Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/02/tory_speaker/

Eric Schmidt to address Tory conference

Googling for policies?

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Financial News, 2nd October 2006 08:44 GMT

Google's Eric Schmidt is to speak at the Tory Party conference tomorrow, returning the favour granted by David Cameron when he spoke at Google's Zeitgeist event in May.

Google has close, if indirect, ties with the Tory Party, thanks to an exchange of PR people back in 2005. That December, Rachel Whetstone, former political adviser to Michael Howard took up the position as head of Google's European PR.

At that event, Cameron was speaking about what wonderful things the Google brand had accomplished. He listed the almost impossibly fast growth of the company, the way it "democtratised" information, and, "of course the other amazing thing you've achieved is to turn your brand name into a verb."

We only mention this in passing, because of course shortly afterwards, Google decided that it didn't want its brand to be used as a verb. But we digress.

Schmidt's decision to address the Tories is being interpreted as a sign than business is taking the Conservatives seriously again, despite David Cameron's reluctance to clarify what his party's policies might actually be.

Schmidt is set to speak about the challenges politics faces in a digital and internet age. ®