Monday, July 07, 2008

G8 Leaders Enjoy 6 Course Lunch, 8 Course Dinner Before Discussing Food Crisis

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, the more I read about this here G8 Summit, the more disgusted I get. One of the biggest troublems facin' the world is the worldwide food crisis. It was supposed to be high on the agenda at Toyako. For a wee glimpse into how far out of touch with reality the G8 leaders are, just consider how they dine.

Gordon Brown and his fellow world leaders have sparked outrage after it was disclosed they enjoyed a six-course lunch followed by an eight-course dinner at the G8 summit where the global food crisis tops the agenda.

The Prime Minister was served 24 different dishes during his first day at the summit – just hours after urging the world to reduce the "unnecessary demand" for food and calling on British families to cut back on their wasteful use of food.

Mr Brown and his wife Sarah were among 15 guests at the "blessings of the earth and the sea social dinner".

The dinner consisted of 18 dishes in eight courses including caviar, smoked salmon, Kyoto beef and a "G8 fantasy dessert".

The banquet was accompanied by five different wines from around the world including champagne, a French Bourgogne and sake.

African leaders including the heads of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Senegal who had taken part in talks during the day were not invited to the function.

The dinner came just hours after a "working lunch" consisting of six courses including white asparagus and truffle soup, crab and a supreme of chicken.

The lavish dining arrangements – disclosed by the Japanese Government which is hosting the summit in Hokkaido – come amid growing concern over rising food prices triggered by a shortage of many basic necessities.

On the flight to the summit, Mr Brown urged Britons to cut food waste as part of a global drive to help avert the food crisis.

Opposition politicians and charities condemned the extravagant meals.

Dominic Nutt, of Save the Children, said: "It is deeply hypocritical that they should be lavishing course after course on world leaders when there is a food crisis and millions cannot afford a decent meal to eat.

"If the G8 wants to betray the hopes of a generation of children, it is going the right way about it. The food crisis is an emergency and the G8 must treat it as that."

Andrew Mitchell, the shadow International Development Secretary, said: "The G8 have made a bad start to their summit, with excessive cost and lavish consumption.

"Surely it is not unreasonable for each leader to give a guarantee that they will stand by their solemn pledges of three years ago at Gleneagles to help the world's poor. All of us are watching, waiting and listening."

Mr Brown arrived at the G8 summit held on the holiday island of Hokkaido in northern Japan on Monday morning.

He arrived on a plane chartered from Texas, America, which had to fly empty for thousands of miles to pick up the Prime Minister and his entourage.

Unlike other countries, Britain does not have an official plane to transport the Prime Minister.

The lavish dining will embarrass Mr Brown, who has made tackling the global food crisis a key priority.

On the flight to the summit, the Prime Minister urged British people to cut food waste and "reduce unnecessary demand".

He said: "We need a global plan to deal with rising food prices that are affecting millions of families in Britain. That's why I am proposing that we take action to both increase the global supply of food and reduce unnecessary demand.

"If we are to get food prices down, we must also do more to deal with unnecessary demand, such as by all of us doing more to cut our food waste which is costing the average household in Britain around £8 per week."

Talks between world leaders at the summit will focus on dealing with soaring food and oil prices.

There is also hope for a breakthrough on protracted talks to secure a new global trade deal.

However, the leaders are facing criticism amid allegations that pledges for development aid promised for the third world at a previous G8 summit in Scotland have been watered down.

The Prime Minister's spokesman declined to comment on the menus.

I don't know for sure if Steve Harper was at that dinner. Or Baird. Or Mrs. Harper. Or the boy Harper. I do know that 1000 people died from starvation in the past hour and 1000 more are going to die in the next hour. I know that the money wasted on flying these so-called leaders to a lavish hob-nobbin' shoulder-rubbin' schmoozefest ain't solvin' the world's problems. The money spent on travel alone could have actually done something to alleviate suffering. Instead, our leaders gorge their puffy faces on expensive delicacies. What great examples of humanity!



Chrystal Ocean said...

This is no different than the hypocrisy of the Catholic church which implores its flock and the world to stamp out hunger whilst the church itself retains its own massive wealth (and no doubt dines very well indeed).

JimBobby said...

Thankee fer chimin' in, ChrystalGal. Yer right about it bein' the selfsame sorta hypocrisy. The big difference I see is that nobody forces anyone to put money in the Pope's collection plate. The taxpayin' citizens of all 8 G8 countries are footing the bill for this waste and gluttony.

Canada's role at these meetings seems to be pure obstructionism. We're more a part of the problems than of the solutions.


Scott in Montreal said...

Pretty standard-issue elitism if you ask me. As for the added extravagance of the sheer number of courses, here is my theory: The Japanese are known to have a great love of tradition. So whenever a Bush comes to dinner, it's important to give him every opportunity to toss his cookies, so as to keep up with tradition!

JimBobby said...

I'm astounded at how little buzz this display of "Let them eat cake" is getting in North Amewrica. The British press has been all over this story but hardly a peep from our MSM.