I just wanted to find out your thoughts about this year's Bilderberg meeting, what implications you believe it has for democracy, whether the meetings, considering the attendance of public officials, should publish its minutes and be open about its agenda, and so on.
Its great to see that the group itself has become somewhat more transparent in recent years; it has an official website and has published its list of participants for this year.
From the UK, it includes Marcus Agius (Chairman of Barclays), Ken Clarke MP, Robert Dudley (Chairman of BP), Douglas Flint (Chairman of HSBC), Lord Kerr (former deputy Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, HL crossbencher), Peter Mandelson, John Micklethwait (Editor of the Economist), Peter Voser (Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell) and Nick Boles MP.
Also many other chairmen, CEOs, billionaires, philanthropists and elected politicians, including the chairmen of most large investment and commercial banks like Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs etc
What do you think about it? What implications does it have for public policy and transparent, democratic governance?
Edit: I don't think that elected US officials are supposed to attend due to the restrictions of the Logan Act, which governs the conduct of US officials when they act in a way that could be construed as carrying on a foreign policy role
Last edited by TieMeUp; 01-06-2012 at 14:32.
I thought I'd also point out, I do think it's quite significant when you have security officials like the director of the National Security Agency and Commander of US Cyber Command, Keith Alexander, meeting with tech CEOs like the chairmen of Google and LinkedIn. Clearly policy related questions are being discussed, with important implications for the freedom of the internet and civil liberties, and I do think it's simply unacceptable for public officials to meet in this way without disclosing what they have discussed and why.
Also, for UK/EU citizens, the attendance of Pierre Vimont, the Executive Director of the European External Action Service (a kind of diplomatic and security co-ordination service) certainly has policy implications for EU citizens.
Last edited by TieMeUp; 01-06-2012 at 03:49.
I'm wondering how, if true, that would diminish the argument that they should be required to account for what they're up to? People like Ken Clarke, Nick Boles and Pierre Vimont, are paid by us; they are our employees and servants.
(Original post by Kolya)
How many elected officials are there? Something like four or five?...
If they're engaging in discussions relating to public policy, they should be accounting for it publicly. I'm not sure how the number attending affects the general principle?
And for those companies which are publicly held (like HSBC and Barclays), there is also a degree of responsibility to disclose the substance and outcome of a meeting that is as important as this.
Btw, it is far in excess of five; just from the UK, there were approximately equal numbers of politicians and business figures
Last edited by TieMeUp; 01-06-2012 at 14:36.
Why would a meeting of some of the world's most powerful people not be newsworthy?
What do you think a meeting of top heads of financial, state, media, and other power structures are discussing?
There are leading representatives of government there (for UK this year there is Kenneth Clark, last year it was George Osborne) and top bankers, industrialist and CEOs. I don't think that there are meetings as big as this meeting anywhere else. "The ability to talk off the record" aka 'let's not allow things like democratic accountability get in the way of what we want to do'.
It is made even worse by the inclusion of our publicly elected representatives. They are supposed to represent us, the people who voted for them and pay their salary. When they lock themselves in a room for a week with wealthy vested interests and media moguls, choose not tell us what they're talking about and shroud even the existence of the meeting in secrecy it's hard to believe that the conversation is in the best interest of us. Conflict of interest; transparency; accountability... take your pick.
Last edited by Organ; 07-06-2012 at 12:01.