Wednesday, 25 March 2009


There I was, trundling along with my gobby opinions (some of them family heirlooms, some of them from out of my own brain), when the great goddess of handed me a golden bauble: a blogger's spot at the London G20 summit.

The idea of the G20 Voice blogger project is to focus attention on global poverty and climate change, rather than the self-inflicted economic woes of some of the developed nations. The agenda of the summit and its media coverage are overwhelmed by talk of the crisis in the West, and appropriate measures of fiscal stimulus (or not). Once again, the majority world will stand and watch while its future is determined, in passing, by others.

Will the G20 Voice bloggers be able to have any effect on this bleakly familiar scenario? I know that the summit outcomes will remain absolutely unaffected by anything we do. But maybe we'll get our talons into an understrapper or two. And maybe some folks will read the blogs and use the information in them to get their elected representatives into some stress positions.


  1. Developing countries probably need to appeal to the West's self-interest if they are to secure the support they need during the global recession. The managing director of the World Bank has spoken of the possible social unrest and political instability that might result in the developing world as a consequence of the credit crunch -- with 90 million extra lives lost, nearly a billion more people going hungry and $750bn in lost growth.

    I know that Gordon Brown wants to secure doubled resources for the International Monetary Fund, so it can bail out the worst-affected countries, and new loans to help facilitate cross-border trade. Is this because of a genuine internationalist social conscience, I wonder, or is it realpolitik horsetrading?

  2. An urgent question - do all sensible people commenting on world events from an ethical perspective these days have to be called Rowan, or is it optional?

    Good luck with the G20, policywonk.