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FALMOUTH, England – The helicopters have left the luxury resort of Carbis Bay. Satellite broadcast trucks are packing up. The G7 communiqué has been released.
Boris Johnson’s VIP seaside weekend is over. But how did he do it? Was Global Britain’s first major outing on the world stage a triumph or a failure? In the minds of holidaymakers leaving a Cornish guesthouse, here is POLITICO’s note for the G7 summit host:
Choosing a location aims to boost tourism, draw attention to the summit itself with photogenic landscapes, and make the host country feel like it is very knowledgeable.
See again: You can hardly hope for a more idyllic setting than Cornwall, with its spectacular sea views, rolling green hills and sunsets to die for. Unfortunately, the Cornish vistas were difficult to make out on arrival as they were surrounded by mist and drizzle. The superb planned location of Mont Saint Michel for Johnson’s meeting with US President Joe Biden had to be dropped Thursday due to the lingering fog that keeps the helicopters on the ground. This was probably for the best given the potential for Remainer-style jokes about Johnson being stranded on a remote island cut off by the tide.
Some attendees were stunned to find that the journalists ‘enclosure was over an hour from Carbis Bay, where the leaders’ discussions were actually taking place. It was always that way, sighed one or two seasoned hackers, but there was no denying that it took a long way to talk to someone who wasn’t a journalist. Not a great look for Team Democracy.
But once the sun came out, which it did splendidly on Saturday, the setting really took on its full meaning. It’s better than sitting in your living room all day on Zoom and make no mistake about it.
Feeding and watering guests is an essential part of any host’s responsibilities, and the G7 was no exception.
See again: Have you really been to Cornwall if you haven’t had a pâté? The event organizers didn’t want us to take the risk of finding out, handing them free to hungry journalists. The Queen, as usual, eclipsed everyone at Friday’s reception by demanding a ceremonial sword to cut the cake. The Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, has come very close to a huge glass of wine.
For the valued summit guests, the weekend was a real celebration. There was spicy melon and gazpacho, roasted turbot and pavlova on Friday night, and on Saturday night a beach barbecue with hot buttered rum and marshmallows – all of which made Johnson joke that they had put the carbs in Carbis Bay. Certainly not on the menu: sausages.
The G7 rally was all about hard work, of course, but that doesn’t mean the leaders and their spouses didn’t end up with an odd downtime.
See again: Johnson wanted us to have no doubts about his commitment to his fitness program and got up early to run and dive into the sea every morning. Not to be outdone, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seen jogging on the beach in windy Carbis Bay “at a fairly steady pace” on Friday morning.
Carrie Johnson organized a spousal excursion to the nearby Minnack Theater, which is built on the side of a cliff overlooking the sea, and Jill Biden was asked to give carrots to a rabbit for reasons no one fully understood. . As if that weren’t enough, guests were treated to songs by sailors on the beach during Saturday’s barbecue. It is not yet known whether any of them felt prompted to attempt a TikTok lip sync.
They say religion and politics are the two topics you should avoid on social occasions, but there was little hope of escaping the latter in Cornwall.
See again: This weekend the rest of the world got a taste of life in the UK over the past five years: desperately trying to get out of Brexit, but somehow ending up talking about it anyway. In Carbis Bay, this conversation went particularly badly, with Boris Johnson would have tried to explain his dissatisfaction with the Northern Ireland protocol by asking his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron what he would do if the sausages from Toulouse could not be transported to Paris.
The French president reportedly retorted that this analogy did not work because Paris and Toulouse were both part of the same country, mistakenly suggesting that Northern Ireland is not part of the UK. “offensive” and the Elysee trying to clarify Macron meant that they were not in the same “single geographic area”. Someone has put up a pot of Brexit curses for the next time.
Planning the guest list for these occasions is never easy, and the UK has given much thought to its choices.
See again: This G7 summit had the President of the United States, the Queen and David Attenborough. You can’t say much more accurately than that. Sadly, Marcus Rashford was otherwise engaged, or we might have approached a full house on Dream Dinner invitations – although the England footballer and social justice activist might not have made it to the top of the list Johnson anyway.