DAVOS MAN ?

Davos: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swiss President Alain Berset and World Economic Forum (WEF) Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan 23, 2018. (Photo: IANS/MEA)[/caption] No similar problem for our PM, Modi. While wearing million rupee aichkins, he can also boast of more inequality than any other country. There are reputedly more billionaires in India than in China and more poor than any other country or perhaps equal to the whole of the rest of the world. What could be a more perfect claim to membership at Davos. However, McDonnell’s speech may trigger something. The Brits are good at universalising their issues. Inequality and poverty are big in British politics. If Momentum, the openly secret organisation behind Corbyn, takes it on board, DAVOS would become toxic. It could become a place to avoid rather than gather for champagne and dance around a wish list. McDonnell may have touched a nerve. In his few words he has laid bare the hypocrisy that international institutions and gatherings adorn themselves with. It might meet the same fate as the ‘gentlemen’s circus’ of corporate board leaders who talk big on gender equality at work but gather at the Presidents Club to grope women. [caption id="attachment_24603" align="alignleft" width="336"] Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (Xinhua/Han Yan/IANS)[/caption] Inequality cannot be ended by a bunch of people who drooled at Trump because he let them create an even bigger gap in inequality than before.  It has to be a mass movement that arises from democracies around the world and who push the State to have better governance and distribution of its resources. The British Labour party has made it its central plank. If it wins next time, DAVOS may never be the same. So while the perfect DAVOS  man 2018 was the unpredictable President Donald Trump who gave them an almost perfect speech, he may unwittingly have sunk the institution that he hated so much last year but seemed to love this year. And it may be McDonnell, the shadow chancellor in UK,  who may end up having a lasting effect on the future of DAVOS. Sometimes it takes only one person to tell the Emperor that he no clothes.   // ]]>

Modi raises terrorism, environment at Davos

India is giving great importance to renewable energy. @wef #IndiaMeansBusiness pic.twitter.com/gYkHm1adXp

— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 23, 2018 Addressing world leaders and global corporate honchos at the plenary session of the WEF — the second Indian Prime Minister to do so in 21 years — Modi took the opportunity to elaborate on the threat of terror that he said killed 25,000 people in 2016 across the globe. “This challenge to humanity and security is badly affecting the development, peace and stability of the entire world. I say with full conviction that terrorism is bad in all its forms and facets. It is bad irrespective of its territory of origin or target of operation. “We all must unite in fight against terrorism. India stands firmly with all such forces. I must also take the opportunity to appeal to all of you to see that such groups do not get money, arms and ammunition. It cannot be a good business to do business with such elements. We all know that without peace, progress and prosperity is not possible.” He said it was painful to see youngsters getting radicalised and more dangerous than terrorism is “when people say there is a difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terror”. Referring to the fractures and faultlines at the international level that “are really frightening”, the Prime Minister said “the biggest reasons are control of territories — both direct and indirect — and control of transactions, including cross border trade and movement of people”. The Prime Minister then spoke of the challenge of societies and countries that are becoming more and more self-centred. “It seems that globalisation is shrinking contrary to its name. Forces of protectionism are rearing their heads. They not only want to keep away from globalisation but also want to reverse the natural flow of globalisation.” The result, he said, was that new types of tariff and non-tariff barriers have appeared and bilateral and mult-lateral trade negotiations have stopped, cross border investments have decreased in most countries and global supply chains have stopped. “The solution to this distressing situation against globalisation is not in isolation. The solution is to understand the changes and to make agile and flexible policies to accept it with the changing times.” Pitching India as an investment destination, he said its democracy, stability and certainty “are the bedrock of sustainable development” and was a recipe for peace, stability and development. (IANS) // ]]>