Britain's foreign ministry has decided the G-20 maybe should be reduced to the G-13 and other hangers-on like Canada. After Stephen Harper has worked so hard to put Canada front and centre on the world stage, the Brits think we would be better placed toward the curtains on side stage. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Ahead of a G20 summit in London next month, Britain's foreign ministry has divided the grouping of leading economies into two distinct tiers, one of which has been targeted as "high-priority" for lobbying, the Financial Times said Friday.
The report will likely embarrass the British government just days ahead of a meeting of G20 finance ministers near London on Saturday, before the April 2 summit.
According to the document, which was a tender for public relations services issued in December by the government, the 11 countries are the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and South Africa.
The remaining seven -- the G20 includes the European Union's rotating presidency -- are Russia, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey.
A spokesman for the ministry told the newspaper that the two-tier list was "absolutely not a firm hierarchy of the most important states for our political relations."
He said the 11 countries had been targeted for various reasons, such as having strong non-governmental organisations, media, academia, trade unions and civil society and "non-traditional actors like sovereign wealth funds".
We may not have a sovereign wealth fund but since when has Canada been a slacker on "strong, non-governmental organizations, media, academia, trade unions and civil society?" Christ, to get that from a Brit!