The Secretive Bilderberg 2013 Meeting in Watford, England.

Taking a little break from my travel countdown, today I am going to be writing on an extraordinary meeting taking place just a mile or so from my home in The Grove Hotel, just outside Watford, England.

For several day a mix of Western politicians, bank bosses, corporate billionaires, chief executives and European royalty are meeting in private at one of the worlds most exclusive hotels to discuss…. well that is the problem. It is totally secret as all meetings of the Bilderberg group have been since its inception decades ago.

The Grove Hotel

The Grove Hotel, Watford.

It is said that this mix of rich and powerful elite discuss the events in the world and some have even suggested that the current democratic systems are just a sham and that the real decisions are being made right now, hidden away with no witnesses or records being made of what is discussed.

It would be naïve to think that politicians don’t always meet with people even more corrupt than they are. It is simply the scale of this event that is astonishing. Will the British government grill Amazon and Google CEO’s over tax evasion or for the sake of some positive advertising will it all be swept under the carpet? We won’t ever know and we’re not meant to know. Wondering whether Israel is going to attack Iran next year? According to some, the decision isn’t even Israel’s to make, at least not their democratic government.

Of course everyone is allowed to meet with and discuss things with whomever they wish but as leaders of supposedly democratic countries or leaders of companies with shares public owned on the stock exchange, surely there is some need to state what is being discussed?

Meanwhile, people like myself are banned from approaching the hotel or its huge grounds. The footpath I regularly walk along by the canal is blocked off. Police motorbikes are scattered in hedgerows around the countryside and a giant wall has been constructed to keep people away. In fact local residents have been told to carry ID with them when going about their everyday business. Everyone in the U.K. is very proud that we don’t ever have to carry I.D., passports or driving licences and yet for the first time since WW2, people are being interrogated and stopped from doing such simple things as driving to their friends or walking a dog.

Police Corden

Police Cordon on the roads approaching The Grove Hotel.

A request under the Freedom of Information Act to George Osborne the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) as to why he was attending the meeting and what it was for took two years to be answered and after all that it was declared that no information could be given as would harm national security.

What’s more, all of this is being paid for out of the taxes of the people of Hertfordshire (the county of which Watford is in). You might think that with countless billions of pounds being represented at the Bilderberg 2013 meeting they could pay for it themselves. Instead, people who are unemployed like myself, largely due to greedy banks, corrupt CEO’s are being paid for it.

As an example the company that I used to work for started going downhill when our CEO friend and financial backer to Barack Obama allegedly stole company money leaving hundreds jobless only to shoot himself dead and escape justice. So some dodgy rich, friend of the American President ruined the lives of over 100 innocent people in London. Of course there may be people in Chicago that have had their lives ruined by a friend of David Cameron but my point is, none of my friends have ever stolen millions or even dozens of pounds. If you can judge someone by their friends then that doesn’t say much about Obama as a person or at least what it does say is that he has a poor judgement in people. There is no reason t think he is better or worse than other world leaders in politics or business.

When democratic countries like Britain and America spy on their own and each others citizens just on the off-chance one of them might commit a crime, something is wrong. When people are murdered by drone attacks on suspicion they might be a terrorist or even might one day become a terrorist, something is wrong. Whatever happened to the primacy of law, trials, justice and clarity of government. Isn’t that what sets us apart from terrorists? Isn’t openness in government what is meant to differentiate us from Russia, China or Saudi Arabia?

All this of course comes at a time when shady activity is increasingly causing concern worldwide. In many countries of the world, notably in the U.K. tax evasion by Apple, Amazon, Vodafone and many others increasingly causes outrage.


Is it acceptable for the American government to spy on foreign citizens in their own countries? Probably not if the reaction of their supremo James Clapper is anything to go by.

This follows the American NSA coming under fire for hoarding the telephone details of the American general public and yesterday the revelation in the British newspaper, The Guardian, that the CIA have access to the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple with the intent on spying on foreign citizens in even friendly countries like Britain. It should be noted that some of these companies have stated they did not willingly support this action but the furious response from Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, demonstrates both what a sore point it is and also how underhand they are being also.


Illustration of when corporate organisations started granting governmental access to private and confidential information.

Britains GCHQ in Cheltenham is undertaking similar actions and it is likely the only people who truly know what the scale of these underhand activities are is China who are currently spying and stealing commercial and industrial secrets around the world.

Conveniently for the government, whilst it requires special dispensation for the authorities to open an old-fashioned letter, no such law is required to snoop in on confidential emails and the government isn’t in a hurry to bring in legislation that covers this “new”technology which I was using over 20 years ago. On the other hand, what do people expect? Are the people who are complaining honestly surprised that this isn’t going on? I’m not

With so much wrong with the world at the moment, if these people are actually doing something good, shouldn’t we know about it? If you had 200 people assembled in a street, the police would probably break up the crowd. If you had 200 bearded Muslims meeting together, they would probably be arrested and put in jail without trial for a decade. Have the heads of government, banks and multi-nationals every done anything good that gives us reason not to worry about what’s going?In my experience, whenever organisations or governments want to do something genuinely good such as ending disease or famine in Africa, they don’t seem to be able to go public enough. At all other times, it seems they are in it for themselves and the easiest way for them to stay in control and get even richer is by keeping everyone else in the dark.

However, it is possible that change is on the horizon. Some attendees at the 2013, sick of all the complaints have expressed a desire to be more open about their agenda and for the first time ever, an apparently full listing of attendees for this years meeting has been released as shown below.


Castries, Henri de (chairman) Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
Ackermann, Josef Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd
Agius, Marcus Former Chairman, Barclays plc
Alexander, Helen Chairman, UBM plc
Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore Partners
Apunen, Matti Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
Athey, Susan Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Aydıntaşbaş, Aslı Columnist, Milliyet Newspaper
Babacan, Ali Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs
Balls, Edward M. Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA
Barré, Nicolas Managing Editor, Les Echos
Barroso, José M. Durão President, European Commission
Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Bavinchove, Olivier de Commander, Eurocorps
Bell, John Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford
Bernabè, Franco Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
Bezos, Jeff Founder and CEO,
Bildt, Carl Minister for Foreign Affairs
Borg, Anders Minister for Finance
Boxmeer, Jean François van Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Heineken N.V.
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
Bronner, Oscar Publisher, Der Standard Medienwelt
Carrington, Peter Former Honorary Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
Cebrián, Juan Luis Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
Clark, W. Edmund President and CEO, TD Bank Group
Clarke, Kenneth Member of Parliament
Corydon, Bjarne Minister of Finance
Cowper-Coles, Sherard Business Development Director, International, BAE Systems plc
Cucchiani, Enrico Tommaso CEO, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA
Davignon, Etienne Minister of State; Former Chairman, Bilderberg Meetings
Davis, Ian Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
Dijkgraaf, Robbert H. Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study
Dinçer, Haluk President, Retail and Insurance Group, Sabancı Holding A.S.
Dudley, Robert Group Chief Executive, BP plc
Eberstadt, Nicholas N. Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
Eide, Espen Barth Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ekholm, Börje President and CEO, Investor AB
Enders, Thomas CEO, EADS
Evans, J. Michael Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.
Federspiel, Ulrik Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S
Feldstein, Martin S. Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
Fillon, François Former Prime Minister
Fishman, Mark C. President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Flint, Douglas J. Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
Gallagher, Paul Senior Counsel
Geithner, Timothy F. Former Secretary of the Treasury
Gfoeller, Michael Political Consultant
Graham, Donald E. Chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company
Grillo, Ulrich CEO, Grillo-Werke AG
Gruber, Lilli Journalist – Anchorwoman, La 7 TV
Guindos, Luis de Minister of Economy and Competitiveness
Gulliver, Stuart Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings plc
Gutzwiller, Felix Member of the Swiss Council of States
Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University
Heinonen, Olli Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Henry, Simon CFO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
Hermelin, Paul Chairman and CEO, Capgemini Group
Isla, Pablo Chairman and CEO, Inditex Group
Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard
Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
Jordan, Thomas J. Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank
Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
Kaplan, Robert D. Chief Geopolitical Analyst, Stratfor
Karp, Alex Founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies
Kerr, John Independent Member, House of Lords
Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
Knot, Klaas H.W. President, De Nederlandsche Bank
Koç, Mustafa V. Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
Koch, Roland CEO, Bilfinger SE
Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
Kudelski, André Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
Kyriacopoulos, Ulysses Chairman, S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.
Lagarde, Christine Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Lauk, Kurt J. Chairman of the Economic Council to the CDU, Berlin
Lessig, Lawrence Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School
Leysen, Thomas Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
Lindner, Christian Party Leader, Free Democratic Party (FDP NRW)
Löfven, Stefan Party Leader, Social Democratic Party (SAP)
Löscher, Peter President and CEO, Siemens AG
Mandelson, Peter Chairman, Global Counsel; Chairman, Lazard International
Mathews, Jessica T. President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
McKenna, Frank Chair, Brookfield Asset Management
Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
Montbrial, Thierry de President, French Institute for International Relations
Monti, Mario Former Prime Minister
Mundie, Craig J. Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
Nagel, Alberto CEO, Mediobanca
Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of The
Ng, Andrew Y. Co-Founder, Coursera
Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc
Omand, David Visiting Professor, King’s College London
Osborne, George Chancellor of the Exchequer
Ottolenghi, Emanuele Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Özel, Soli Senior Lecturer, Kadir Has University; Columnist, Habertürk Newspaper
Papahelas, Alexis Executive Editor, Kathimerini Newspaper
Pavey, Şafak Member of Parliament (CHP)
Pécresse, Valérie Member of Parliament (UMP)
Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Petraeus, David H. General, U.S. Army (Retired)
Portas, Paulo Minister of State and Foreign Affairs
Prichard, J. Robert S. Chair, Torys LLP
Reding, Viviane Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, European Commission
Reisman, Heather M. CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
Rey, Hélène Professor of Economics, London Business School
Robertson, Simon Partner, Robertson Robey Associates LLP; Deputy Chairman, HSBC Holdings
Rocca, Gianfelice Chairman,Techint Group
Rostowski, Jacek Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister
Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Secretary of the Treasury
Rutte, Mark Prime Minister
Schieder, Andreas State Secretary of Finance
Schmidt, Eric E. Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
Scholten, Rudolf Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
Seguro, António José Secretary General, Socialist Party
Senard, Jean-Dominique CEO, Michelin Group
Skogen Lund, Kristin Director General, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise
Slaughter, Anne-Marie Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton
Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International
Taylor, Martin Former Chairman, Syngenta AG
Thiam, Tidjane Group CEO, Prudential plc
Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital
Thompson, Craig B. President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Topsøe, Jakob Haldor Partner, AMBROX Capital A/S
Urpilainen, Jutta Minister of Finance
Vasella, Daniel L. Honorary Chairman, Novartis AG
Voser, Peter R. CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
Wall, Brad Premier of Saskatchewan
Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
Warsh, Kevin Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Weston, Galen G. Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited
Williams of Crosby, Shirley Member, House of Lords
Wolf, Martin H. Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company
Wright, David Vice Chairman, Barclays plc
Zoellick, Robert B. Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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24 Responses to The Secretive Bilderberg 2013 Meeting in Watford, England.

  1. Steve Morris says:

    Don’t worry. If Ed Balls and George Osborne are both going, the meeting won’t be able to agree on anything at all.


  2. That is an amazing list. Peter Carrington?!! I didn’t know he was still alive. Kenneth Clarke and Shirley Williams? Peter Mandelson? Ex-Queen and now Princess Beatrix? Bankers, media, global companies, medical/bio companies. Wow. In fact double wow.

    As for local people paying for it out of business rates/council tax, I just don’t get that. Is it true?

    Can I reblog or quote some of this? obv with credits, links? I don’t know whether I will as I am on a different roll at the moment, (GMOs and pesticides over on Clouds), but if I do want to write about global manipulation, this would be a great link.

    Excellent post Stephen.


    • I didn’t know about Peter Carrington, I hadn’t heard of him since The Falklands and he wasn’t looking that young then!

      At the moment yes it is true that we are paying for it though the elected Mayor of Watford is asking for Westminster to pay for it.

      Of course you are very welcome to re blog it in whole or use parts in your article. I am glad that you liked it.


  3. yarrpirate says:

    Interesting is the amount of Turkish people there, not quite Erdogan of course, being rather too conservative and loudmouthed, in what is essentially a club of Scandinavians, Germans and Anglosaxons. Surprising that no-one from the Nazi-loving IKEA family are there…too obvious probably, but David Petreus? Not quite disgraced everywhere i see.
    ID checks – pathetic, even more pathetic as not one of these people are even remotely interesting to most -despite their accrued cronyism, but it is all part of the masquerade of self-importance these people have.
    It is important for them to keep apart from the masses. Too many bankers, too many people with agendas for my liking. These are the same people who were involved in P2 and Operation Gladio.


    • Yes it is surprising there aren’t any Nazi sympathisers. You’d expect they would relish this sort of meeting.

      Erdogan seems more of a hands on person and prefers to oppress people more openly than the others.


      • yarrpirate says:

        Oh I bet one or two of the Swedes, Finns and Germans there have certain sympathies…! Erdogan is a bore, isn’t he! For a man who was setting himself up to be big man in middle east town he is rather stumbling around, or maybe he’s relishing the chance to show how he can be ‘powerful’ – he’s only getting away with it because he manage to catch the army out and get them jailed, but to be honest I think he likes this opportunity to install fear into his populace – most journalists in jail – Turkey, more than any other country. Thinks he’s in the USA/Saudi Arabia club. Probably is.


  4. wilsoi00 says:

    Oh dear, what happened to your balanced views in this post Stephen? I can see your point of view but its leaning slightly towards the conspiratorial and angry side.


  5. Greg Ward says:

    Great post, I share your frustrations. It is so easy to become demoralized and even conspiratorial about meetings like this. But I love that your humor comes through intact – we should find that guy in Chicago whose life was ruined by David Cameron!


    • The guy in Chicago is probably banging his head against the wall thinking, that guy in London may have had a hard time but at least he can shout abuse at the idiots that ruined his life!


  6. Trapper Gale says:

    Interesting and thought provoking piece. Government intrusion in life has become quite… Orwellian, hasn’t it?


  7. It’s so secretive a meeting I didn’t even know about it.

    I think it’s easy to become wound up in conspiracy theories but it doesn’t concern me. Yeah, I’m curious about the meeting but I do believe them when they say it’s for security reasons. I also believe it’s none of my business. I’m alive. Meh. If I concerned myself with what those at the meeting were up to, I probably wouldn’t be alive for much longer. Better to keep my nose out, really.


  8. alonaferber says:

    Where did the list come from?


  9. It’s good that we’ve got a list, at least. I, and many others, can start badgering participants with questions about this unnervingly secretive club of theirs…


  10. Boyer Writes says:

    I love your thoughts about being interrogated because of your blogging. We, here in the USA, wonder whose “black list” or email list we may now be a part of. For now, however, we will continue with the free speech we have left…and pray for freedom’s heavenly light to keep shining while we blog.
    The blog I just did was on the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania….destroyed by the Soviets when they invaded and the people just kept going back at night and replacing the crosses that were removed. Unfortunately, we do not have the cover of darkness to protect us.
    Blog on, my friend.


  11. Excellent post, I’ve reblogged it if you don’t mind.


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