Hopefully, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a better golf score than German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It really does not make sense for the world leaders to meet at a golf course in Northern Ireland and not play a round. Surely they all know that all work and no play makes Johnny dull.
Not that it started well. Can you imagine Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper trying to tweak the tail of the Russian Bear? Vladimir Putin of Russia is not a guy to trifle with. His various opponents in Russia will all tell you (from Siberia) that he does not mess around. Mind you, Putin probably realizes that Harper is working on his 2015 re-election campaign and he understands the silly posturing. You have to admit that it is ridiculous for Harper to beat his breast and demand Putin stop supporting the regime in Syria. What is Harper going to do about it?
What people might not understand about these G8 meetings is that the 33 page Memo of Understanding released at the end of the meeting had been written by the diplomats long before the actual meeting took place. The meeting of the leaders is mainly ceremonial. It seals the deal—such as it is.
You have to assume that President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron would be the best golfers. They would also have the savvy to know that the best place for a real conversation would be in a random sand trap on the tenth fairway. Here they are surrounded by razor wire, Scotland Yard and the British Army and there is no privacy even in the washrooms.
Judging by the obligatory group photograph from the event, it must be the gloomiest, ugliest golf course in Northern Ireland. Originally everyone was saying this meeting was in Dublin but with the Brits as host, that would hardly be appropriate. And there was no way the Brits would spend any money gussying-up Belfast for the event. After seeing the bollix that Harper made of things at the Toronto G20, a barricaded golf course made perfectly good sense.
You knew it was an informal meeting of the world leaders because all the men had taken off their ties. The fact that no fashion expert seems to have explained office casual to Germany’s Angela Merkel did tend to spoil the group picture.
Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to [email protected]