The world’s most powerful people begin their annual meeting on Thursday. So what have they got to hide?
Photo courtesy of fellowshipoftheminds.com
Tom Harper for The Independent UK on Wednesday 28 May 2014
Conspiracy theorists may chuckle when they learn a debate entitled “Does Privacy Exist?” is to feature at this year’s Bilderberg conference, the notoriously secretive gathering of the world’s most powerful bankers, politicians and business people.
There may be a further shaking of heads when they discover one of the participants at the heavily fortified, five-star Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, will be Keith Alexander, the former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), which was embarrassed by the mass-surveillance revelations leaked by Edward Snowden. In fairness to the Bilderberg, the organisers of this year’s conference – which starts on Thursday – have made efforts to be more transparent by publishing a list of all the prime ministers, chief executives and military chiefs in attendance, as well as the topics up for discussion.
Chancellor George Osborne and his Labour counterpart, Ed Balls, are among the hand-picked group of British politicians who will visit Copenhagen to hob-nob with the global elite behind closed doors.
Other guests from the political sphere include the former “Third Man” of New Labour, Lord Mandelson, the current International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, and the veteran American foreign policy expert, Henry Kissinger.