A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 3 April 2009

G20: We're All In This Together

Bob Geldof at the G20 Summit in London yesterday talked to reporters about free trade and free money...
A retreat into protectionism is a retreat to militarism and national bankruptcy. We will ruin countries and in their ruin they will strike out. That is what happens. We require the exact opposite of protectionism. We require expansionism. Where can we expand into and take part in trade? The great triumph of the 21st century is the lifting of 400 million people in China out of extreme poverty through trade. What is significant about this crisis is the lack of trade. It has shut down and we are losing jobs.
It's quite right that there are thousands of people protesting about bankers sticking their noses in the trough while regulators looked the other way and governments smiled as the tax take grew. But the truth is that they may as well protest against themselves, because we sucked on the tit of free money and the bloated bubble that burst was us.
In a globalised world, defending the interests of the poor is now in the self-interest of rich nations. If we are to have a proper lifestyle for ourselves and our kids we need to understand that globalisation is not some abstraction. It is a reality. Global inter-connectedness is not going away. It requires co-operation.
Looking strictly to the national interest is impossible, reductionist, unnecessary. Global co-operation must be the political paradigm for the 21st century or else watch out for the new global disorder.
Yep, money ain't free. And freedom ain't just about money. (But a little of it helps.)
I do agree with everything Geldof says here.


Anonymous said...

It is a challenge for all to change the things they do when under threat - I think it is like asking for an evolutionary jump. It will be interesting to see how things will develop. Our family are the peoples of the world and not our contained genetic family. How do we avoid the ugly face of nationalism with its protectionism and "support home grown" in these times? How do we reconcile our values and ideals in the face of reality. Is it possible to create this new vision where our neighbours live not just next door but in faraway places in this global world?

gleaner said...

SW, come and visit me at my blog, its still in the process of being born but suggestions are welcome!

I'm still trying to work out how and where to get some pictures etc. so it is very plain at the moment.

The Solitary Walker said...

You raise some good questions.I'm all for buying local, but we also have to think global. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

I think there has to be free trade, free movement of people and free, informed choice. (There are exceptions, as there always are - sometimes tariffs have to be put in place to aid newly developing economies.)

The prejudice against foreign EU workers coming from people in my new job who should know better has to be heard to be believed.

gleaner said...

I'm always amazed at the prejudice directed to foreign workers. Keeping an open heart in these times is the challenge.