William Kramer

Report from the G8 Edinburgh

Having been in the UK for the past couple of days, and not reading the American press, I don’t know how it is reporting on the events leading up to the G8 meeting scheduled to start July 6 a few miles from here, but I can tell you that it’s big news here.? A peaceful march of more than 250,000 followed a few days later by a rather (surprisingly to the authorities and the public) violent protest by several hundred avowed anarchists in the streets of Edinburgh — right outside the hotel where a meeting on African development?we’re involved in is to convene tomorrow.?

In fact, the G8 and its attendant issues — African development, trade, aid, and debt — are bigger news, if you can believe it, than the question of whether two participants in a British reality TV show did or did not have sex together.? It’s neck and neck, but the G8 is undoubtedly the winner.? Like I said, big news.?

First impression of the Live8 concerts and their aftermath, at least as they relate to our work:? it’s better than nothing, but by and large an exercise in self-aggrandizement by a good number of the entertainers involved, and they’ve latched on to the wrong issues.? Were I Bob Geldof (and I will say of him that, for all of his foul-mouthed posturing, he actually does care, and probably on balance has done more good than bad), I would use the absolutely phenomenal power he has accumulated over the years to engage power-brokers (political, financial, and cultural) to move, not just from charity to awareness, but from charity to jobs-creation.? Maybe next time…..

I will be posting as often as I can over the next couple of days.?