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Tories search Google for economic policy

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The Conservative Party is getting Google boss Eric Schmidt to fill a seat on its Economic Recovery Committee.

The group will meet fortnightly, we are told, although we're betting Mr Schmidt might not be around quite so often.

The Committee will be chaired by party leader David Cameron or, in his absence, by shadow chancellor George Osborne. The talking shop will "review and analyse the domestic and international economic situation, discuss immediate policy proposals to deal with the current crisis".

The Tories have struggled to express a clear message on how they would deal with the economic crisis - Brown's Labour party have found it easier to ditch their previous economic beliefs and head back to Keynesian policies. Maybe Schmidt - who used to run Novell of course - can help them with this.

Of course Google, despite its West coast liberal claims, is no stranger to right-wing politics.

Google has hired some seriously right-wing neo-con spin doctors in the US, and has even picked up PR staff from the Tories. Rachel Whetstone, a former aide to ex-former Tory leader Michael Howard, took charge of Google's European PR in 2005, and is now installed at the Googleplex as vp for Global Communications & Public Affairs.

And back in 2006 Schmidt spoke at the Tory Conference.

The Committee will also include recession-dinosaur Ken Clarke, Theresa May, David "Two Brains" Willetts, Philip Hammond, Oliver Letwin and William Hague.

Leaders from business, finance, and former civil servants who will serve in their personal capacity include ex-Vodafone boss Sir Christopher Gent and bankers Sir Peter Middleton, Sir Brian Pitman and Sir James Sassoon. Also round the table will be Next boss Simon Wolfson and Eric Schmidt. ®

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