get the job done.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 8, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Quite frankly the way the media have slagged Trump off I am surprised he even wants to talk with the Uk! It is disgraceful the way the media have described and talked him down. Like him or loathe him he has the USA’s best interests at heart and he is the president. Some good manners are amiss here especially with some of the journalists and idiots in the newspapers. Quite often his title is missed out completely. These people do the UK no favours.

        • Robert Christopher
          Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          I think because the UK media are not as bad as the US media in this regard, bad though they are.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink


            Trump could be the new Messiah and they still wouldn’t give him credit.. Bias doesn’t come into it.

  15. James Neill
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why they bother since they already have the Bilderberg group meeting every year – same thing – they are just looking for a way to sort the new world order which includes control of the masses. Having a G20 meeting right in the centre of a city like Hamburg with all of the security considerations is sheer madness.

    • Margaret Howard
      Posted July 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Wasn’t the last one in London?

  16. bigneil
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    From another site – – – -“European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, has said that Brexit does not exclude the UK from the relocation programme.”

    So now it is a “programme” – -which means it IS deliberately organized – – and not just a mass of people who decide to come and invade for a free life.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    According to the Treacherous Times Theresa May is isolated at this summit:

    “May alone as leaders shun Brexit Britain”


    “Theresa May has become accustomed to her isolation in Brussels. It began six months ago, when she stood alone in a crowd of embracing leaders with no one to talk to.

    At the end of last month she was seen trudging, weary and alone, to a waiting car as others digested her offer to European expats in Britain. Her marginalisation may have started there, but it is spreading.

    In Hamburg, at the first meeting of world leaders since she lost her majority in the general election, Mrs May cuts a lonely figure as she, and Britain, ponder their place in the post-Brexit world ….”

    I’m sure that if Sky and the BBC had been able to find at least one brief carefully edited shot of her seeming to cut a lonely figure at the meeting then they would have shown it, and shown it, and shown it again and again … but so far I haven’t seen one. However that doesn’t prevent a journalist on a supposedly prestigious newspaper spreading yet another brazen anti-Brexit lie.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I watched Theresa May being interviewed by Faisal Islam for Sky News. Every one of his questions was based on a false assumption or a misrepresentation or a misinterpretation of the facts, and she could easily have slapped him down on the spot. But instead she just repeated the same stock phrases she has been using for the best part of a year.

    As I’ve said before there is an ongoing propaganda war, and we – those who wish the UK to leave the EU – are losing that war. In fact most of those in official positions who have the contact with mass media aren’t even bothering to fight it, instead they allow it to be an easy walkover for our opponents. David Davis who should have had a press office pumping out information and corrections and rebutting the lies instead took on a chief of staff who played a central role on the other side in the referendum, for God’s sake …

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 9, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink


      Has Osborne been given a ‘role’ to stop him spouting off so much rubbish in his newspapers??

  19. Snap
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    “What’s the point of a summit?”
    For the World Press to demonstrate convincingly that the clicking mechanisms on their equipment in terms of loudness when photographing Trump and Putin are not much more advanced than a vintage Kodak Box Brownie.

  20. miami.mode
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    As my old Sales Director used to say, eyeball to eyeball is the only way.

  21. ian
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Just a meeting to see how much is going into their offshore accounts this year, and see how f over their people the best.

  22. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Luckily for Merkel it suits the media’s agenda to portray the protests as being anti-Trump rather than the usual rabble of anti-capitalist middle-class malcontents. It is a pity UK did not invite Trump to visit as planned apparently due to the threat of protests from the Left – even their own poster-boy Marcon has now got in before us. In his Evening Standard freesheet Osborne pointed to this failure to arrange Trump’s visit as yet another broken promise by the Brixiters – one worries about his grip on reality !

  23. nigel seymour
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    We stood as a country during WW2 against the Nazi’s. So, we should now listen to the teens? They say their opportunities in Europe have diminished, they can’t travel, they can’t work in the EU, they can’t make enought money to buy a house, they can’t afford to go to University??. I thought you won’t have to pay anything until you achieve your degree and start to earn circa 24k. What degrees will some of you obtain?

  24. rose
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    One more horrible mistake by the hostess, Frau Merkel, who should know better by now: surely we all know about these violent leftwingers and anarchists? Surely we all know these pretentious gatherings have to be held in fortified mountain villages? How on earth does she think posing in a red coat with all those men is going to please her electorate while policemen are being injured into 3 figures?

    Mistake after mistake, each one any taxi driver could have told her not to make. It says something about the ghastliness of the German Greens and Socialists that she keeps on getting back. And as the EU gets bigger, so the mistakes will get bigger. Never concentrate so much power in one person’s hands, because the more the power, the bigger the mistakes made.

    • Hail fellow-hel-met
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Merkel does not make mistakes. She is far too clever. She is happy for police and innocent passers-by to be seriously injured or killed. She is the embodiment of a typical German..for that is her role, not my opinion, necessarily. But nevertheless her role, which her voters believe to be true or they would not elect her. Would not have her represent Germans and Germany.

  25. A wart by any other
    Posted July 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    The Khan of London , after intense no holds barred, frank and candid discussions over several hours and days of comprehensive investigations has, wait for it, determined, in his advised and wise opinion that a ten foot ladder is not as high by at least one foot of an eleven foot ladder.
    One needs a Mayor of London like one needs a wart on ones… erm..

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted July 8, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Just be pleased the measurements are in Imperial units. 🙂

  26. FDixon
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Can anyone explain why J C Juncker and D Tusk were at the G20 meeting? Neither are Prime Ministers or Finance Ministers to any of the G20 countries as far as I know. Members of the G20 countries within the EU were individually represented and the rest of the EU are not members.

    • rose
      Posted July 9, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      I expect the hostess decided.

  27. Mitchel
    Posted July 10, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Pope Francis is concerned about the advance of non-liberal Christianity,represented by the Russian Orthodox Church,which is expanding it’s influence overseas,and the US Bible belt (with whom President Putin is quite popular apparently).I doubt whether his predecessor,Benedict,would have expressed such concern.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page