There is an article in today’s Times which offers a very partial account of the last five weeks I’ve spent in the USA.  The headline over the article – “Tories copy Republican dirty tricks on the web” – doesn’t begin to capture what I’ve learnt.  Tom Baldwin, the reporter, takes my observations about the campaign techniques of some of the more edgy conservative campaigners and assumes I think the Conservative Party should embrace them.  I don’t think that.

During my stay in Washington I learnt a great deal about the impact that the internet has already had on US politics.  I’m convinced blogging and other web platforms are going to be increasingly important in Britain, too.  A report on everything I learn will go to Francis Maude and at some point in the future I hope to be able to share many of my findings with readers of this blog.

I actually met Tom Baldwin at a private dinner party.  I didn’t know he was going to be there and the article flowed from that.  I met a huge variety of politicians, technologists and journalists during my stay.  From each group of people I learnt different things.  I met journalists to learn how they used blogs and how they are forcing changes to the way the newspaper industry works.

I’m now back in the UK by the way… This post has been submitted from the Heathrow to Paddington Express!  I’m now off in search of the first good cup of tea in a long time…