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A state that has to protect itself with military from its own citizens is, in Plato’s terms, a state sliding down the slippery slope from democracy to tyranny. This is what happened over the last few days at the summit of western industrial nations here in Quebec. Police outnumbered demonstrators. They may have been called “police” but for all intents and purposes they were the government’s private army – in fact their actual function at all times – in full riot gear, with shields, staves, guns with real and rubber bullets, flak-vests, and tear-gas launchers. It is a worrying spectacle to hear of a police force, allegedly existent “to serve and protect”, clad to do battle with those they’re supposed to be serving and protecting. Worrying too is the news that most demonstrators stayed away because of the massive and unwarranted police presence. This is not what a free society is all about, and it has been dismaying to watch as freedoms have been gradually given up, supposedly in the interests of public safety. As was said by wiser lips, “Those who would give up freedom for a little security deserve neither freedom nor security.” And the cost of this police-state jamboree? $600 million, we’re told. But with this cash-happy Liberal Government, no doubt it will eventually top a billion Considering the G7 debacle in Toronto several years ago, when hundreds of demonstrators were wrongfully arrested, also at an immense cost, why should taxpayers be expected to foot such inordinately steep bills? Who cares where western industrial dignitaries have their pointlessly inconclusive meetings, meetings their so-called “Sherpas” – insulting to the real Sherpas – basically have for them in advance anyway? Let them take place on a private island somewhere, with a few boats as the security.

 

One thing we know about Donald Trump – perhaps the only thing we know for sure – is that he’s no gentleman. One of the privileges, probably one of the few, accorded to the mayor of the small town where this summit was held was the right to personally greet arriving world leaders, no doubt for a photo-op. But not Trump. Oh, no. He was far too grand and important to handy-dandy with so lowly an official. He arrived late and cut his visit short too. How obnoxiously insulting to the leaders of the only countries America can really rely on as allies! The man is so far beneath contempt his head or arse must be poking out in Australia, and his contempt for his peers is pushing the US ever further into the backwater it’s destined to occupy for the rest of history unless policies and attitudes change. It’s not such a powerhouse anymore. The leaders themselves have been calling the erstwhile G7 the G6-Plus-One for some time now, with the US pulling out of or refusing to sign mainly climate accords. If this goes on, it will just be the G6, and as such can still competently lead the western industrial world without Washington. We know from Trump’s disastrous lack of success in business ventures over the past couple of decades – only Russian banks would lend him money to continue – that business is not his forte. Marketing is that. But to hear him at the summit declaring that Russia should be present as a member was rich beyond belief. In fact Russia was kicked out of what was then a G8 when Putin invaded Crimea and attacked the Ukraine. They won’t be allowed back either, or not until they reform their policies. America may well be heading in the same direction. Trump’s lack of business acumen, manifest in his trade tariffs, and his unwillingness to read reports or to be advised, clearly prevents him from knowing that the Great Depression wasn’t caused by a stock market crash – the only disaster he seems to comprehend. It was caused by a trade war, the kind of war he imagines is easily won. In your dreams, scumbag, in your fetid dreams.

 

robertspaulwilliam@gmail.com

 

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