News from the G8

From David Blair’s (no relation) Telegraph Blog

I have just watched the G8 leaders yawn and scratch their way through a toe-curling session with the so-called “junior eight”. This is an absurd innovation at G8 summits where eight rather dim teenagers are brought before the world’s most powerful leaders.

George Bush and Angela Merkel in Heiligendamm
Bush and Merkel share a joke at the G8 summit

Each of the kids gets to read out a pathetic little speech consisting of a string of platitudes. The world’s most powerful leaders do their best to feign interest. OK, none of them actually yawned. But Nicolas Sarkozy took the opportunity to scratch his head and smooth his hair while the French adolescent stumbled through her script. Sarko also forgot to remove his translation earplug while she was talking – in French, of course – suggesting that he really was mentally out-to-lunch.

George Bush began chewing peanuts while the Tanzanian kid was talking. Vladimir Putin looked sinister and bored in equal measure as each of the teens ran through their cringing little speeches. Romano Prodi’s eyelids grew heavier and heavier.

The two most obscure members of the G8, Shinzo Abe and Stephen Harper, the Japanese and Canadian prime ministers, appeared utterly bewildered. (Incidentally, most of my fellow journalists have no idea who these guys are). Only Tony Blair had some success in pretending to be interested…

Still, George Bush got to meet St Bob Geldof and Bono, so the Summic can’t have been entirely pointless.