Bilderberg conference 2014: eating our politicians for breakfast George Osborne, Lord Mandelson, Ed Balls and Eric Schmidt arrive for day two of the conference in Copenhagen

Osborne at BilderbergAll photos: Hannah Borno" height="276" width="460">
George Osborne and John Micklethwait. All photos: Hannah Borno

So here he is, our esteemed chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, arriving at the 2014 Bilderberg in Copenhagen. In a snappy suit, and with a new razor-sharp hairdo, Osborne looks ready for business. You could skin a goat with that fringe. He probably got a trim and a shoe polish at the airport, wanting to look his best for the conference.

Osborne rolled up to the hotel with John Micklethwait, the editor-in-chief of the Economist and board member of the Economist Group. This year, in all, there are three members of the Economist board at Bilderberg: Micklethwait, John Elkann (the billionaire Agnelli heir) and Eric Schmidt (the executive chairman of Google).

During his stay in Copenhagen, Osborne will also have the chance to hammer out economic policy with three senior members of Goldman Sachs, three board members of Shell Oil, and two people whose nickname is "the Prince of Darkness" – Richard Perle and Peter Mandelson.


Peter Mandelson

Here's Mandy – or should I say, the chairman of Lazard International – arriving now. Mandelson perfectly embodies the ghastly, muddy fudge of public and private that so typifies the atmosphere at Bilderberg. Throw a rock and hit a public servant turned investment banker. Actually, don't throw a rock, because this guy will have your brains on the pavement before you can say "revolving door".


Security guard

Mandelson's boss at Lazard is also here in Copenhagen: Kenneth M Jacobs.

He's the chairman and CEO of the investment bank, and also sits on the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution. This year's Bilderberg seems quite Brookings-heavy. Jacob's has two fellow trustees in Copenhagen: Klaus Kleinfeld (the CEO of Alcoa) and Paul Achleitner (the head of Deutsche Bank) – both of whom also happen to on the board of Bayer, the multinational pharmaceutical company. Cosy.

There are so many interwoven corporate, think-tank and advisory board relationships at Bilderberg it fries your brain to try and unpick them

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