Bilderberg 2012: bigger and badder and better than ever
Friday, June 1, 2012
“Not to be used as safety barriers” was the warning on the safety barriers that the police laid around the gates of Bilderberg. The officers were firm but fair. “Madam, please step away with the balloons,” they asked a protester, as she waved them angrily at arriving limousine. “But this is my first amendment right,” she howled. I’ll give you my balloons when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.
It’s hard to look furious when you’re holding balloons, but somehow she managed it. There’s a lot of anger in the crowd this year – a great wall of noise met each delegate as they swooped up the hotel drive. Personally, I thought the crowd was a little harsh at times: branding each new arrival “thieving scum!” when, looking at the delegate list, no more than two thirds of those arriving could reasonably be called that.
The official list of participants was released early this year. Praise where praise is due: well done Bilderberg for starting to behave like a grown-up political summit. Good behaviour like this should be given positive reinforcement – I feel like I should ruffle Henry Kissinger’s hair and toss him a meaty treat. Alas, I think I might be dropped by a sniper before I could reach his wheelchair.
That’s if I managed to get past the eagle eyes of Senator John Kerry. He’s attending this year, alongside Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana. I can imagine they’d grab an arm each, while Nick Boles MP stood on his little stool in the corner, jeering, as I was dragged from the conference room, and booted into the parking lot by Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, while Michael Noonan, Ireland’s minister for finance, tells me in no uncertain terms to get lost. Which, by the way, is news to me – Ireland has a minister for finance?
What a lovely lot of politicians we’ve got at this year’s Bilderberg. What a shot in the arm for democracy. I don’t know if Lord Mandelson belongs on a list of public servants, but he’s here; he’s becoming quite a regular these days. Mandelson will be striving privately towards a better world with the Polish finance minister, the Finnish finance minister – and, wait, who’s this…?
Why, it’s cuddly old Bilderberg insider, the Lord Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke MP. No wonder the press officer at the Ministry for Justice last week was so unwilling to talk: “I’m not in a position to either deny or confirm that the minister will be attending.” Yup. That’s exactly the sort of transparency and openness Ken is so keen to see implemented – as he said only a few months ago.