- The 47th Bilderberg Conference has come
to an end. Members and one-off participants have departed as discreetly
as they arrived. Lines of black limousines, unmarked except for a "B"
on the windscreen, swept into Penha Longa, sometimes accompanied by police
escorts, and sometimes not. Even the Bilderbergers have a pecking order.
Britain's Peter Mandelson arrived in a bus
- Outside the lightly guarded gates of
Penha Longa, those members of the press who were prepared to brave the
famed Bilderberg security gathered to glean what information was available.
The police on duty at the gates made it crystal clear that they were only
the tip of the security iceberg. Apart from the Portuguese police contingent,
the Bilderbergers had reportedly brought over 200 of their own armed security
guards. A helicopter swept overhead, and other security officers were prudently
patrolling the hillsides which mystically envelope the Japanese -owned
- Amongst the journalists present, were
reporters from several of the Portuguese national newspapers, a British
Channel 4 film crew and the "notorious" Bilderberg pursuer Jim
Tucker from the Washington Spotlight. The Channel 4 crew were understandably
disturbed by the experience of being trailed by security men in a green
Lancia K throughout Wednesday. According to reporter, Jon Ronson, the British
Embassy had told his crew not to provoke any incidents and that their fate
was in their own hands. The exuberant and almost mischievous Jim Tucker
was thriving in his long established role as Bilderberg enemy number one,
audaciously blowing kisses at grim-faced officials "employed"
to provide a safe passage for the Bilderbergers into the resort.
- Along with other members of the press,
The News requested, and was refused, permission to enter the hotel grounds.
However on Saturday, the golf club was open, due to the American Barbecue
event. Despite the fact that the golf course is located some distance from
the hotel, the guard at the gate said he had information that The News
reporters had been seen working with Jim Tucker, an apparently inadvisable
association, and that we could pose a possible security risk. It would
seem that the so-called right-wing Spotlight for whom Jim writes regularly,
is treated with caution resembling paranoia.
- We described our interest in the meeting
and that we worked for The News, which the guard acknowledged, and ordered
us to park and wait for confirmation from within the resort, eventually
given after lingering in "no-man's land" for a few minutes. At
the "19th hole", an attempt to take a photograph was stopped
immediately, "as it might prejudice security operations". It
was apparent that Penha Longa had been transformed into a fort, a safe
haven, with sombre-looking, "sun glass wearers in the rain" watching
- It is unlikely that Portugal has ever
witnessed such a strict security blanket, or welcomed so many high profile
people at any one time. O Independente described them as "The masters
of the world". Disagreeing with that title would be difficult.
- The sole question remains. What were
the so called "masters of the world" discussing here in Portugal?
- For some reason, they would prefer we