In 2005 I attended an Election breakfast at Conservative Campaign Headquarters. I sat between a famous (and well respected) peer and a hugely successful business man. We were, however, bit players. The star of the morning was Michael Howard’s political guru Lynton Crosby.
The Tory girls were frenzied with excitement. “Lynton will be here in twenty minutes…. Lynton will be here in ten minutes…” Lynton arrived. I did know whether I should stand up and bow.
Our personal relationship hit new depths when, after he finally managed to stop lecturing us about how to win elections, he invited questions. Of course he was not the slightest bit interested in them because there was only one opinion that mattered.
When my time came I asked “Would it not be a good idea to focus our manifesto on trading and GDP growth?”
His answer:”The British people are tired of the economy.”
Michael Howard (who was rushed in to replace the hapless Iain Duncan Smith) fought a hopeless campaign and managed to allow his adviser to sack the then MP Howard Flight who had the temerity to suggest that Government spending was too high.
Crosby went on to win the London Mayor election for Boris Johnson. Yesterday’s ‘Andrew Marr show’ interview with Eddie Mair suggested that Mr. Crosby can certainly spin the story. In truth Ken Livingstone is probably the only man alive who could have lost that election for Labour.
David Cameron, who simply has no opinions of his own, and is frightening vulnerable to weird prophets such at the Notting Hill set, the now departed (thank goodness) Steve Hilton (ex-adviser on Strategy) and Richard Thaler, the author of ‘Nudge’ (how to blackmail the electorate into doing what you want them to do), has twenty advisers (including Laura Trott: ‘Adviser on Women’).
They are all now meaningless. The 7 May 2015 General Election will be fought by Lynton Crosby. Last week’s Budget had all his hall marks: popularist and meaningless policies, ill thought through and already forgotten. The current campaign against the Romanian immigrants is pure Crosby.
The Conservative Party is in total distress at the moment and membership is nose diving. That will not matter in two year’s time. The economy will decide the May 2015 General Election.
Mr. Crosby. You’ll not listen but the British people do care about the current dire situation. They are struggling to make ends meet. I wish you’d go back to Australia.