Soapbox: Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Harwich and Clacton

In a decade of Conservative Party conferences, I have not seen anything quite like it - hordes of young activists fill the conference centre. Tigger-like candidates bounce around. Lobbyist swarm, drawn to an expectation of power.

Soapbox: Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Harwich and Clacton

Officially, of course, the party goes into overdrive playing things down. 'No room for complacency,' say Eeoyre-ish voices. And with an eight per cent swing needed to gain a Commons majority of just one, they are right.

Our biggest danger is no longer Gordon Brown's Labour Party, but the slow, persistent rise of anti-politics. That is why at Manchester, the Tories have been spelling out their plans in greater detail.

Foggy talk of a 'post-bureaucratic age' is giving way to something sharper. At the start of the week, the Tories launched A platform for decentralised 'open source' campaigns, showing how we intend to do 'post-bureaucratic' politics.

But during the week, focus shifted from what we need to do to gain office, to what we will do if we get there. Bold new ideas unveiled during the week reveal what we mean by 'post-bureaucratic' government - with direct accountability at its core.

- Carswell blogs at

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