Sunday 25 February 2018

G8 leaders are smart – but also casual

British Prime Minister David Cameron walks to lunch with US President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny
British Prime Minister David Cameron walks to lunch with US President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

THERE was a lot of casual enforcement going on at the G8 in Fermanagh – look relaxed, don't wear a tie, and certainly don't object if you don't want to.

UK chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne admitted an edict had been sent out instructing all those involved to dress "smart casual".

Enda Kenny, who had been invited to some meetings at the G8 because he's such a good neighbour to Dave Cameron (but mostly because of Ireland's presidency of the EU), ditched his grey blazer from earlier this week for a navy blazer, a striped blue and white shirt – open necked of course – yesterday.

And he trod a fine line by wearing beige trousers. A brighter shade and it'd have been Bertie 'canary cacks' Ahern territory.

But the Taoiseach, despite being on the fringes of the Lough Erne summit, was certainly made to feel welcome by his bestest bestest buddies, Barack and Dave.

The G8 leaders walk around greeting each other a lot, and pretend to look relaxed, even though you know more thought probably went into their choice of open necked shirt than some of their policies.

So, at an appointed time yesterday – high noon, as it happens – the leaders were to look relaxed and chatty again.

Everyone expected the major players to stroll around and look into the distance, with Enda and Bill 'N Ben from the EU (Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy) bringing up rear. But no, here were the bestest buds – Barack, Enda and Dave – strolling around looking sombre. Maybe the others were commiserating with Mr Obama for his children having to spend lunch with Bono.

It was quite a coup for Mr Kenny, and somewhere at Lough Erne his handlers were probably high-fiving each other at their man getting such a great photo-op.

We just hope nobody told Vladimir Putin he was left out. Poor fella was in a fouler as it was.

Irish Independent

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