G7 Summit oil painting
Market and Economics

The G7 Summit: a Renaissance oil painting of the sacred and profane

The G7 Summit brings together the mighty economies of the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany, which together represent 62% of global net worth. That’s $280 trillion, by the way. They gather each year to wheel and deal and thrash out agreements over trade and tariffs in order to bolster their own economic advantage, usually with courteous robustness; occasionally with acrimonious terseness. This week’s G7 Summit was more the latter, now captured for posterity as a Renaissance painting.

In the customary joint communiqué, they all agreed on the need for “free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade”. But at the last moment, President Trump retracted his endorsement of this statement, citing:

Trump G7 tweet Canada

The moment of high drama has a certain resonance:

Funny, isn’t it, how we cheer Hugh Grant’s energised Prime Minister for standing up to the bullying vested interests of this smarmy US President, but deride Donald Trump for telling it like it is:

Press Conference Reporter: Has it been a good G7?

Trudeau, May, Merkel, Macron, Gentiloni, Abe: Very satisfactory indeed. We got what we came for, and our special relationship is still very special.

Press Conference Reporter: Mr President?

Trump: I love that word “relationship”. Covers all manner of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship; a relationship based on the global economic elite taking exactly what they want and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to, erm… the United States of America. We may be a large, prosperous and powerful country, but we have needs, too. All you see is the mighty country of Hemingway, Hamilton, Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, Huckleberry Finn. Muhammad Ali’s right hook. Muhammad Ali’s left hook, come to that. Soaring stock markets and corporate profits booming. But we are also the country of 12-year-old Marcell Jenkins, who can’t venture more than a few blocks from home alone; and Desirée Metcalf, a young mother of three beautiful children, the best children, locked in a cycle of poverty and self-harm; and millions of husbands and fathers, wives and mothers who can’t pay the electric bill because there are no jobs. And a group of friends who bully us are no longer our friends. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the rest of the G7 should be prepared for that.

You might think this rather silly, for how can such a rich and powerful nation possibly be bullied by relative economic minnows? How can the mighty United States of America treat its friends and allies like enemies and opponents? How can that ignorant ass Donald Trump stand before the world’s leaders and talk about ‘trade abuse’ when his own economic protectionism will lead to recession, unemployment, increased poverty and even more despair?

The reality, of course, is that there are more than six million unemployed in the Land of the Free, and they don’t feel overly disposed to an agreement on trade and tariffs which gives advantage to other wealthy nations while their own patriots have to wade through streets of crack-induced vomit and their kids walk to school sharing shoes.

Trump G7 tweet free trade

Like him or loathe him (and it’s possible, actually, to do both), Donald Trump is honouring his manifesto, doing exactly what he said he would do, and telling it like it is, with all the physical force and emotional violence of a Caravaggio painting. You might think his policy of ‘America First’ is a nationalist theological heresy, but what, then, is this G7 globalist Tower of Mammon?

Perhaps the Globalist Last Supper is long overdue.

Trump g7 last supper