Best of times and worst of times: July 2005, last G8 summit in UK
The last G8 summit in the UK was both the best of times and the worst of times. London won its bid to host the 2012 Olympics, bombs went off in the British capital and I, along with most of the journalists holed up in Gleneagles, Scotland, for the summit had to hotfoot it back Thames-side.
It is hard to see anything more portentous happening at the two-day summit starting Monday in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.
Except for possible fireworks (which will be off-camera and therefore less diverting for the general public than otherwise) between Presidents Obama and Putin over the right way to deal with Syria, there’s a fairly stultifying list of subjects up for discussion.
Leaders of the Group of Eight wealthiest countries will (yet again) be talking about the road to economic recovery because the markets are down on account of the US Federal Reserve’s suggestion it might start to slow its third round of quantitative easing. This has created considerable uncertainty about the effects of tighter US fiscal policy.
Britain had originally planned to discuss international corporate tax reform and Abenomics, the name given to Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s three-pronged approach to reviving the world’s third largest economy.
But with the markets in a febrile state, the G8 may find it hard to focus on those relatively soothing subjects.
Oh well. As 2005 illustrated, it might be worse.