It’s kind of hard not to notice that President Barack Obama and all the other leaders of the Western world are arriving in London today for the G20 summit. It’s very much the PM’s show and there’s a lot riding on it for him and his borrow-your-way out-of-recession policies. Word is that the other European leaders will choose to do their own thing and the event will prove to be a damp squib. So what’s my point?
Well I read that this non-event is anticipated to attract an unprecedented level of protest, according to the Met Police Commissioner, so he will be deploying 3,000 officers across the Capital at a cost of £7.2M in police bills alone. But this is peanuts compared to the costs of bringing Pres Obama here. He’ll be arriving at Stansted in Airforce One before taking to the air in Marine One combat helicopter to transfer to the ambassador’s residence. He’ll be escorted by a fleet of decoy helicopters to deter a terrorist attack. This is preferable, apparently, to using the armour-plated limo known as the Beast but that’ll be turning up all the same just in case along with 35 other official vehicles. Oh and there’ll be personnel support too, in fact his entourage will consist of over 500 people including just the 200 secret service agents and representatives from the White House Transport agency, Medical unit, Information Agency, Immigration and Nationalisation Service, Customs service, the Marine Corps, the Presidential Travel Support Service and the White house kitchen staff to name but a lot.
All this for riots and tumult on our streets and huge disruption to traffic for an event that’s going to deliver nothing. I heard that a US battleship is being positioned off the UK coast just in case. Here’s a thought why don’t they host these bloody summits on the USS Enterprise or whatever it’s called and save themselves a whole lot of trouble and effort and cost? Is it just me?