Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Double fanfare this morning - Dubya trouble later?

Sameer Dossani: The Trouble with Gleneages

This link is for the article I'm reading right now - an analysis from today's issue of the excellent "Counterpunch" newletter.

Just mere minutes ago we learned that London has the Olympic Games. Our local media has been so obsessed with the impending decision that little coverage has been given to today's start of G8. I'm surprised we won the franchise and wonder if it may have been influenced by recent gastronomic comments by the Chirac. As a part-time francophile I took them to be an example of that peculiar French sense of humour, but I also suspect that a good deal of people considered them both rude and insulting.

It can be assumed Chirac will not be in the best of moods for talking this afternoon. Maybe Bush will compensate by saying lots whilst actually contributing nothing. Blair will no doubt be displaying an even bigger grin than normal - G8 chairman, EU president, Venue host and now Olympic campaign winner. Would that his actions conveyed the same weight as his ego.

If Scotland's police hoped to maintain a friendly face and low key operation in Edinburgh it was a good dream. However, Live8 protests aside, all G8 summits in modern times have been heavily disrupted by very angry wings of the anit-capitalist movement and there was no reason to suppose this one would really be any different. Our own police are now out in force, drawn in from all over Britain, with fully armed contingents now deployed within the Gleneagles site perimeter. Most alarming is the sight of Amerikan military helicopters buzzing like flies above a sleepy Scottish town and the knowledge that a virtual invasion force lies a few minutes off the coast. Where Bush goes, his firepower goes too - the very image becoming one designed to overshadow everyone else and re-enforce the US global pre-eminence. Yet the would-be emporer remains dumb to reality, if not exactly mute on his interpretation of what passes for it.

Tonight will also see the last of the Live8 concerts in Edinburgh itself. Without quite the same megastar line-up as Saturday's events, this will only be broadcast on digital TV (BBB3 from 9.30pm) and the web. No doubt all the political messages between acts will be censored as they were last weekend, but with the likes of Youssou N'Dour and Annie Lennox attending the event, it should raise the spirits. I only hope the violent fringe of the direct action groups don't spoil the proceedings and the peaceful message it hopes to convey.

As to be expected, Saturday's Live8 performers have witnessed increased music sales. Congratulations to Dave Gilmour for being the first to announce that the royalties will also be donated to the cause (in his case, the Pink Floyd has a tenfold increase in sales of their "Echoes" compilation). Let's hope the other artistes follow the Floyd example.


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