There was an eerie silence on Thursday morning in the press area outside the Bilderberg conference venue in Copenhagen. All eyes, and a lot of lenses, were peering up Kalvebod Brygge, the long road to the airport, waiting for the limousines to start whooshing in with their precious cargo: a powerful mix of ministers and moguls, billionaires and business behemoths.

We know George Osborne is due to attend; this year’s conference in Copenhagen will be his seventh. He’s been coming on and off since 2006, though remarkably, in all this time, he hasn’t managed to say seven words about it in public. His discretion is to be much admired. Or criticised. Depending upon your view of democracy.

Photographers are playing an important part in bringing Bilderberg to a wider world – one which for decades paid scant attention to this international summit. There’s a material difference between seeing the words “Allied Supreme Commander Europe” on a press release and seeing his face in a limousine pass you into the Marriott hotel.

General Philip M Breedlove, a four-star general in the United States Air Force, arriving with a thoughtful expression. He’s obviously pondering the discussion topic of Ukraine on this weekend’s agenda. That or which end of the herring buffet to start at first. You have to plan for these things. You don’t want to get between Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin, and a platter of smørrebrød. You could lose an arm.

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