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2 Jun, 2020 18:17

UK opposition to Russia’s return proves that Trump is right on the G7/G8 being past sell-by date

Neil Clark
Neil Clark

is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

UK opposition to Russia’s return proves that Trump is right on the G7/G8 being past sell-by date

President Donald Trump has called the make-up of the G7, a club of wealthy developed nations, ‘very outdated’ and, right on cue, up pop the UK and Canadian governments to prove him right.

If you point one finger at someone, you have three pointing back at yourself. The truth of that old adage was proved once again with the news that the UK (along with Canada) is strongly opposing any plans to allow Russia back into the G7.

A Downing Street spokesman said that, while it was up to Donald Trump whether he invited Vladimir Putin to the next summit, which is to be hosted by the US, “Russia should not be readmitted to the G7 unless it ceases the aggressive and destabilising activity that threatens the safety of UK citizens and its allies.”

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Where does one even begin when faced with such incredible hypocrisy? “Aggressive and destabilising activity”? That describes very accurately what the UK got up to in the Balkans in the late 1990s, and later in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

As for “threatening the safety of UK citizens and its allies” – then Britain’s regime-change foreign policy has proved more deadly than anything ‘them dastardly Russians’ have managed to come up with.  Think how the invasion of Iraq – which Russia opposed – led to the rise of the Islamic State, which has targeted Brits at home and abroad. Consider too how the Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi and his father fought with former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, who the UK government admitted they were in 'likely' communications with as part of their regime-change op against Gaddafi. Salman was even rescued from Tripoli by the Royal Navy!

The “aggressive and destabilising activity” that Russia is accused of, namely the so-called “annexation of the Crimea” pales in comparison to what the UK has been up to these last 20 years.  It’s worth pointing out that at the time of the Iraq war, or the bombing of Libya, Russia did not call for Britain, or anyone else, to be booted out of the G8. But Russia has to be ‘sin-binned’ because in a referendum following another West-sponsored regime-change op in Kiev,  the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly for their peninsula to return to Russia, and to leave Ukraine. 

Even if you do take the line that the referendum was unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful, you can’t really maintain that what happened in 2014 was as bad as the illegal invasion of Iraq, or bombing Libya back to the Stone Age – events which have had enormous negative consequences for the world.

The anti-Russian stance of the UK has been echoed by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago, and its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and it will continue to remain out,” droned North America’s Virtue-Signaller in Chief.

The UK and Canadian governments think they’re being very hip and cool in peddling Russophobia but in fact they’re being very stupid. They are actually proving Donald Trump’s point that the G7 is well past its sell by date. Trump said he did not feel the group “properly represents what’s going on in the world” and he’s right.

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A little bit of history.

The Group of Seven dates back to 1975. The idea was to create a structure for informal meetings of the heads of world’s most advanced industrialised countries. The original members were the US, Canada, the UK, France, Italy, West Germany and Japan. The G7 became the G8 when post-Soviet Union Russia joined in 1997.  

Now in 2020, we have an inter-government organisation that is based on how the world’s economy was 45 years ago!  This is just like having an organisation of the top football clubs based on who was in the top seven in 1975. People would think that absurd, yet  it seems fine for the G7  to operate on that time-warp basis. 

According to the IMF, the world’s top seven economies in terms of nominal GDP in 2020 are the US, China, Japan, Germany,  the UK, France and India. Italy is eighth and Canada tenth.  Brazil – not a member of the G7 – has a higher nominal GDP than Canada at number nine. Wake up and smell the coffee, Mr Trudeau? Moving on, South Korea is 11th and Russia 12th, again going by GDP.

Conclusion? Any organisation/meeting group which claims to represent the world’s leading economies, but which doesn’t include China or India, the two ‘biggest climbers’ in the GDP charts of the last 45 years, should be prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act.

Of course, Trump isn’t going to call for China to be given a seat at the table in the ‘Age of Covid’ – but he has called for Russia to be readmitted and  suggested that Australia (the world’s 13th largest economy), South Korea and India should also be invited. The key point is that the G7/8, or G10/12 should not be a group of  Western allies, all agreeing about everything. But that’s what the  UK and Canada seem to want, which is why meetings of the G7, as it’s currently constituted, are as relevant to solving current global economic problems as a Guide to the 1975/6 Football season is for next season’s Champions League.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.