Donald Trump Boris Johnson

Will this year's G7 meeting be the one that goes into the history clips in the years to come? You know the ones I'm talking about: from the old World War I packages; jerky footage of King George and the Kaiser yukking it up together on a yacht somewhere. Oh look, it's the Tsar! He's here too! What fun they're having! What could possibly go wrong?

Not yet, probably. Maybe there's a few years to go yet. For quite a while the G7 has been a political soap opera, in which we scrutinise the photos and read the gossip about wives and partners. Originally designed to coordinate a uniform group of "advanced" non-communist economies, so that their civil activity integrated well with NATO under the leadership of the US-UK Atlantic alliance, the group's coherence has been stretched to the limit by global change. Is China an advanced economy or a developing one, or both? Is France an advanced economy or a basket case running on global receipts from its transnationals? And so on.

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