Tag Archives: Bilderberg

Bilderberg 2011

Wondering where real decisions are made? This is a list of attendees at this year’s Bilderberg Conference.

The conference is held annually with about 140 participants. This year the conference was on 11th June at the Suvretta hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

If you scroll down the list, you will see familiar names. The Great Britain delegates’ list is particularly interesting. George Osborne was an attendee for a few years before he became Chancellor.

The list  is incomplete because certain delegates requested anonymity.

Belgium
· Coene, Luc, Governor, National Bank of Belgium
· Davignon, Etienne, Minister of State
· Leysen, Thomas, Chairman, Umicore

China
· Fu, Ying, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
· Huang, Yiping, Professor of Economics, China Center for Economic Research, Peking University

Denmark
· Eldrup, Anders, CEO, DONG Energy
· Federspiel, Ulrik, Vice President, Global Affairs, Haldor Topsøe A/S
· Schütze, Peter, Member of the Executive Management, Nordea Bank AB

Germany
· Ackermann, Josef, Chairman of the Management Board, Deutsche Bank
· Enders, Thomas, CEO, Airbus SAS
· Löscher, Peter, President and CEO, Siemens AG
· Nass, Matthias, Chief International Correspondent, Die Zeit
· Steinbrück, Peer, Member of the Bundestag; Former Minister of Finance

Finland
· Apunen, Matti, Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
· Johansson, Ole, Chairman, Confederation of the Finnish Industries EK
· Ollila, Jorma, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
· Pentikäinen, Mikael, Publisher and Senior Editor-in-Chief, Helsingin Sanomat

France
· Baverez, Nicolas, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
· Bazire, Nicolas, Managing Director, Groupe Arnault /LVMH
· Castries, Henri de, Chairman and CEO, AXA
· Lévy, Maurice, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe S.A.
· Montbrial, Thierry de, President, French Institute for International Relations
· Roy, Olivier, Professor of Social and Political Theory, EUI

Great Britain
· Agius, Marcus, Chairman, Barclays PLC
· Flint, Douglas J., Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings
· Kerr, John, Member, House of Lords; Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
· Lambert, Richard, Independent Non-Executive Director, Ernst & Young
· Mandelson, Peter, Member, House of Lords; Chairman, Global Counsel
· Micklethwait, John, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
· Osborne, George, Chancellor of the Exchequer
· Stewart, Rory, Member of Parliament
· Taylor, J. Martin, Chairman, Syngenta International AG

Greece
· David, George A., Chairman, Coca-Cola H.B.C. S.A.
· Hardouvelis, Gikas A., Chief Economist, Eurobank EFG
· Papaconstantinou, George, Minister of Finance
· Tsoukalis, Loukas, President, ELIAMEP Grisons

International Organizations
· Almunia, Joaquín, Vice President, European Commission
· Daele, Frans van, Chief of Staff to the President of the European Council
· Kroes, Neelie, Vice President, European Commission
· Lamy, Pascal, Director General, World Trade Organization
· Rompuy, Herman van, President, European Council
· Sheeran, Josette, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme
· Solana Madariaga, Javier, President, ESADE
· Trichet, Jean-Claude, President, European Central Bank
· Zoellick, Robert B., President, The World Bank Group

Ireland
· Gallagher, Paul, Senior Counsel; Former Attorney General
· McDowell, Michael, Senior Counsel, Law Library; Former Dep. P.M
· Sutherland, Peter D., Chairman, Goldman Sachs International

Italy
· Bernabè, Franco, CEO, Telecom Italia SpA
· Elkann, John, Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
· Monti, Mario, President, Univers Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
· Scaroni, Paolo, CEO, Eni S.p.A.
· Tremonti, Giulio, Minister of Economy and Finance

Canada
· Carney, Mark J., Governor, Bank of Canada
· Clark, Edmund, President and CEO, TD Bank Financial Group
· McKenna, Frank, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group
· Orbinksi, James, Professor of Medicine and Political Science, University of Toronto
· Prichard, J. Robert S., Chair, Torys LLP
· Reisman, Heather, Chair and CEO, Brookings Institution

Netherlands
· Bolland, Marc J., Chief Executive, Marks and Spencer Group plc
· Chavannes, Marc E., Political Columnist,Professor of Journalism
· Halberstadt, Victor, Professor of Economics, Leiden University
· H.M. the Queen of the Netherlands
· Rosenthal, Uri, Minister of Foreign Affairs
· Winter, Jaap W., Partner, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Norway
· Myklebust, Egil, Former Chairman of the Board of Directors SAS
· H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
· Ottersen, Ole Petter, Rector, University of Oslo
· Solberg, Erna, Leader of the Conservative Party

Austria
· Bronner, Oscar, CEO and Publisher, Standard Medien AG
· Faymann, Werner, Federal Chancellor
· Rothensteiner, Walter, Chairman of the Board, Raiffeisen Zentralbank
· Scholten, Rudolf,Board of Executive Directors, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG

Portugal
· Balsemão, Francisco Pinto, Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, S.G.P.S.
· Ferreira Alves, Clara, CEO, Claref LDA; writer
· Nogueira Leite, António, Member of the Board, José de Mello Investimentos

Sweden
· Mordashov, Alexey A., CEO, Severstal Schweden
· Bildt, Carl, Minister of Foreign Affairs
· Björling, Ewa, Minister for Trade
· Wallenberg, Jacob, Chairman, Investor AB

Switzerland
· Brabeck-Letmathe, Peter, Chairman, Nestlé S.A.
· Groth, Hans, Senior Director, Healthcare Policy & Market Access, Pfizer
· Janom Steiner, Barbara, Head of the Department of Justice
· Kudelski, André, Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group SA
· Leuthard, Doris, Federal Councillor
· Schmid, Martin, President, Government of the Canton Grisons
· Schweiger, Rolf, Ständerat
· Soiron, Rolf, Chairman of the Board, Holcim Ltd., Lonza Ltd.
· Vasella, Daniel L., Chairman, Novartis AG
· Witmer, Jürg, Chairman, Givaudan SA and Clariant AG

Spain
· Cebrián, Juan Luis, CEO, PRISA
· Cospedal, María Dolores de, Secretary General, Partido Popular
· León Gross, Bernardino, Secretary General of the Spanish Presidency
· Nin Génova, Juan María, President and CEO, La Caixa
· H.M. Queen Sofia of Spain

Turkey
· Ciliv, Süreyya, CEO, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S.
· Gülek Domac, Tayyibe, Former Minister of State
· Koç, Mustafa V., Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
· Pekin, Sefika, Founding Partner, Pekin & Bayar Law Firm

USA
· Alexander, Keith B., Commander, USCYBERCOM; Director, NSA
· Altman, Roger C., Chairman, Evercore Partners Inc.
· Bezos, Jeff, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com
· Collins, Timothy C., CEO, Ripplewood Holdings, LLC
· Feldstein, Martin S., George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard
· Hoffman, Reid, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
· Hughes, Chris R., Co-founder, Facebook
· Jacobs, Kenneth M., Chairman & CEO, Lazard
· Johnson, James A., Vice Chairman, Perseus, LLC
· Jordan, Jr., Vernon E., Senior Managing Director, Lazard Frères
· Keane, John M., Senior Partner, SCP Partners; General, US Army, Retired
· Kissinger, Henry A., Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
· Kleinfeld, Klaus, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
· Kravis, Henry R., Co-Chairman and co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis, Roberts & Co.
· Kravis, Marie-Josée, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Inc.
· Li, Cheng, Senior Fellow and Director of Research, Brookings Institution
· Mundie, Craig J., Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation
· Orszag, Peter R., Vice Chairman, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
· Perle, Richard N., Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
· Rockefeller, David, Former Chairman, Chase Manhattan Bank
· Rose, Charlie, Executive Editor and Anchor, Charlie Rose
· Rubin, Robert E., Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations
· Schmidt, Eric, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
· Steinberg, James B., Deputy Secretary of State
· Thiel, Peter A., President, Clarium Capital Management, LLC
· Varney, Christine A., Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust
· Vaupel, James W., Founding Director, Max Planck Institute
· Warsh, Kevin, Former Governor, Federal Reserve Board
· Wolfensohn, James D., Chairman, Wolfensohn & Company

Osborne hacked giving phone!

“Pater?”

There has been some negative publicity for Google and the fact that while they were zooming around the country, photographing, they somehow managed to hack into our unprotected routers and glean personal information from our PCs. A few weeks before, we had the scandal of reporters hacking into mobile phone signals and snooping on private phonecalls made by celebrities and politicians. Here is the transcript of one such conversation:

George: Hello, is that you pater?

Sir Peter: Who is this?

George: It’s George. ….Your son

Sir Peter: Oh, is that you Gideon? How are you?

George: Pater – Please don’t call me that. You know that I prefer “George”.

Sir Peter: OK GEORGE. What can I do for you. What about ” Gidders”. Your chums used to call you that. “George ” sounds a bit common these days.

George: “George” is fine. Funny you should mention that because that’s what I want to ask you about. I can’t ask anyone at the office because they’d laugh at me.

Sir Peter: Well….erm… George….If… it’s about the birds and the bees – I thought that we had that conversation when you were 26.

George: No, Pater. It’s about the working classes.

Sir Peter: What about the working classes.

George: Have I ever actually met one?

Sir Peter: Have you ever met what?

George: A working class? I think that I’d recognise one if I saw one but I’m not quite sure what one is. What exactly is it? Is it a person? For instance is it to do with being poor? Is everyone who earns less than £100,000 a year “working class”? Do they wear caps and suffer from consumption? Where do they gather?

Sir Peter: Forgot to ask you George – what are you up to these days? Still writing jokes for that northern bloke who wrestles with Sebastian Coe? Now what was his name? William? William Bushmill?

George: Hague! It was William Hague!

Sir Peter: I knew it was some sort of whiskey. Hague. That’s right. Wasn’t he Leader?

George: Pater! I’m the Chancellor of the Exchequer!

Sir Peter: (LAUGHTER) Chancellor of the  (SNORT) what? Did you say Exchequer? Do you mean Ken Clarke’s old job. What’s Ken up to these days? He’s a right laugh. He’s working class but he’s managed to do such a good accent that we almost treat him like one of our own. Anyway – what do you mean Chancellor? You did History at university, didn’t you? What is it about history graduates and the Chancellor’s job. You were never good with numbers. Wasn’t that Commie Gordon Brown another History boy?

George: David asked me to do it, so I’m having a go. Didn’t you see me on the television? I wore my best suit and when I finished my speech, Dave and the rest of them patted me on the back and then we went for some fizz cocktails. It was brill!

Sir Peter: That was you, was it? Your hair looked so black. Have you been colouring it Gideon? You naughty boy!

George: It’s George. Fucking GEORGE!

Sir Peter: Calm down, Gideon. What would your mother say if she heard your potty-mouth. You sound SO working class.

George: Working class? Do you really think so? That’s cool.

Sir Peter: What is cool? What’s that mean? Have you been at the Colombian nose powder again. You promised ………Gideon?

George: For fuck’s sake, pater. I’m Chancellor of the fucking Exchequer. I’m an important politician……There’s a big Jag that goes with the job!

Sir Peter: Do you still keep in touch with those Buller Boys? Such a nice crowd. Still having a good time with that nice Nat? Always liked him.

George: Pater…That fucking Rothschild wanker tried to drop me in the shit by grassing me up about a visit to a yacht and trying to bum £50k off his Russian employer. He’s supposed to be an adviser to the Russian but I reckon he’s no more than his fund- bitch. A hedge whore!

Sir Peter: Gideon! I’m afraid that I didn’t understand a word of that. You are definitely sounding common.

George: Really? Thanks, Pater. Our GDP growth is up. 0.8% up.  We’re having a party later but Dave says that we must be careful in case we’re spotted by poor people. Those working classes.

Sir Peter:  GDP? What’s that?

George: Not quite sure, Pater – but I have lots of advisers. Some of them know.

Sir Peter: Why is 0.8% a good thing? It sounds pretty crap to me. 0.8% in a month is only 9.6 per year…..I read that the Chinese managed that is the quarter between July and September

George: Between you and me…it IS crap. But we put the word out that it was going to be much worse and the surprise is keeping everyone happy. Even those zombie  economists. By the way, the 0.8% wasn’t for the month. It was for the quarter between July and September. The same quarter during which the Chinks managed 9.6%. Really crap but we’re getting fed up with blaming those Labour tossers so were making it look as if we did it! The most exciting bit is that Standard and Poors have increased Britain’s credit rating. Reeesult!

Sir Peter: Standard and Poors? Isn’t that a bisquit? Gideon – why don’t you come back and help us with the wallpaper. For the moment we’re doing really well. As you are Chancellor – can we put “By Appointment to the Chancellor” on our van?

George: No pater, you cannot!  I have to go now. The First Secretary to the Treasury is being beaten up again. He gets beaten up more times than an adopted cross-eyed ginger kid. I don’t think you’ve met him. We call him “Beaker”. You know, Beaker from the Muppet Show.

Sir Peter: I really have no idea what you are talking about. You are such a disappointment to your mother. Osborne and Little  is so well-known and yet you go off to Westminster and become Chancellor of the Exchequer when there’s a REAL job waiting for you. Right here.

George: Have to go now, pater. My chauffeur has just turned up and is taking me for a ride.

Sir Peter: You have a chauffeur? Still drinking, eh? You asked about working class. A chauffeur is working class. Talk to him.

George: He’s not working class. He’s quite clever and used to be an existentialist.

Sir Peter: An existentialist chauffeur? How do you work that out? What made him an existentialist?

George: He used to sleep on his sister’s kitchen floor with his  gay boyfriend and claimed Jobseekers Allowance. He helped me with the Spending Review.

Sir Peter: Still mixing with a bad crowd I see, Gideon.

George: There’s nothing wrong with the Bilderbergers. Even Ken Clarke  goes to the meetings. It’s just like Round Table but without the Estate Agents and Dentists.

Sir Peter: I have to go now, Gideon. Your mother needs to go to Homebase. We’ve run out of wallpaper paste and I still have no idea what you’re talking about.

George: Bye pater and love to mummy.

Sir Peter: Goodbye Gideon. Please pass on our good wishes to that Derek Cameron and his friend Sam.

No, George!

“Oooh! Yesss!  That WAS good! I was SO good”

Jobs , jobs, jobs. There is no doubt that the coalition government is gambling on jobs suddenly reappearing Phoenix-like  as the economy awakens from its present inanimateness. Make no mistake, it is no coincidence that the Chancellor’s Statement was delivered towards the end of October. Christmas is on the way. We all tend to spend a little more in the run-up to Christmas and that buys any government a little more time as underlying consumer figures are distorted by the abnormal pre-year-end activity. Traditionally, there is even a small upswing in the employment figures as retailers and producers hire temporary staff.

However, it is still  fair to say that the jobs market has become markedly more difficult over the past few months.

Of course it’s going to get more difficult as the government’s austerity programme to address the country’s debt mountain begins to kick in. How will it affect the economy?  Of course, if there are people losing their jobs or are fearful of losing their jobs, they tend to save more and spend less. That has a very significant impact on final demand which is expected to remain under pressure. All the boarded-up shops in our towns are testament to the continuing downturn in demand for all non-essential goods.

The negative job-market and consumer demand predictions will ensure that economic activity will become even more becalmed than many commentators believe.

UK inflation continues to remain above  near-term projections but the medium-term outlook is for inflationary pressure to fall back. That’s according the Bank of England’s  own quarterly inflation report. Then, it believes that inflation will rise because of the impact of VAT hikes –  because the tax increase will most certainly be passed onto consumers by every retail outlet still in business.  

However because the bank judges the risks to  inflation to be high both on the upside and on the downside and given more general economic concerns, then economic policy, monetary policy and  interest rates in particular will remain where they are for a considerable period of time. It follows therefore that  there won’t be  a huge amount of pressure to unconventional monetary policy either. 

Currently, the Bank of England is showing signs that it believes that it is best not to touch anything – with one notable exception. The only fiscal stimulus that they know. The Easy One. Quantitative Easing.

If you take the view that we might have a double-dip depression, then you are presupposing that we have already  had some sort of recovery. Some of us take the view that although the data shows that the we’ve had a recovery, it is no more than a statistical anomaly associated with the earlier substantial fiscal stimulus enacted globally to try and kick-start economic activity.

If you strip-out that stimulus, the underlying figure is very much more pedestrian and much more in keeping with a prolonged period of very subdued or zero growth. Technically, we appear to be out of recession but actually we are not. That alone is a very good reason to suppoose that the Chancellor’s timing is very wrong.

Of course whether an economy experiences +0.1% or -0.1% growth,  it won’t really really feel like it to the man or woman on the street because  conditions remain remorselessly tough as they have done so several years now. 

Measures such as those outlined by the Chancellor always have consequences. For instance, an increase in petty crime, strikes, absenteeism, a decrease in productivity are just a few. The United Kingdom already has one of the world’s worst shoplifting records. To the year-ending June 2010, retailers lost £4.4billion to theft. That’s well over £12 million per day! That will increase.

It seems that the Coalition government is attempting to clear-up the inherited economic mess  by sapping the very foundations of United Kingdom society. The Welfare State and the Public Sector will be undermined as never before and judging by yesterday’s reaction of the entire Parliamentary Conservative Party, it has all been done with a mixture of social sadism, joy and vain hope. They should remember one thing though – this is a first. This type of extreme “slash and burn” has never before been attempted and could easily plunge our economy into depression.

There are some (Price Waterhouse Coopers among them) who say that there is a real possibility that for every Public Sector job lost, a job will be lost in the Private Sector. That does not bode well for the Chancellor’s hopes for an entrepreneurial upswing in the SME community.

The preening Chancellor’s performance was not for the British public, it was for the international financial community and others. He was showing-off to the IMF, the World Bank, his Bilderberg chums, his family and friends. It was a “Hey, look at me now” curtain-raiser to a potentially short Front Bench career.

His irksome performance during yesterday’s Spending Statement was not a particularly edifying spectacle. The post-“I commend this statement to the House”  backslapping and whooping on such a sombre occasion was sickening.

One suspects that in the months to come, we will see a chastened, more contrite and wiser George Osborne at the Dispatch Box.

George Osborne. Why?

 

You may have heard of the Bilderberg Group or the Bilderberg Conference. It is an annual gathering of 130 influential people from Europe and North America who spend a few days discussing world politics, economics and various cross-border issues.  Heads of State attend the conference as do politicians, bankers, and directors of large businesses such as IBM and Shell. All are established men and women of influence. Reporters are excluded and although confidential minutes are taken, names of participants are excluded.

This has led to various conspiracy theories and rumours that these big-hitters are there as an unofficial world government. For instance, they had an informal dinner meeting in Brussels in November 2009 which was attended by Herman Van Rompuy who was then surprisingly elected President of the European Council. The President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick is a member of Bilderberg as is European Commission Head Jose Manuel Barroso.

There are established British politicians who attend the conferences – people such as Ken Clarke and Peter Mandelson but there is another British attendee who has been invited to the conference since 2006 – a politician with no government experience and certainly no obvious influence – George Osborne, our Shadow Chancellor.

Osborne’s rise has been a great mystery to many, including senior people within the Conservative Party. Yesterday, we looked at David Cameron’s background and today it is the turn of  Tory Boy George. Where did he come from and where is he going?  Having said that, “why” may be a more pertinent question.

Are we regressing into a New Age  age where influence will once again triumph over merit? Will Osborne continue to be Robin to Cameron’s Batman? Why has Cameron hired Ken Clarke as a “back stop”?

Brian Reade is the Daily Mirror’s premier  columnist and although you may expect his description of Osborne to be a touch partisan, do have a look at Brian’s  article which is published in the Daily Mirror today. It will scare the bejesus out of you.

Listen to Brian- he knows what he’s saying.

 

The following article was published in the Daily Mirror on 5th February 2010 and is reproduced here with Brian Reade’s full permission.

 

The confused expression that sits permanently on George Osborne’s face has taken a lifetime to perfect.

From insecure child to ineffectual shadow chancellor, the heir to the 17th century baronetcy of Ballentaylor, has faced constant ridicule and rejection.

He’s the little rich boy who could never quite buy the approval of his peers, always on the outside looking in.

He was born Gideon George Oliver Osborne, but when he became a teenager dropped the Gideon.

“Life was easier as a George,” he said. It didn’t do him much good.

A few years later at Oxford, when he was invited into the elitist Bullingdon Club because of his family wealth, he was renamed Oik due to the crime of having attended only Britain’s third most expensive public school, St Paul’s, not Eton or Harrow.

A popular lark among his fellow Buller men was to hold Oik upside-down by the ankles and scream: “Who are you?” Whenever Osborne gave the wrong answer he was dropped on his head, and was only released after squealing: “I am a despicable ****.”

The identity crisis followed him into politics. Embarrassed by his aristocratic connections he changed his Who’s Who entry when he made the Shadow Cabinet, dropping mentions of club memberships at the exclusive Beefsteak and Cheshire Pitt.

COCAINE

Initially Westminster wags christened him Tory Boy, after the Harry Enfield character, for rising to high office at such a young age without ever having had a job outside of Conservative politics.

That changed to Boy George (in honour of the singer) when a photo emerged of him with his arm around a prostitute, Mistress Pain, who specialised in sadomasochism.

The picture plainly shows a white powdery substance and rolled-up papers lying in front of them.

Mistress P alleged they had snorted cocaine but Osborne denies the charge.

His costliest faux pas, which could have cost him his job as shadow chancellor, came two summers ago after Old Etonian friend Nat Rothschild invited him to his Corfu villa.

Another guest was the then European Trade Minister Peter Mandelson, and when Osborne returned home, he spread word that Mandy had been dripping “pure poison” about Gordon Brown.

It was typical Boy George, a rabid gossip who passes tales around Westminster to ingratiate himself with influential types. And typical too, that he should so badly misread the club rules and end up a shunned outsider. Rothschild was furious that a private meeting he had organised was made public, and took his revenge by claiming that while Osborne was in Corfu he had visited the yacht of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and solicited a Tory party donation – which would have been illegal from a foreign source.

Osborne denied any wrong-doing but the damage was done.

The vision of him as an arrogant, upperclass buffoon (already boosted by publication of a Bullingdon Club picture of him posing in tailcoat with an almost comical aloofness) wasn’t helped by news that, in between swanning around villas and superyachts in Corfu, he’d flown back to London to make a speech on poverty.

Once more he had alienated his upperclass contemporaries and shown himself to be completely out of his depth against powerful beasts like Rothschild and Mandelson.

And it rocked his standing in a party which had largely accepted him as the supporting act in their dream ticket.

Senior figures despaired at his naiveté, finding it incredible that a would-be Chancellor should spread malicious gossip about a holiday in which he’d rubbed shoulders on yachts with a mysterious foreign billionaire.

Leading right-wing commentator Simon Heffer wrote: “George is silly; George has poor judgment; George is unreliable; George is, to coin a phrase, a dolt. What credibility does he have left? This has at least caused people to forget what a disaster he made of his attempts (if they can be dignified with such a term) to mount a response to the global financial crisis.

“Can a dolt aspire to hold a great office of state? For little George could be walking out of 11 Downing Street with Mr Gladstone’s dispatch box within months.

“How much does that make you want to vote Conservative?”

After Yachtgate, Boy George was once again figure of ridicule and contempt. At least his nickname had changed – he was now Cabin Boy George.

It seems that no matter how hard Gideon George Oliver Osborne tries, he rarely succeeds.

And the omens aren’t good as he stakes his bid to run the British economy.

As one financial pundit put it: “He’s too weak, inexperienced and ill-informed about his subject. How could such a bumbling nonentity run the fifth biggest economy in the world?” As shadow chancellor, Osborne failed abysmally to offer a convincing argument about what he would have done with Northern Rock in 2007 (he opposed nationalisation) or how he would have saved RBS and Lloyds, and critics say he has never grasped the severity of the spending crisis.

The respected financial journalist Jeff Randall was scathing about him at the time: “As the situation becomes ever more serious George becomes increasingly flaccid. He’s not so much behind the curve as behind the curtain.”

Even this week a blog on the pro-Tory Daily Telegraph website summed up feelings towards him after he unveiled his economic strategy for the general election: “How to judge Cabin Boy George? By the words that emanated from his mouth during the gravest financial crisis in a century. Namely: none.” Few in the City will go on the record with their fears over Osborne’s unsuitability for high office in case it jeopardises a Tory victory, but David Buik, senior analyst at brokers BGC Partners, said: “I find it quite extraordinary that his only experience, in terms of business, industry or commerce, has been as a speechwriter at Tory Central Office and that he should be the chosen person to be the next Chancellor.

EMPIRE

“It’s frightening. And I say this as an obsessed Conservative. You have got to have some experience of life.”

Last November a senior Tory councillor launched an astonishing attack on the Shadow Cabinet, his prime target being Osborne.

Stephen Greenhalgh, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and named Local Hero of the Year in 2008 by the Conservative Home website, said: “My mates are all in the Shadow Cabinet, waiting to get those ministerial boxes, being terribly excited. I went to university with them – they haven’t run a p***-up in a brewery.

“They’re going to get a department of state, in one case running the finances of the nation.”

Greenhalgh contrasted them with leading politicians in other countries who learn their trade at local level before taking national office.

“If you’re going to fail, fail running Alabama, fail running Texas, fail running the city of Paris – don’t just take over the country.”

The attack was met with widespread sympathy among Tories, with Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator, echoing Greenhalgh’s fears. “Quite right” he said of the prospect of Osborne being chancellor: “Scares me too.”

Osborne’s massive private wealth is another worry for Tory strategists. He was once asked by a journalist if he was too posh to govern. The reply from the 18th baronetcy-in-waiting was: “It’s not as if I grew up in a stately home with a deer park.” He could have fooled us.

The son of Sir Peter George Osborne and Felicity Loxton-Peacock, he is the heir to a baronetcy that dates back to 1629 and he has a 15% stake in his family’s wallpaper firm, Osborne & Little, which is worth, at a conservative estimate, £15million.

It’s why eyebrows were raised among the party hierarchy when he became embroiled in the expenses scandal and was ordered to repay £1,666.

How, they said, could a future Chancellor and multi-millionaire overclaim mortgage payments on his second home (as well as putting in a £121 bill for servicing his Aga)?

He had form. A few years earlier the heir to the Osborne empire had offered donors the chance to fund his Commons office directly, a fact he failed to mention in the Commons register, which drew another rebuke from the standards watchdog.

Osborne entered politics in 1994, gaining a job at the Conservative Research Department. Even he admits that his career as an adviser has been something of a joke.

“I worked for Douglas Hogg during the BSE crisis, for John Major when he lost the 1997 election and was William Hague’s political adviser when we lost the next election,” he said in 2005. “Maybe I have given pretty poor advice.”

HAWKISH

His close association with Hague is telling. When he became leader of the party in 1997, Hague picked 26-year-old Osborne as his political secretary, asking him to help drag the party away from the wet Major era and back to the hawkish days of Thatcher.

Meaning that in little more than a decade, Osborne has gone from penning tub-thumping right-wing speeches for Hague to claiming ownership of the centre-ground as a leading Tory moderniser. Yet, like Hague, he remains a committed Eurosceptic.

Small wonder people don’t know who Osborne is or what he stands for. Including many Tories who worry about his age, inexperience, gaffe-prone nature, blurred policy vision, unsuitability for his job (he’s on record as saying only 40% of his time is spent on economics) and his desire to put politics before sound finance.

The drafting in of 69-year-old Ken Clarke as shadow business secretary was a tacit acknowledgement of Boy George’s many glaring faults.

As Michael Portillo diplomatically said of him: “He’s not yet weighty”.

As Tory commentator Patrick O’Flynn more frankly put it: “He is wide open to the charge of not understanding the lives led by most Britons.

“At times he has given the impression of being a boy in a man’s job. Tory MPs have increasingly come to believe that he only retains his post because his best mate is party leader.”

Informed people in Westminster say Osborne has been told to work on his gravitas and coached to deepen his voice and slow his delivery. They also say the Tory leader has had serious wobbles about keeping him as his shadow chancellor.

When David Cameron was asked by his biographer, Dylan Jones if Osborne would be his successor, Jones was cut dead with the words: “I don’t pick successors.”

Maybe that says nothing. Or maybe it says that the little rich boy with the lifelong identity crisis is forever fated to stay on the outside looking in.

CWU – An Assisted Suicide.

 

The modern face of Royal Mail

So the Royal Mail strike is on. It has been booked to continue for only two days but the fallout will last for the next few weeks. The Royal Mail system will not suddenly right itself after two days of inactivity. Letters, people, vans and parcels will not magically materialise at the depot where they are supposed to be. Continue reading CWU – An Assisted Suicide.

Etienne et le Petit Cohn

cohn-bendit1.jpg                                                                                           

“Before”

 

 

 

 

There are two countries which are the most likely to be booted out of the European Union. Following the Irish referendum, you would be forgiven if you supposed that one of them was Ireland but you’d be wrong.

The countries that have upset certain factions within the EU are two countries which  “Systematically thwart European integration.” and “are not European enough”

So which countries are not European enough? Which countries have upset the Brussels Mandarins?

You may be surprised to learn that they are Poland and the United Kingdom.

What was the nationality of the Member of the European Parliament who began this debate? German? Bien Sur!

It was none other than Dany le Rouge, otherwise known as Daniel Cohn-Bendit, President of the European Greens in the European Parliament.

He started stirring during the Paris student riots of 1968 and is still at it. There’s more……..but this time it gets a bit murky.

A great supporter of Herr Cohn-Bendit’s opinions is that omniescently omnipresent behind-the-scenes Svengali, Viscount Etienne Davignon. Etienne wears several hats . He is a past vice-president of the European Commission for Research, Industry and Energy Policies and he is also chairman of a well-known occasional pan-government politico/econo/corporate/media meeting and chum of our own Tony Blair.

davignon.jpg  “Etienne avec pipe”

One  of the latest v.important personnel selections that Etienne was involved in was the selection of another attendee of the occasional politico/econo/etc. meeting as president of the World Bank.davignonwolfowitz.jpg

“Etienne avec Wolfowitz”

Paul Wolfowitz was deposed as president of the World Bank after the discovery of some “naughtiness with intent”.  George W. Bush then proposed Robert Zoellick to replace him.

Zoellick is a keen attendee of the occasional politico/econo/etc. meetings as is Bush who is also a member of Yale’s Skulls and Bones society. A real Bonesman.

zoellickbush.jpg “Zoellick and friend”

Spygun has a raft of material and over the next few weeks, we shall be releasing more very interesting text and photographs.

We are not going to adopt the usual Conspiracy Theory approach – just facts and dates.

Do have a look at the next post.

(And what's all this about the Economist?)

To be continued………………………….

cohn-bendit3.jpgAfter”