As he heads to the EU summit in Brussels, will the UK prime minister, David Cameron, be thinking about the London Conference nearly 80 years ago, also called to resolve an international financial crisis and avoid a further recession? That conference was wrecked by the US pursuing narrow national self interest. The result was economic depression in America, Europe, the British Empire and the rest of the world. It stoked up nationalism and contributed to the causes of the Second World War. The American President was expected to be the deal maker but instead was the deal breaker, to the despair of many of his own people.
The Brussels conference carries the same hopes – and the same risks.
David Cameron is going determined to be the wrecker, but will he instead do the right thing for the UK, the rest of the EU and the world and put narrow Eurosceptic nationalist self interest aside and be the deal maker? Can he be a statesman? For all our sakes, let’s hope so.