Davos Diary: Bigwigs choose to fill their boots

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The Independent Online

In Davos, it's the footwear that tells you everything you need to know about the seniority of the delegate.

For the rank and file, it is strictly business dress – including smart shoes. The bigwigs do it differently, however. So check out Bill Gates in decidedly uncool trainers, or John Kerry, the Democrat senator, in hiking boots.

However, it is Peter Sutherland, the Goldman Sachs chairman, who wins the prize. He is sporting an incredible pair of moon boots.

Cameron lacks patriotic fervour

Still on dress sense, when is David Cameron going to realise that he isn't a proper world leader until he wears the uniform? The trend for wearing a badge on your suit lapel with your national flag began in the US. No President goes out in public without the stars and stripes attached.

But the fashion has spread. Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, was sporting a tricolore badge during his address to Davos, while Felipe Calderon, the Mexican President had his badge on too.

Cameron, however, was missing a union jack yesterday.

Sycophancy beyond the call

The award for sycophancy is a tough one to win in Davos where everyone wants to cosy up to the stars.

The American broadcaster Charlie Rose made his play for the gong yesterday, however.

Introducing US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to the audience, he began by saying "I was talking to Warren Buffett the other day and he said his grade for Tim was A+".

A name-drop and a gratuitous complement all in one. Good work.

Blair's camera shy bouncers

So who has the biggest security operation here in Davos? Rock star Bono perhaps? Maybe Bill Gates, the world's second richest man? How about Russia's President Medvedev?

Wrong on all counts. Check out the security crew keeping an eye on one Tony Blair.

It's so large that it isn't possible for anyone else to use a staircase at the same time as the former Prime Minister. And woe betide a photographer who dares to snatch a cheeky snap. Short shrift doesn't begin to sum up the response to them.