Where New Labour went wrong

28 April 2005
James Humphries knows a thing or two about politics and presentation, having - reportedly - sat across a desk from Alastair Campbell when he was as a strategy advisor to Tony Blair.

Now, as Green Party candidate for the London consituency of South Islington, he gives an insider's view of how decisions are really made. Here's a money quote from yesterday's Guardian:

Like others, I did wonder why we had to wait two years for a white paper on sustainable development when the Bank of England could be given its independence within a week. The reality was that the environment did not then have enough "saliency" to be a true priority for New Labour.

"Salient" issues, in Downing Street jargon, are those that voters (especially in marginal constituencies) say matter most to them. If crime or asylum emerges from polling and focus groups, then politicians respond with speeches and initiatives. Anything that is not a salient issue can languish.

Caspar Henderson

How can Americans fight dark money and disinformation?

Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

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