Friday, 25 January 2008

A Very British Coup

Today the British invaded Davos. Well I say "invaded" but it was more like a quiet, powerful surge of men in grey suits.

It kicked off with a breakfast hosted by Ben Verwaayen the Chief Executive of BT. Then Gordon Brown took centre stage in the main hall. I am sure the content of his talk will be covered elsewhere but what struck me was that he was surprisingly passionate and relaxed, and also quite funny. He told an amusing off the cuff anedcote about Henry Ford that had everyone in the hall laughing, particularly the American chap next to me who said he told exactly the same off the cuff amusing anecdote last year and it went down equally well.

Over a British Business Leaders lunch, David Milliband spoke to a sea of venerable grey suited gentlemen including the Duke of York, Ken Livingstone, Lord Coe and about 75% of the bosses of the FTSE 100, when Brown swept in to say a few words. I found myself sitting next to Stelios and across from Terry Smith of Collins Stewart.

One of the more surreal moments today was when I stepped sharply out of the way to avoid being mown down by Queen Rania of Jordan and some tough looking minders only to find myself standing next to Prince Andrew who was chatting to someone. A couple of the Duke's staff were standing behind him when one of them pointed across the room and said "oooh look, it's Bono".

In the corridors, Peter Mandleson wandered along with a phone glued to his ear, whilst Hillary Benn and team marched in one direction and minutes later Tony Blair strode past in another.

It was the day the British took over Davos and actually we British delegates felt quite proud!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

name dropping is a mortal sin - go and say 3 hail marys and flog your self!!! On the other hand , being half Nigerian you should be going up to these folk and saying 'do you know who i am'