Here we go again. It’s a new year and a new opportunity for the World Trade Organisation to try and not achieve anything. They already started with their climate changing hot air. Telling us that it is now or never. That this time they will get a deal. One last push. Yep, the angry white men, or rather stupid white men, got together at Davos to tell the world that they will be meeting soon to get the Doha Round back on the road.
Yeah, right. We’ve heard that one before. Let me remind you of what you really mean – “World trade talks in Cancun, Mexico collapse after four days of wrangling” (2003), “…Lamy said that he now believed the Doha round could be completed by the end of 2005” (2004), “…the ongoing failure to establish a new global trade deal has now hit a crisis situation” (2006), “…attempts to resolve the Doha round of talks have failed” (2007). And this has been going on since 2001…
Davos was only the announcement of the next round of fights. I mean negotiations. They used the venue to announce the date of the fight – like with any good fight they have to build up the hype. They will build up the hype over the next few months. Each side will tell the world that this time they will show them. Show them who is the boss and in control. And bad mouth each other. Taunt each other. Hope that the other guy will take a swing first and get disqualified. Or at least make them the odds on favourite to win. Get the crowd behind them. It’s just a shame they don’t have Don King. Nope, they are stuck with stiffs like Mandelson. Oozes something, but it’s not charisma.
But this will be no back-ally fight or meeting behind the bycicle ched. No, this is the real deal. The big guns will give each other a good go. Go mano a mano. Showing no mercy. And everyone will for a few minutes forget that this is not about either of the two big guys – the US and EU. This isn’t meant to be a date just for the two of them. No, this is supposed to be about all us and everyone who wants a better world. Even if it is only a little bit better. Even those who are on ‘our side’ will again forget that it is not about them. Oxfam will send their best teams to lobby and protest. Just a shame that they will all be from Oxford or some other big city in the western world. Every time these ‘allies’ speak on our behalf they pull out the white skinny guys from up north. Really guys, concentrate. We can do this. Just ask.
I am sure that Archbishop Tutu and the Pope would be less than happy about the date they picked to start talking. Easter. Damn it guys, pick another date. Not a date already set aside to celebrate something else. And your gathering is as relevant as Easter is in the Middle East or China – only a small group will benefit or believe in it in any case.
I have an even better idea. You do this every year, right? And every year it is the same thing:
1. Commit to change in front of the whole world. Tell us how important Africa and everyone in the world is to you. Your heart bleeds for us and this time you ‘gonna make it betta’.
2. Start talking at some exotic location. The worse place you would go is Mexico because it allows for a quick escape route to Vegas from there. No Mali or Rwanda for you.
3. Reach no agreement, but blame the other guy. Of course it wasn’t your fault. It was the big bad wolf (take your pick of the US or EU).
4. Agree on a half-arsed compromise at the last minute. You know it is no agreement, but you know people (and the press) will believe you eventually if you lie often enough.
5. Resume positions and repeat step 1 next year.
See, we already have a cult in the making. You have a specific tradition that you repeat every year and you take the truth and spin it to hell. And you have a decidated group of followers that will lap up everything you tell them. Yes, you need your special day just like all other religions. Why should we only allow Ramadan, Hanukkah or Christmas? Why don’t we have a special day or week each year that celebrates your sect and its special day? Each year we can celebrate your spectacular failure. I think April 1 would be absolutely perfect.