Thursday 10 November 2011

The Crisis Ain't Over Until The Fat Lady Sings

Apparently, I learned from Fraser Nelson, the G20 caper was held at the Frankfurt Opera House. The original Alte Oper was reduced to a shell in 1944 by some of our American friends who were then just down the road, how we cheered them at the local Victory Parade in 1945, and not rebuilt for some time.

Now there is a big new Opera house, winning awards for its productions. The Alte Oper has been restored as a concert hall and the standards are very high. The G20 were given a treat in the shape of a concert conducted by Claudio Abbado. He is one of the best and we have seen him in action and on Sky Arts 2 a good many times.

Born in Milan, he has La Scala, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra on his CV.

He was just the person to be on the podium with Italy under the cosh and its Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi heading for the exits.

The trouble with the G20 is that too many of those involved are not only compromised or seriously affected by their recent track records in past dealing with the collapse of systems but they are up for election shortly, or under threat or up against entrenched vested interests.

For the USA, the President has already begun his election campaign that will last a wearying twelve months, Sarkozy is due to face the people, Merkel has trouble and Cameron’s coalition is looking shakier by the week. Italy and Greece we know about but there are others frantically making personal financial arrangements for their impending retirements.

Our UK Parliament being filled with student politicians, former PR people and lobbyists, lawyers and media people largely unable to fill in an accurate expenses return is not a reliable body from which to draw any government, not just a polity going in serious decline.

The US Congress on the other hand whilst being more broadly based is almost all on the payroll of one lobby, financial interest or other interest group. As they are all going to face an angry electorate in the next few years they are doing their best to put the blame onto others, any others.

The G20 is always going to be weeks, if not months behind events and the way things are going. Even if they were competent, reliable and well informed the immensity of the task might be too much. They are none of these things. The key player is Merkel and the big aria is yet to come.

It was in 1937 that the Frankfurt Opera premiered Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” (lots of it on Youtube and Wikipedia) that begins and ends with the chorus “O Fortuna” and includes ditties such as “They who here go dancing round”, “I lament the wounds that fortune deals” and “If the whole world were but mine”.

The G20 audience, however were given some Mozart and the rest. Perhaps “Carmina Burana” may have touched too many nerves.

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