Nick Herbert - Conservative choice

7 April 2005
The public row over the choice of Nick Herbert to be the Arundel and South Downs constituency candidate for the Tory Party is only half of the story. It is who they did not select that says much more. Herbert is by all accounts a shallow, virulent anti-European: regressive not just on taxation, but on national identity and relations with the world. Up against him in the short-list of three who spoke to 400 odd local party members last night, was Laura Sandys. Among Laura's wide and lively range of interests, she Chairs the Board of openDemocracy on which I sit. So praise her I can't. Read her for yourself on openDemocracy, on Europe, on Iraq and especially her star essay on the nature of US politics, written before 9/11. How is it possible for the Conservatives to systematically refuse to choose Laura as a candidate? It is not just because local activists don't like intelligent, single women. It is also that the leadership is not modern and does not want the future to be different from the past it once knew. Unable to challenge Tony Blair by setting a new agenda, they permit him to indulge in his own version of conservatism. He can only get away with being King Tony Blair as so well described by Dominic Hilton because the opposition do not want to change the terms. It is how politics is done that matters now, in the era of globalisation. The selection of Nick Herbert is a deeply depressing confirmation that the Conservative Party is not interested. All real name comments welcome, please send them to [email protected]

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

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData