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Guardian journalist arrested for trying to penetrate secret Bilderberg meet

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May 14, 2009

This series of articles, first published in The Guardian, and written by Charlie Skelton, is worth reading in full. The author is eventually followed and arrested by Greek police.


Our man at Bilderberg: in pursuit of the world's most powerful cabal

May 12, 2009

Once a year, it is rumoured, the global elite gather at a luxury hotel to chew the fat and fine-tune their secret plans for world domination. We sent Charlie Skelton in pursuit.

I don't quite know why I'm on a flight to Athens, except that it seems like the right thing to do. I'm flying out on a last minute whim to hang around outside a conference which may, or may not, be happening and to which I've not been invited. None of you has.

You won't have read about it. You won't have seen a guest list, you won't see photographs of it. It isn't happening. It doesn't exist. I'm flying out to Athens for no reason at all. To have a holiday I don't deserve and can't really afford. Maybe catch a little sunstroke, grab some food poisoning, and come home. Pointless.

Unless, of course, the rumours are true. Unless, as a handful of people are saying, this weekend is Bilderberg. The yearly alignment of the distant stars that shape our destiny. A long weekend at a luxury hotel, where the world's elite get to shake hands, clink glasses, fine-tune their global agenda and squabble over who gets the best sun loungers. I'm guessing that Henry Kissinger brings his own, has it helicoptered in and guarded 24/7 by a CIA special ops team.

If it's happening at all, Kissinger will be here. David Rockefeller will be here. Presidents of banks, and chairmen of boards. The Ben Bernankes and Condoleezza Rices of this world. Heads of oil companies, media magnates, the Queen of the Netherlands and Peter Mandelson. Probably Ben Bernanke, possibly David Cameron. Politicians and financiers from all five corners of the globe (don't let them tell you there are four). And me.

I arrived last night, under cover of darkness. I told the cab driver to stop 50 metres from the hotel. He asked why. I couldn't tell him that it was so I could case the entrance for FBI lenses. I simply muttered that I couldn't explain. His eyes lit up. "Aha! I see! I know!" What did he know? And who is that following us? A man in a BMW. Definite spook.

Get a grip.

The driver drops me on a dark corner of the Athenian Riviera, pats me on the shoulder and says: "You want to smoke some dope?" I decline. I need my senses sharp. I scurry into the hotel, glancing into parked cars, looking for vans with mirrored windows. There aren't any. At reception they seem to have lost my booking (the tentacles of Bilderberg reach far!), but eventually I get checked in, go upstairs, unpack, have a shower, go downstairs, step outside, look across the street and realise I've scurried into the wrong hotel. This is who Bilderberg are up against.

An embarrassing hour later, I set out again from the right hotel, determined to find the location where Bilderberg is said to be happening. Get some early photos, maybe see Hillary Clinton arrive. Although I'll settle for Ken Clarke. It's getting late. Joggers are out. FBI? Secret service? Almost certainly. I trudge on determinedly. After about half an hour I realise I turned the wrong way out of my hotel and I am walking up a deserted coastline towards Athens. I go back to bed. Another untroubled night for Bilderberg.

At breakfast, a heavy-set man with hairy forearms sits opposite me and fiddles with his mobile phone. Definite spook. He eats a hard-boiled egg and watches me struggling with my Coco Pops. My first discovery of the day is to find out what happens to Coco Pops when they're left to sit for a decade in a Greek presentation dish. They turn to gravel.

The spook leaves before me. He got what he came for: a photo of me, sneaked on his mobile and wired already to Quantico in Virginia. And a hard-boiled egg.

Outside, it's a beautiful day, the air smells of sun and seashells, and there is no sign of a global cabal meeting anywhere near. I have a wander. From my meagre, third-hand, internet forum sources, I think I know the hotel where Bilderberg is happening: the Astir Palace resort. Further from my hotel than it looked on Google maps. Note to self: always check the scale on the zoom.

A dozen promontories and dusty dead-ends later, and I'm ready to give up. It's too hot. I don't have a sunhat. The world is going to hell and Vouliagmeni is full of litter. What is it with the Greeks and bins? Do they not see them? Do they not believe they exist? Hidden in plain sight … it's the Bilderberg way. It's too hot. I need some water. Bilderberg's nemesis: journalist Jim Tucker Bilderberg's nemesis: journalist Jim Tucker. Photograph: Charlie Skelton

And then, on the pavement ahead, there he was. I recognised him from the videos. The braces, the loose shirt, the grizzle. The tattered leather briefcase, packed with dark secrets. It was the doyen of Bilderberg hunters himself, Jim Tucker. I addressed him.

"Excuse me ... Mr Tucker?"

"Let's go into my hotel and talk."

Tucker is a man in a hurry. He's not getting any younger, and his old enemy Bilderberg is getting stronger.

"Hot enough for you?" I venture.

"Too hot for a fatboy," he growls.

The exchange makes me feel like a resistance fighter exchanging codewords. Assured of my credentials, Tucker gestures me into his hotel lobby. I can't believe my luck. Suddenly I'm not alone, I'm not hallucinating. Bilderberg is here. Where you find Jim Tucker, you know Bilderberg isn't far away. He's a herring gull, telling me there are whales beneath.

Tucker lights a non-filter cigarette, lays his hat upon the table, and settles back into the lobby sofa to talk ...

Charlie Skelton will be filing regular updates from Athens until he is arrested by shadowy figures in dark glasses

Our man at Bilderberg: Close, but still no cabal

May 12, 2009

With the annual secret meeting of the global elite only hours away, the shadowy corporatocracy remains tantalisingly elusive, writes Charlie Skelton

t's B minus one, the day before Bilderberg. And it is definitely happening: I've seen the guns. I thought it might be a good idea to go to the Astir Palace resort for lunch. See just what kind of a cheese omelette the president of the Federal Reserve is going to be enjoying. I didn't get far. At the gates, there were machine guns and men in loose jackets and guards checking under cars for bombs with those mirrors on sticks that morbidly obese people use to check whether they've taken their knickers off.

I should have come for breakfast. Maybe I would have got in. A security guard opened the cab door, leaned in, and asked me if I was staying at the hotel. I gave it my best shot. Not much of a shot, but my best one. "I'm here for lunch." Smile feebly.

"We're closed now. Only guests." And to the driver, a bark of instructions to turn around. We turned around. I explained to the driver what was happening at the hotel, trying to avoid words like "globalisation", "corporatocracy" and "dissolution of sovereignties leading to supranational control structures". I think he got the gist. "They come to here? The leaders of the world?" He honked amiably at a girl in a bikini. "To have conference, or to have holiday? Now is time for holiday! Look to the beach!"

I looked to the beach. Everyone was splishing about in the shallows, batting tennis balls at each other and reading whatever the Greek equivalent of John Grisham is. John Grisham, probably. The sky is blue; the sea is calm. Even the dogs that sleep on the sand are well fed from the restaurant bins. What could possibly be wrong with the world?

Just up the hill, a small group of people are meeting for the weekend. Might play a bit of ping pong. Where's the harm in that? Might thrash out a few broad brushstroke policies. Microchipping? World Bank? These things need to be discussed. And this is as nice a place as any to discuss them.

The hotel offers "gourmet dining, atmospheric bars, and extensive meeting & events areas and services." And the spa has a steam room. And you know how much Kissinger loves to steam ("Hotter! I vont it hotter!")

Independently of me, Jim Tucker failed to get in for a snoop. He stubs out a weary cigarette. I don't sense it's his first. I ask him about the order of business. "This year? They'll be talking about that ridiculous swiiiiiiine flu." And in the five raked-out syllables he gives the word "swine", he paints his distaste of the subject. "They want to use it to turn the World Health Organisation into the global department of health." I have to ask. "Isn't it already?"

"Only for members of the United Nations. Also, they'll be talking about ratifying the international criminal court. Obama is waiting until he gets a sympathetic senate, after the 2010 elections. Then he'll pass it one evening, late in the week: too late for the Sunday papers, too late for the talk shows. It'll happen, and no one will notice. First part of 2011."

I'll say this for Mr Tucker: for a fortune teller, he's giving us details. Nothing about "You will travel overseas" or "Watch out for a man with a D in his name."

Like David Rockefeller? "He's 93, but if he's alive, he'll be here," growls Jim. But again, why is this a problem? Why is anyone bothered that a bunch of powerful psychopaths – sorry, sociopaths ... sorry, bankers and politicians – have a yearly get-together? Many people admit to attending. As one of the commenters on my previous piece rightly points out, George Osborne mentioned going to Bilderberg 2008 in his official expenses (apparently he paid for the flights himself). So why worry? Why interrupt your John Grisham for a single second as the limousines roll up the hill?

Perhaps the problem is not that people are meeting up. If there's a problem at all, it's whether or not there is a coherent global agenda, whether this agenda is something towards which people in power are doing their best to advance things, and whether this agenda (if it exists at all!) is a benign one.

For now, my jury is out. Except to say that when it comes to global politics I'm reminded of that Edgar Allan Poe short story: the one in which [WARNING: SPOILER] a purloined letter is concealed out in the open, where everyone can see it. Like large letters written across a map, so large they can't be seen. I can't for the life of me remember which tale it is, Murders on the Rue Morgue or The Purloined Letter. One of those two.

I'm going back to the Astir Palace now. The heat of the day is passing, and afternoon sun looks good on the barrel of a machine gun.

Charlie Skelton will be filing regular updates from Athens until he is arrested by shadowy figures in dark glasses

Bilderberg: One mention of Sylvester McCoy and it all kicks off

May 13, 2009

Charlie Skelton is menaced by police with guns (and mirrors on sticks) in his third dispatch from (near) the Bilderberg summit of the global elite

You know your day's gone badly when it ends with you being shouted at in a Greek police station.

It wasn't meant to end this way. I'd gone for a gentle sunset walk, up by the Bilderberg hotel, to relax before the big opening day of the elite globalist shindig, watch Phoebus plunge headlong into the western sea, and (yes) maybe sneak a couple of short-lens pictures of the mounting security.

Opposite the hotel gates I took a casual photo out over the bay, limbering up to swivel round and snap off some naturalistic "armed guard having fag and chatting up policewoman" sort of shots. A plainclothes officer jogged across the road and got in my face.

"No photos."

"Of the sea?"

"Give me your camera."

"I don't understand."


"I've got my Oyster card".


"Driving licence?"

He takes my licence. A group of policemen have sauntered over, and mutter Greekly about the enormous threat to the smooth running of Bilderberg I seem to represent.

"What is this?" asks one of the local militia. He takes my notebook. Opens it at random.

"What are you writing? What here?"

He points to an old 8 Out of 10 Cats joke (well, barely) about what would happen if we had a female Doctor Who. He jabs at it, proof, in black and white, of my status as an agitator. I read it out: "I'm not saying we've already had a female Doctor Who, but Sylvester McCoy put cracks in the glass ceiling."

"Who is this? Syl... Syl..."

"Sylvester McCoy."

"A friend of yours? He is staying here?"

I bite back telling them that Sylvester McCoy is a noted anti-globalist freedom fighter who is here to lead the people's revolt against Bilderberg's liberty-stripping agenda. "It's nothing. Can I have my book back?"

They confer. An imp in my brain tells my hand to reach for my camera and take a photo. Click. Whir. At which point, on a gorgeous May evening on the Athens Riviera, began one of the more stressful hours of my life. Hands went to holsters.




Over came the man with the machine gun. Over came the man with the special mirror-on-a-stick for car bombs. It was the first time in my life, and hopefully the last, that I've been intimidated by a mirror on a stick. They circled round me. One of them, the one in the photo with one hand up and the other on his pistol, kept prodding me in the shoulder, and shouting: "Give the camera! Just give the camera!"

All around me: "Delete! Delete photos!" followed by a lame tug of war for the camera with no great self-belief on either side, which I won. Camera back in pocket.

Then it became: "Get in the car!" Get in the car!" I wasn't about to get in the car. I remember saying: "One of you has a machine gun, you're shouting at me, I don't understand why, I took one photograph, this all seems a bit strange. What's going on here?"

One of the nicer policemen, who looked a bit like the short guy from LA Law, the one married to Jill Eikenberry (note to self, update this reference), took me aside. "Very important people coming. Very important. No photograph. Please get in car, we take details, put in computer, you can go."

I complained, reasonably I think, that they could simply phone my details through to the station, and check that I wasn't wanted on three continents for acts of terror, but they were having none of it. Prod, prod, prod. Eventually I got in the car. I had to.

They drove me to the police station. Other cars followed. At the station, officers gathered from all quarters. They'd sniffed an incident. A dozen of them stood round me. The Greek chorus reached full voice: "Give the camera! Delete photos! You understand?!" I hated my hands for trembling when I wrote down my father's name so they could look me up on "computer". But at least I got a chuckle hearing them try and pronounce Melvyn.

One of the policewomen smiled. "Delete photos and you can go, no trouble." She looked like Christina Aguilera's slightly butch cousin and I fell on her smile with a thirst. Nearly gave her the camera. Understood in a flash the whole good cop, bad cop thing. Kept my camera in my pocket. Smiled back. "I just want you to tell me if I've broken the law, and if so, are you arresting me?" God, I sound like a cliché of a protester. Oh god, I'm a protester. What are my rights here?

"Charge me or release me!" is what I didn't shout. I sat quietly and tried to still my hands in my lap. I smiled at Christina. I was winning.

Suddenly, a "you can go" from the sergeant at the computer. I went. I had my camera. I had my photo. I was free. It was the end of Midnight Express. The Breakfast Club fist in the air. Except that I felt sick and wanted to go to sleep.

I slept. This morning, feeling stronger after a slice of breakfast cake, I think I understand: I was the trouble kicking off. I was the agitation they'd been warned about. Very important people. No mistakes. They were wired, pumped up for confrontation, and my photo had been the spark. It's why they'd blown up in my face. Important people arriving. No fotografia.

And then it struck me: there really ISN'T any fotografia. There's none. Not a single member of the mainstream press. Not a single newshound camera on a tripod. Nothing. Nothing is happening here. Nothing to report.

The limousines have started to arrive. Nothing to report.

They've closed off an entire peninsula. There are roadblocks. Machine guns. Nothing to report.

This is Bilderberg's 57th annual meeting. Nothing to report.

Susan Boyle plucks eyebrows! Finally, something to report.

Charlie Skelton will be filing regular updates from Athens – even though he has been warned and may not be so lucky next time

Our man at Bilderberg: They're watching and following me, I tell you

May 14, 2009

Charlie Skelton is now being followed by the police and still hasn't done much more than eat a club sandwich. Global secret cabals have no sense of humour.

Now I've got too much to report.

I'll talk later about the strange secret circus of limousines, blacked-out windows, sirens, helicopters. No time to relate being detained for a SECOND time, for the crime of being half a mile from the Bilderberg hotel gates trying to take "arty" photographs of limousine wheels as they whisked past. Doing so little wrong that I was doing it while standing next to three policemen who were fine about it. Until the call came through on the radio and the motorbikes and squad cars squealed around me like a bad dream. I'll tell that story later. I have to talk now about what just happened.

But before I begin, please believe me when I say: I haven't gone nuts. I really haven't. Nine times seven is 63 and the capital of Italy is Rome. I know what I know. And I know that I'm being followed. I know because I've just been chatting to the plainclothes policemen I caught following me. As absurd as it sounds, I've just "made my tail".

They're watching me now. REALLY. They're sitting on the wall outside the cafe Oceania or whatever this is called, watching me type this sentence. I asked them in for a coffee but they declined. They laughed sheepishly when I called them Starsky and Hutch. They asked my name. "I told your colleagues. Twice."

They asked again. I told them. I asked back. There was an awkward pause. They're not very good at this. "... ... Nick … … … … and … John."

So there we were, me and my shadows. Nick and John. "We're just walking up and down." That was their cover story, and they didn't bother sticking to it. They simply couldn't resist: "How many days you spend here?" – "Where you from exactly?" – "You staying here alone?" I was laughing. It was too bizarre. "What is your job?"

I told "John" I wrote jokes for television programmes. He almost instantly forgot. It wasn't on the profile he'd just learned, clearly. "So what papers you write for?"

I noticed them in reception after breakfast. Like I'd noticed the similarly dressed, early-30s, bland-looking fellow the night before. He seemed to be staring at me. I turned round and caught him whispering to the receptionist and looking at me. I swear to God. I know this makes me sound like a lunatic, and if it weren't for my chat just now with Starsky and Hutch I might start assuming I've had a touch of the sun. Last night, the phone rang in my hotel room and someone hung up when I answered. The call came from inside the hotel. I assumed it was one of the other reporters ringing the wrong room. Maybe it was.

I'm just remembering now. I had a shorter than usual breakfast this morning. I came out. "Nick" was alone in the lobby. He was on his mobile. I trotted upstairs to my room. Down the stairs comes "John", also on his phone. I'm slotting together memories now, as I type. I haven't gone mad. This is happening.

Was he in my room? They knew I was in breakfast. This is crazy.

Here's what happened next: I headed out of the hotel with my laptop. And I thought to myself: you know what, if they're REALLY cops, they'll follow me. So I stopped, turned round, and waited. Ten seconds. I felt an idiot, standing there, waiting for an imaginary policeman to follow me out. Fifteen seconds. Eureka! Out comes "John" on his mobile phone. He looks confused to see me standing there and crosses the road. I sit down on a wall. He dawdles by a lamppost. I get up, walk to the seafront, turn left, walk a bit, cross the road (gives me a chance to look both ways – and yes, there's "John").

I walk into the far entrance of the cafe. I'm in an episode of The Wire. The cafe is long and thin. I double back on myself and stand, hidden, by the earlier entrance. I'm standing behind a shrub, clutching a laptop to my chest, my heart beating like a Phil Collins solo (on drums, not piano).

I'm just an ordinary guy. A concerned citizen. For this week at least, a blogger. Barely a reporter. A terrible photographer. No threat to anyone. I'm nobody. But just up the hill, in a luxury hotel, there's a meeting of the most powerful somebodies in the world. Bilderberg. I've been hauled off to the police station twice. Before this week, I've never had so much as a cross word with a policeman IN MY LIFE. I once drove at night with my lights off and was pulled over and told not to drive like an idiot. And that's it. I'm not a bad person. I don't even know what I am any more. I think I write jokes for a living. I think maybe I used to. I'm a man clutching a laptop to his chest, trying to breathe quietly. Ten seconds. Fifteen. "John" comes round the shrub and steps back, bewildered.


"I'm no threat, you know that, don't you?"

Poor "John". I felt sorry for him. He wasn't very good at this. I'm not the smartest shoe in the window but it took me all of four minutes to blow his cover.

They didn't want to come for coffee. I asked them to take my photo. They did. I took one of them. "No fotografia! Show me the camera!" Poor "Nick", he was in a real bind. He couldn't remember if he was a policeman or not.

They seem nice, mostly, the police who have been harassing me for standing around and taking bad photos with a cheap digital camera. Yesterday, I got chatting with one of the motorcycle cops before I was bundled off in the squad car. I told him that I hoped tomorrow there would be protests here – not riots, but protests. He agreed. "It would be nice to hear another voice," he said, sadly. A big man in leathers, caught up in something far bigger. "But today I have to do my job. This is not a good situation."

This is not a good situation. It would be nice to hear another voice.

I'm going to pay for my coffee now and head back to the hotel. Just the three of me.

Charlie Skelton will continue to file regular updates from Athens because it seems safer that way

Our man at Bilderberg: I'm ready to lose control, but they're not

May 14, 2009

Charlie Skelton feels a sudden need to apologise for the trouble he's caused, swiftly followed by a rush of revolutionary rage against the powers that be being so, well, powerful

I want to talk about Bilderberg 2009. But beyond a simple "yes, it's happening, it's real, the leaders of the world are hanging out here for the weekend", what can I say? It's a private meeting.

I don't know if they're discussing global financial unification or the season finale of Grey's Anatomy over their prawn cocktails. I don't even know what the vegetarian option is for starters. Butternut squash?

You're going to have to forgive me for speculating, but that's all I can do. I'm not a proper reporter. I don't have the foggiest of my rights (if any) to stand on public footpaths and point cameras. I don't even have a proper camera. But what I do have is this: a sense of something rotten in the state of Greece. To my nose, there's not a healthy smell wafting down from the Astir Palace. Or maybe that was the egg and pepper roll I had for breakfast.

Sorry if some of these speculations are wrongheaded, but I'm doing a lot of this thinking for the first time and I've only just shaken off my police escort. Sorry if I sound shrill or petulant, self-righteous or precious, sorry if my perceptions have been tilted by anger … sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry for bothering you Mr Bilderberg. I've spent the last three days apologising to everyone. Sorry to the staff at my hotel for having plainclothes officers loafing around in their lobby. Sorry to the plainclothes officers themselves for having to drag them around Vougliameni on a wild goose chase (I bought them some chilled water, and took it to them while they shuffled awkwardly behind a tree). Sorry then to the desk sergeant for bothering her with my predicament: "I'm being followed around like a criminal, I wonder if you wouldn't mind asking them to stop? I'm not doing anything wrong, and it's getting … well … a bit annoying."

I'm going to stop apologising now. I'm going to try and make sense of my experiences. It's not easy; I don't want to sound feeble-minded, but this has been a lot to take in. I feel a bit like I've driven down the wrong alley and suddenly don't recognise anything, and people are staring at me and not simply to admire my hair. I'm jumpy. I think someone has been in my room and moved my laptop. I know this sounds bonkers, I know it does, but I took a photo of it before I left the room and it wasn't where I left it.

Listen to me. I sound like a fruitcake. Three days and I've been turned into a suspect, a troublemaker, unwanted, ill at ease, tired and a bit afraid. And I haven't even walked up the road to the Bilderberg hotel since the whole "get in the car!" incident. I've been trying to stay out of trouble, but trouble has followed me down the hill.

So – to make sense of it. I'm going to begin here: with the face of the first Bilderberg delgate I saw in the flesh. I was trying, lamely, to get a snap of some delegates as they swooshed through Vougliameni in their mirrored limos with their plainclothes motorcycle outriders and police escorts. And one of them had their window open. I was so excited I forgot to bring the camera to my face and took a photo of the hubcap. What I saw I won't forget. It was a 40-something man with his head thrown back, laughing and laughing, the perfect photograph that only my retina will ever see.

And you know what: no wonder he was happy. It must be WAY COOL to be sirened through Greek streets in the back of bulletproof limo on your way to the COOLEST party in the world. You've been invited by the coolest of the cool kids to hang out for the weekend. Your cool cousin's über-cool older brother and his way cool friends have got a keg of beer and a pool in the yard, and their parents are away and you think Jessica might be going. THIS IS THE BEST PARTY EVER! Turn on the sirens! We're coming through! Woohoo!

And your life is already pretty cool. You already own a newspaper or head a thinktank, or you're the UK secretary of state for business, enterprise and regulatory reform, or you run Fiat, or you're chairman of the Federal Reserve or Queen of the Netherlands, or president of Shell Oil. You run stuff. You have big ideas. You're in control, and control is fun.

Bilderberg is all about control. It's about "what shall we do next?" We run lots of stuff already, how about we run some more? How about we make it easier to run stuff? More efficient. Efficiency is good. It would be so much easier with a single bank, a single currency, a single market, a single government. How about a single army? That would be pretty cool. We wouldn't have any wars then. This prawn cocktail is GOOD. How about a single way of thinking? How about a controlled internet?

How about not.

I am so unbelievably backteeth sick of power being flexed by the few. I've had it flexed in my face for three days, and it's up my nose like a wasp. I don't care whether the Bilderberg Group is planning to save the world or shove it in a blender and drink the juice, I don't think politics should be done like this. This might be a facile point, but if they were organising a charity snooker league, they could do it upstairs at Starbucks. If they were trying to cure cancer they could do it with the lights on. Innocent thoughts can be minuted.

Or maybe they're simply swingers. Maybe that's why the curtains are drawn. Imagine chucking your key in the tub and pulling out Ken Clarke. Sorry Timothy Geithner, that's the cost of doing business.

I have a confession. (I'm not a swinger, that's not it.) My confession is that being tailed today by Greek special branch, and doubling back through a cafe and catching them out, and buying them chilled water on a hot day like in Beverley Hills Cop, when Eddie Murphy has room service sent to their car – all this was pretty exciting. It's was my own little episode of the Equaliser. (The Greequaliser? No, really no, I'm tired). Being tailed was exciting and funny and absurd and confusing and terrifying and utterly, utterly wrong. And I know this sounds pathetic but I got a bit teary in the police station when I was telling the nice desk sergeant lady that I'm not a bad person and not a threat to anyone, and it would be nice if someone could call off the goons. I don't like to be made to feel like this. I've been "put" in this position, and I haven't deserved it.

Bilderberg is about positions of control. I get within half a mile of it, and suddenly I'm one of the controlled. I'm followed, watched, logged, detained, detained again. I'd been put in that position by the "power" that was up the road.

Likewise, the Bilderberg delegates occupy a position of power over the bobbing ignorance of the people patting beach balls in the sea, and me with my crappy little camera and my curiosity and my ill-formed sense of citizenship. I may not be very good at bearing witness here, but I'm doing my best. I haven't shinned over the fence and shoved a camera in David Rockefeller's face but I don't want to be shot in the forehead.

A final thought for the day. In the fable, the men may have been blind but they did at least get to grope the elephant before trying to describe it. Now shove that elephant in the back of a blacked-out Mercedes S600, whisk it off into a luxury Greek resort, circle it with heavily armed guards and helicopters, hand it a Martini, and pay the local police to harass, detain and follow anyone showing even the slightest interest of grabbing a flank. That, my friend, is the beast that is Bilderberg 2009.

Thanks to Charlie Skelton and The Guardian for covering this issue. Copyright remains with the aforementioned.

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