Taxpayer will foot the bill for George Osborne’s expenses at secret meeting
The British government has officially responded to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the Chancellor of The Exchequer’s presence at the 2013 Bilderberg Group meeting.
In a letter penned by the Treasury, James Underwood of the Rights Unit, provides answers to three questions penned by Alexander Baron of the Digital Journal.
In his May 7th letter, Baron asked whether George Osborne, Britain’s head finance minister, would attend the Bilderberg meeting held in Watford from 6-9 June. He also asked in what capacity Osborne would be attending and who would be paying for his expenses.
The Treasury responded AFTER the conclusion of the conference to confirm that Osborne did indeed attend, and that his expenses would be paid for by the Treasury – ie the taxpayer.
While the government’s response claims that the Chancellor attended as a private individual, it also states that “For discussions in the periphery of the Bilderberg meeting, on issues of concern to the UK, the Chancellor acts in an official capacity.”
The letter also states that the Bilderberg meeting “affords the opportunity to meet other Finance Ministers and senior members of International Organisations,” and compares it to EU, IMF and G7 and G20 meetings.
Of course, the difference is that all of those meetings are on the record, where as Bilderberg takes place in total secrecy behind closed doors. The admission that George Osborne held secret discussions at Bilderberg in an official capacity with other finance leaders and the heads of international banking, at the expense of the taxpayer, represents a direct violation of the Ministerial code.
MP’s are not authorised to attend private meetings without disclosing details to the public, and they are also supposed to have a secretary on hand making minutes, which is not the case at Bilderberg. Even if Osborne held some discussions in a personal capacity, rather than an official one, that can still be classed as a conflict of interest given that he is an elected official.
This is not the first time that Osborne has been caught in the act. In 2011, The London Guardian reported that according to the Treasury, Osborne was attending the Bilderberg meeting in Switzerland in an official capacity as the British Chancellor. Despite the fact that this violates the Ministerial code, Osborne faced no repercussions.
Both Osborne and his opposition counterpart, Ed Balls (as well as Prime Minister David Cameron) attended the elite meeting this year. The two are often painted up as bitter political rivals in the British media, yet they have attended several of the secret confabs together in recent years.
Both Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars confronted Mr Balls, the shadow Chancellor, when they ran into him at the BBC in London during a live broadcast that Alex was invited to appear on.
Balls refused to discuss his Bilderberg attendance and even denied that he had sworn to uphold the Ministerial code:
Following the conclusion of this year’s meeting, MP Michael Meacher officially requested that George Osborne make a statement regarding Bilderberg. However, the question was answered by Bilderberg steering committee member Ken Clarke, who was forced to embarrassingly claim he had “forgotten” that the organization’s meetings were paid for by funds raised by the Bilderberg Association.
In his FOIA request, journalist Alexander Baron also asked whether the issue of debt-free money was discussed by George Osborne at Bilderberg. The Treasury responded by saying it had no information about what was discussed by the Chancellor at the meeting – again a tacit admission that Osborne violated the Ministerial code.
Mr Baron has written a follow up letter to the Treasury, again addressing the issue of debt free money.
“Hopefully the reply to my second letter will bring a positive response to the issue of debt-free money, for why should the British Government or any government pay interest (your taxes) on something banks create out of thin air, when they can do the same thing themselves?” Baron notes.
Baron states that he awaits a reply to the second letter and will post the correspondence when the Treasury replies to him.