Friday, June 2, 2017

Bilderberg: the world’s most secretive conference is as out of touch as ever. By Charlie Skelton

Say what you like about Bilderberg, but they’ve got a sense of humour. The agenda for this year’s secretive summit of the global elite is full of in-jokes. They get big laughs straight off the bat by describing themselves as “a diverse group of political leaders and experts”.They’re trumpeting the diversity of a conference where less than 25% of the participants are female. Which would be a huge step forward, if it were currently 1963. And as for racial diversity, there are more senior executives of Goldman Sachs at this year’s Bilderberg than there are people of colour. Perhaps by “diverse” they mean that some of the participants own hedge funds, whereas others own vast industrial conglomerates. Some are on the board of HSBC, others are on the board of BP. Some are lobbyists, others are being lobbied. That sort of thing.

Dafter still is the agenda item: “Can globalisation be slowed down?” You think that the assembled heads of Google, AT&T, Bayer, Airbus, Deutsche Bank, Ryanair, Fiat Chrysler, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange want to see a brake on globalisation? It’s the air that they breathe. Bilderberg insider Eric Schmidt, who runs Google, once began a speech at Davos with the words: “I assume that everybody here agrees that globalisation is wonderful.” Sitting in the audience at Bilderberg are the heads of four of the world’s 10 largest financial services companies: AXA, Allianz, ING and Banco Santander. You’ve got to assume that “Can globalisation be slowed down?” is going to be met by roars of laughter and a hail of bread rolls.

But my favourite joke by far from this year’s agenda is this item: “The war on information”. Bilderberg is concerned about fake news? The world’s most secretive conference, which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping the press away from its sacred discussions, which has spent decades lying and obfuscating about itself, wants to ensure the spread of truth?..

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