Some thoughts on David Cameron’s hollow words at St Petersburg G20 – John Gelmini

G20 2013 Heads of Government - Caricatures

G20 2013 Heads of Government – Caricatures (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

David Cameron has the job of standing up for Britain so one would not expect him to say anything else.

His list of things that we (the UK) have given the world was accurate enough but it really isn’t the point.

What matters, as the Americans say, is what you have done recently and your potential to do so tomorrow, the next day and the next and then the months and years into the future.

The City of London is now the 2nd Global financial center, having been overtaken by New York in 2012, and by 2016 it will be 4th behind Hong Kong and Singapore.

There is, however, a strong element of truth in what Putin or his apparatchiks is supposed to have said.

Power, other than that which emanates from the Queen and her Governors Generals, is slipping away to the BRICS and our military is a cipher unable on its own to project power or compel anyone to do anything.

We have influence in a number of countries which we still secretly control through the device of having puppets in charge but their number is shrinking by the decade as their subject people demand change and new leaders answerable to them rather than to the UK Government.

Certainly if we cannot afford a coastal protection vessel, aircraft carriers with their own aircraft or enough body armor for our troops we are in no position to throw our weight around as we once could.

We are dependent on imports to meet food demand and only have 4% spare generating capacity so until that changes we are strategically vulnerable to blackmail by militant trades unionists ,those countries we rely on for energy and hostile foreign powers of the future.

Longer term, we are in trouble because our education system is 44th in the world and we are failing to turn out enough engineers,scientists and wealth creators.

Since 1982, we have stopped bothering to keep figures on our balance of payments because on the official figures we are not paying our way and must in reality be relying from other income from undisclosed sources.

One does not have to be a UK-ipper to say these things and want passionately to change them for the better but one does have to be a realist with vision and the desire to help make it happen.

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China is strategic partner to Russia: Putin – People’s Daily Online

English: Logo of the People's Daily 中文: 人民日报题字

English: Logo of the People’s Daily 中文: 人民日报题字 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This is a very interesting, MUST-READ lead article in China’s People’s Daily Online. Check it out!

 

via China is strategic partner to Russia: Putin – People’s Daily Online.

 

This article does not surprise me. Indeed a few days ago I reblogged a similar article published by the People’s Daily Online entitled “Chinese president discusses ties, global issues with Russian counterpart“.

 

As it is still relevant to the latest article, let me restate my views on the first article:

 

Russia and China are complimentary in many ways, with Russia’s enormous mineral wealth and China’s industry powerhouse. Together they provide a remarkable challenge to Western interests that have been weakened by bickering.

 

Let me pick up this thread focusing on bickering.

 

The major Western democracies are proud of their democratic traditions, with executive decisions tempered by parliament, Congress or the Senate; in the case of Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court plays a critical role too. By comparison, democracy in Russia and China is a sham.

 

One of the principles of Western democracies is checks and balances on executive power. The rules are different in Russia and China permitting both countries to follow strategic objectives more assertively with decisive leadership.

 

One of the downsides of democracy is constant bickering. This seems to be especially prevalent since the financial crash of 2008. In the US, the Repubicans, especially the Tea Partyists, are not prepared to deal with the Democrats and a Democrat President, sapping at the US’s strength and energy. In Europe, it is similar, with the austerians in Northern Europe holding many countries in Southern Europe to randsom. Similarly, anti-European feeling in the UK is isolating the UK and reducing her effective power and economic competitiveness. Of course, in Europe there is another dimension to the creeping crisis, namely the European Commission.

 

Western leaders, like Angela Merkel of Germany and David Cameron in the UK seem to lead by muddling through rather than setting out vision, strategy and examples of executive leadership.

 

I am not advocating reduced democracy, indeed I believe that the IMF has too much power. However, I am advocating the return to proper strategic analysis to decision-making, reducing the horse-trading and bickering.

 

In passing, I must draw attention to the United Nations and her agencies which seems to have lost its way in recent years; once again the strength is reduced by bickering.

 

Of course, strategic analysts in Russia and China will have noted that bickering reduces the strength of the major Western democracies. This will not be lost on Russian and Chinese policy-makers whose interests will be served by indeed facilitating or encouraging Western bickering; this will reduce strategic focus in the Western democracies. Meanwhile, Russia and China are leveraging their joined combined strengths by strong strategic focus.

 

Let me turn turn this to an open question:

 

How should the US and Europe strengthen strategic focus and reduce the bickering in response to the Russian/Chinese strategic partnership?

 

 

 

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