Finnegan's Take

The Bilderberg Group is firmly locked into a 20th Century mindset – one that ignores China and a changing world

Stephen Gardner has an interesting post on his EU Observer blog about the Bilderberg Group – the shady Masters of the Universe which apparently run the world for their own amusement.

The group includes politicians and industry leaders (as well as a few journalists) who gather for a faux-secret meeting once a year to decide how next to ruin the world. Or say say its detractors. Oh, and they want a New World Order with a single currency and government.

Conspiracy theories aside, the Bilderberg group is a bit of a post-word relic, designed for a time when US & European business had the world to themselves.

It’s becoming increasingly irrelevant these days in light of China’s rise. Not to mention Brazil & India.

The Trilateral Commission is a similar group – made up of US, European and Japanese big-wigs – which at least has an Asian dimension, but it too looks a bit dated.

[Incidentally, leading lights in the TC often pop up at Bilderberg meetings. For example: former Commissioner Peter Sutherland (currently chair of Goldman Sachs & BP – and so a hugely popular chap) chairs the European wing of the Trilateral Commission and is on the Bilderberg steering committee.]

Commissioners and ex-Commissioners are well represented at the Bilderberg Group, but serious star quality is lacking. There were times when Clinton and Blair were said to have turned up but those days have passed.

As Stephen Gardner points out, the VIP list is now rather second rate. Big hitters (Obama, Barroso, Merkel etc.) probably don’t want the negative publicity that comes with the Bilderberg group now. Soon it’ll just be a bunch of washed-up politicians yapping with burned-out tycoons while the real stuff happens elsewhere. By phone, probably.

Incidentally, two journalists from The Economist are listed as ‘rapporteurs’ and its Editor-in-Chief is among the participants. It was a similiar story last year. The Economist is effectively the unofficial media partner of the Bilderberg Group. They are embedded in a fading clique of second-rate leaders.

Nothing terribly surprising about all this, I suppose, but The Economist would do well to treat China in the same way as it covers US/EU affairs. Beijing is still the disruptive newcomer who doesn’t understand our rules, apparently.

All who stick with that mindset – politicians, business leaders and media – will look increasingly behind the times in the coming decade.

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