Let me see: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA. That adds up to seven, hence G7.
However, watching the Sky footage of the ongoing summit, one espies an eighth party at the table: my friend Jean-Claude Juncker, who likes to go by his affectionate nickname ‘Junk’.
Exactly what got Junk a ticket to this party? He’s President of the European Commission, but the EU isn’t yet a duly constituted state, at least not de jure. And if the EU is indeed entitled to be represented at a G7 conference, then why isn’t it called G8?
Actually, that’s exactly what it was called before my other friend, Vlad, chose the Ukraine as the battlefield in Russia’s eternal war on the West. Now that Vlad has been kicked out, is it my understanding that Junk has been thrown in as a second-half substitute?
All preliminary reports suggested that Vlad’s misbehaviour was going to be the main subject for discussion at this G7-and-a-half. However, so far it seems that the main purpose of the meeting isn’t to get Russia out of the Ukraine but to keep Britain in the EU.
Junk’s interest in this project is obvious enough, as is Angie’s commitment to incorporating Britain into what only modesty prevents her from calling the Fourth Reich. But Barack Obama decided to put his oar in as well.
Britain, he orated, is America’s ally, which is why she should stay in the EU. The logic shows a bit of a non sequitur, but one can’t demand rhetorical rigour from today’s politicians.
What Barack Hussein was enunciating was America’s century-old commitment to a single world government, the shining summit to which the EU is an intermediate step. This obsession started with Woodrow Wilson and continues to this day. It’s fuelled by the underlying belief that, whatever such a unified body would be called, it would in reality be an American puppet.
Fair enough, America is entitled to look after her interests, however misconstrued. Ditto Junk. Ditto Angie. But the important thing to realise is that Dave’s commitment to keeping Britain in the EU is no less fanatical, if couched in less fire-eating terms.
In fact, as steered by Dave, Britain is clearly living up to the perfidious image she enjoys on the continent. Any honest politician, and I know that these days it’s an oxymoron, would simply declare that he’d do all he can to stay in the EU under any conditions.
But Dave had an election to win, hence his pretence to be oh so even-handed. He’d let the people decide, he promised. In a referendum, just like in 1975.
‘Just like in 1975’ suggests that the British will be fed similarly pernicious lies. Back then it was assuring the voters that free trade was the sole purpose of European integration, with nary a political objective in mind.
This, in spite of every European functionary, from Schumann and Monnet onwards, never having bothered to deny that their true aim was the creation of a United States of Europe, or some such single political entity.
If anything, Cameron outdoes Harold Wilson in perfidy. He has already revealed a whole raft of stratagems designed to swing the referendum the federalist way, and it’s early days yet.
So far, unlike Wilson in 1975, Dave has denied his 100-odd ministers (do we really need that many?) the freedom of campaigning for the No vote. My way or highway, said Dave, or words to that effect. You want to keep your political career, you campaign for the Yes vote.
Dave has also upped the limit of campaign spending by 40 per cent, as well as allowing funds being pumped in until the polling date. This means that the entire resources of Dave’s government and the EU will be committed to outspending the No campaigners by a prohibitive margin.
As any advertising man will tell you, just as God is on the side of the large battalions in war, so he is on the side of the large budgets in publicity. In a mass campaign it’s next to impossible to win when being hugely outspent by an adversary.
Dave is also lying about his intention to stay in only if the EU offered serious reforms. The catch here is that Dave reserves to himself the prerogative of deciding which reforms are serious. For example, he may declare that, say, changing the wording from ‘ever-closer union’ to ‘ever-tighter union’ is as serious as reforms come.
Britain won’t remain a sovereign nation, or rather revert to being one, while staying in the EU – it’s as simple as that. Any reform offered in the run-up to the referendum will be bogus, a dirty trick to stack the odds. Dave knows this, the EU knows this, everybody with any understanding of politics knows this.
There is one large group, however, that may be blissfully ignorant of this salient fact. It’s the British electorate, and the campaign will make sure it’ll stay that way.