Senior Watford politician, Mark Watkin, attacks Bilderberg security operation as ‘disgraceful’

The Grove hotel. The Grove hotel.

A senior Watford politician has attacked the security operation around the forthcoming Bilderberg Group meeting as "disgraceful".

Mark Watkin, a Watford Borough Council cabinet member, said the secrecy surrounding the meeting at The Grove hotel had left residents in the dark and led to important decisions being "made on the fly".

The Liberal Democrat added that he had received numerous complaints from people living near the five-star hotel, who are concerned about impact the conference and the large number of protesters it attracts will have on them.

Councillor Watkin, who represents Park and Nascot, said: "The authorities and The Grove had refused to accept any responsibility for the consequences of this contentious event on the local community.

"Whatever the rights and wrongs of this globally important meeting and the consequential protests, it is disgraceful that an event of global significance is landing on a community in Hertfordshire with no engagement with the council or community consultation being carried out.

"The result has been last minute decisions such as where they should park, where they should camp, are being taken on the fly."

The Bilderberg Group is due to begin its annual three-day meeting at The Grove hotel on Thursday.

The event will see politicians and leaders of global corporations, as well as leading lights from academia and journalism, meeting to discuss the issues of the day.

Previous Bilderberg attendees have included cabinet minister Ken Clarke, Chancellor George Osborne, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Goldman Sachs International chairman Peter Sutherland.

However the group’s activities are shrouded in secrecy as reporting media are excluded from its meetings and it does not publish any minutes or record of what is discussed.

The Bilderberg Group also does not release any details of its guest list and location until after its conferences have started.

In recent years the group’s meetings attracted a growing number of protesters who see its activities as undermining open democratic government.

This week’s event could will see unknown number of demonstrators converging on the town.

Hertfordshire Constabulary will be responsible for the security operation outside the grounds and some roads around the hotel are due to be closed to pedestrians.

Some residents near living near the hotel have also been advised they will need to show police photo ID to get to their homes during the conference.

Last week protestors had an application to use Cassiobury Park for a fringe festival rejected as it was not submitted with the requisite three months notice.

Afterwards Hertfordshire Constabulary said it was making provisions for a small protest area inside the grounds of The Grove, which could accommodate around 200 people.

Councillor Watkin, who sits on Hertfordshire County Council as well as Watford Borough Council, added residents were unhappy that uncertainty still surrounds the security arrangements so close to the event starting.

He added: "Residents fear that these last minute decisions which will impact massively on their lives will set the precedent for any future events of this type or scale which The Grove is actively seeking to run.

"When, in just over a weeks' time, the circus has left town we will have to pick up the pieces, sort out the mess and make good any damage caused while The Grove of Chandlers Cross will just sit back and enjoys its global acclamation.

"Shambolic, unforgivable, disgraceful are just some of the words I would use to describe the national security people's and The Grove management's failure to engage with the community who will suffer the consequences of this conference."

Comments(6)

underterraingrunter says...
10:23am Mon 3 Jun 13

Troublemakers are trying to encourage politically naive partygoers to swamp this event. This is widely suspected to be a anti-protestor black operation.
It will all go smoothly, don't panic. Encourage the use of bicycles and they'll all cycle away peacefully.
Watford needs to be aware that if the fake protest/party went ahead there would be two basic types of people left there afterwards. The responsible types who are clearing up and those who cannot leave due to mental health problems caused or worsened by their party experience.
You can easily identify those who have been trying to organise a party rather than a protest. Bring them to account.

garston tony says...
1:55pm Mon 3 Jun 13

I would imagne 99.999999% of what goes on at the Grove goes on without it being made public knowledge. Therefore Mark Watkin is WRONG to claim that there is secrecy surrounding the meetings as it is one of the 0.000001% of events which has actually been made public knowledge. The only secrecy is what is being discussed and does Mark Watkin demand that everyone holding a private meeting makes the discussion public? Because the steepness of the slippery slope he has just started to descend on will dramatically get steeper if that is the case too.

And why should the Grove, the authorities or even the Bilderberg group accept responsibility for the protesters? Why are we in our society constantly demanding that the buck be passed? There would be no need for any of this if there werent protesters so THEY are responsible for any inconvenience caused. If the protesters arent organised that is not the Bilderber groups or the authorities problems either.

The authorities, including the police, have acted in a responsible way to the issues the protesters bring with them and they should not be criticised in any way and Mark Watkin is displaying the worst type of politiking there is by making the statements he is. Made worse by his recent admission that the event was know of weeks ago, its just HE hasnt bothered to keep himself abreast of what is happening in the town he is meant to represent and work for. Shame on you sir

rogeruk says...
1:59pm Mon 3 Jun 13

The Bilderberg Group ordered a hotel at which journalists from Infowars were set to stay to cover the organization’s secretive confab next week to cancel the reservations in an unprecedented attempt to block freedom of the press.

Alex Jones and his reporters all received phone calls from the Grove Hotel in Watford, England today informing them that their reservations – which ran until the day before Bilderberg are set to meet in the same location – had been cancelled.

The manager of the hotel informed us that due to “consultations with the security services” in preparation for a big conference taking place next week, all the rooms had been cancelled.

When asked if Jones and his crew were considered a “security risk,” the hotel manager responded “I’m not implying that,” suggesting that the rooms were cancelled simply because Bilderberg ordered the Grove to do so.

To be clear, Infowars reporters had not attempted to book rooms during the Bilderberg conference, this was days before the Bilderberg conference, and yet the rooms were still cancelled.

The Grove’s action in discriminating against individuals for their political beliefs is a violation of the 2010 Equality Act. Previous cases under the same law brought by those discriminated against by guest houses due to their sexuality have been successful. A 2012 European Court of Human Rights judgement affirms the fact that discrimination against an individual due to their political beliefs is unlawful under the Equality Act.

The security operation surrounding Bilderberg – a huge chunk of which is being paid for by taxpayers to the tune of millions of pounds – is so paranoid that it doesn’t want reporters anywhere near the sprawling luxury Grove estate days before a single Bilderberg member even arrives.

This is yet another damning indictment of how Bilderberg is comprised of authoritarian control freaks who despise transparency and freedom of the press, to the extent that they now exert power over private businesses like the Grove in order to cause problems for members of the media.

Paul Gadd says...
3:04pm Mon 3 Jun 13

If they have nothing to hide- and are all sweetness and light- why the secrecy?
People with immense power to affect people's lives just turn up at our town- with their security expenses- and we should just shrug our shoulders about it?

garston tony says...
3:15pm Mon 3 Jun 13

This is another damning indictment of how the anti Bilderberg lot jump to conclusion, miss report, make assumptions and mis lead.

There is a difference between discriminating against someone for their political beliefs and cancelling someones hotel booking due to security concerns. The equalities act DOES NOT APPLY. And i've been reading so much conspiracy nonsense the past few days i'm starting to get involved myself and i'm going to say is this even a genuine story? (See see paragraph after next)


Secondly, if true, you report the Grove cancelled the bookings due to advise given to them by the secutiry services. This means you are WRONG to claim Bilderberg told them to cancel the bookings and WRONG to claim Bilderberg are exerting control over a business.


As to Infowars who released this story I find it interesting that you didnt mention that the Boston marathon bomber (who was killed) was a huge fan of Alex Jones and infowars it is alleged inspired him. This same organisation claim that the bombers were actually working for the US government who had arranged the attacks, claims the victims of the school shooting in Sandy Hook (where 20 children and 6 adults where killed by a gun man) were actors, that 9/11 was an 'inside job' and a whole host of other wacky claims. Sorry but this is the LAST people i'd want near my business at ANY time let alone when there is security issues going on, and they are certainly the LAST people i'd go to for any credible information. They may technically be journalists, but ones that make up whatever they write based on fantasy. They'd be more accurately described as sci fi writers!

Seriously, you anti Bilderbergers do it over and over. If you want to be credible stop bringing to our attention wacky froot loops and bring to us the one thing that has been lacking throughout which is actual proof that Bilderberg is up to no good. Simples.

Please also stop moaning about the cost of policing, if you are intending to protest against Bilderberg or the cost of policing YOU are the reason there is a need for it in the first place.

John Dowdle says...
4:11pm Mon 3 Jun 13

I agree fully with Mark Watkins and completely against Tony whoever.
This meeting was arranged by the Bilderberg UK organising committee and the Grove without any proper consultation with our local elected representatives.
This Broederbund should stay out of Watford and leave us to enjoy our usual state of tranquility or non-tranquility, as we find appropriate.
It will work out a whole lot cheaper for us as local council tax payers too.
These people are far more trouble than they are worth for Watford.
Let them go somewhere else.

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