Don’t tell anyone, don’t breathe a word, but the world’s most powerful men are meeting secretly again to save the planet from economic catastrophe. Oh, and their address, should you want to send them your opinions, is: c/o Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel, Apollonos Avenue 40, 16671 Vouliagmeni, Greece.
Bed space is a bit tight there for the next two days while the Bilderberg illuminati hold their private conclave in the five-star Greek hotel. Every year since 1954 a club of about 130 senior or up-and-coming politicians gather at the fireside of a secluded hotel with top bankers and a sprinkling of royalty to discuss burning issues, to trade confidences and just stay abreast of the I-know-something-you-don’t-know circuit. No lists of participants are disclosed, no press conferences are held; spill the beans and you’re out of the magic circle.
For those of us standing outside the locked gates all that is left is to hope that they will sleep well, avoid jet ski injury and solve our problems for us. For the Bilderbergers it is a little like that recent MI5 recruitment ad: “See all your best work go unnoticed!”
Each country delegates two people to the steering committee that is the intellectual hub of Bilderberg. In the past Kenneth Clarke, the Shadow Business Secretary, and Martin Taylor, formerly head of Barclays Bank, have had their hand on the British tiller.
This year the club is going to talk about depression. “According to the pre-meeting booklet sent out to attendees, Bilderberg is looking at two options,” says the Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin — “either a prolonged, agonising depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty — or an intense but shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”
Since Bilderberg does not officially exist, it cannot deny anything and is therefore manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorist. Eurosceptics are convinced that the future development of the European Union was plotted here — EU commissioners have always been welcomed into the coven, with Peter “We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich” Mandelson a particular favourite. Margaret Thatcher, it is said, was a shy debutante at a Bilderberg meeting in 1975.