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Politeness and political ritual

The G20 and political ritual

Professor Graeme Orr writes in The Conversation (10.11.14): ‘This week, Brisbane will be overtaken with political ritual as the G20 comes to town. At first glance it seems odd to label the G20 a ‘ritual’. This is a serious set of powerful meetings, but whatever international co-operation is won, or international exposure milked, the G20 is ultimately theatrical. The G20’s main stage is reserved for leaders and their entourages. They gather to be photographed in local garb, to be received at formal cocktail parties and even to shirtfront each other. Then there is the off-Broadway show. Demonstrators mime their many causes, the more spectacularly the better to grab fleeting media attention. With policing concerns oozing from a 100-page, bespoke G20 (Safety and Security) Act 2014, locals are either fleeing the scene or lamenting the hubbub.

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