Coffee House

David Cameron brings in the Wizard of Oz

18 November 2012

After months of will he/won’t he, Lynton Crosby has decided to join the Cameron clan. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Australian strategist behind Boris’ two victories has signed up as a consultant to run David Cameron’s re-election campaign. The efforts to secure his return were described in the political column in this week’s Spectator:

‘Later this month, George Osborne and two of the Prime Minister’s most senior political aides — Stephen Gilbert and Andrew Cooper — will sit down with Lynton Crosby to see if a command structure for the election campaign can be worked out. Conservative high command is keen to bring Crosby, the man who oversaw Boris Johnson’s elections as London Mayor, on board. They believe that the Australian would provide the discipline and clarity that were so lacking from the 2010 campaign.’

Although the details of exactly what Crosby will do are not yet clear,  the strategist will be advising on a part-time basis starting in 2013. This may develop into a broader role as the election nears. How much control Crosby will have over George Osborne remains to be seen; but some form of command structure must have been agreed if he said yes.


The decision to bring in Crosby is a significant one for the Prime Minister. Yesterday, I examined why the Australian would make a positive contribution to Cameron’s team, but also noted the cultural and political differences between the pair. Peter Oborne said in the past there is no need for the Prime Minister to hire Crosby and warned against taking a ‘lurch off the right’. Oborne warned the move would ‘puzzle the electorate; it would be untrue to the Prime Minister’s political vision, and deeply inauthentic’.

Hiring an outsider is an admission from the Prime Minister that the status quo must change if he wishes to remain in No.10. Crosby will no doubt run a tighter election ship and ensure that Cameron delivers a tougher message.

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  • Wilhelm

    The Conservatives shouldn’t go after the Black and muslim vote, it’s pointless, why should they vote tory ? they will always ALWAYS vote labour because they give them their welfare cheque.

    Sub Saharan African immigrants cant read, cant write, don’t wash, don’t clean their teeth, don’t use toilet paper but they sure as Hell can mark X on a ballot paper next to the labour party. That’s why Labour brought them in, a voting base. The same thing has happened in America. All the immigrants voted for Obama.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Crosby is about selling something which doesn’t do what it said on the tin before you bought it. In the real Britain rather than the rarified air of cloud cuckoo land “hype to get elected again” Britain the latest tranche of spinning ahead of the next tranche of laws suggests Mr Cameron is extending New Labour’s nanny state and not “sweeping it all away” as he once promised. Without any repeals (has he repealed anything New Labour?) how can we as a country sustain this constant barrage of new laws year on year? Will it continue until every tiny aspect of private life is no longer private but legislated for in detail, the daily minutiae the subject of ever intrusive and ever more micro-legislative Bills, until we are criminalised, fined or taxed for not living every single part of our lives according to the government’s preferred pattern? Will Cameron’s sinister sounding Behavioural Insights Team leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of a Britain where we can no longer decide for ourselves?

    I guess this is what happens when the consumer marketing and the PR “ideas” of vacuous schoolboys collide with politics and the needs of real, working adults.

  • Bewildered Tory.

    I doubt he will endear himself to the Muslim community given his recent comments. But perhaps a plain speaking Aussie is what Cameron needs. He hasn’t done much good by associating with the ‘hooray Henrys’ of the Right. I am sure one of his first pieces of advice to the PM will be ‘ for God’s sake stop your dithering mate’. Cameron has not been an unqualified success so far due to his constant U-turns when it comes to Government policy and his decidedly un-Tory pronouncements.

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    The Wizard of Oz was a CON.
    Seems very appropriate to me to use a CON to try and get another CON elected.

  • Heartless etc.,

    If he’s here to ensure the H2B is re-elected – he’s wasting his time.

    If he’s here to ensure a TORY is elected – good luck to him, – he’ll find it difficult to call back the disaffected.

  • TomTOm

    Crosby will be useless outside Conservative heartlands – the North has little reason to see any benefit in the Conservatives and they have zero hope of success in populous areas like West Yorkshire or South Yorkshire or Lanashire or Tyneside……they really blew a fantastic opportunity in 2010 and without a new leadership they have no hope of turning Gay Marriage into a path to majority and power

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think we can win without the North. We could do so easily if the system wasn’t skewed so unfairly against the South East where most of us live (and which supplies the money for the rest of the country to live on). We are like Italy upside down. The left represents the mafia.

      • TomTom

        Hilarious and profoundly ignorant – most people do NOT live in the South East but you are clearly living in a Skinner Box and have no idea of rewality outside. You are amusing but so obviously deluded that it is clear the Conservative Party will go down the tunes with duffers like yourself wallowing in ignorance. There will probably never be another Conservative Government then again there is no Conservative Party – it is simply dead like the Conservatives in Canada who had to be resurrected by Harper taking over the empty husk with the REFORM PARTY from Western Canada which opposed every fetish that Osborne and Cameron espouse……the equivalent here would be UKIP taking over the Conservative Party

        • TomTom

          BTW Fergus….only 13% UK population lives in the Southeast plus c. 13% in London itself….that leave 74% of 53 million people in England or 37 million living OUTSIDE London and the Southeast assuming London is “Conservative” plus a further 10 million in the Celtic Fringe……so your Home Counties South East can boast a mere 8.6 million out of 64 million population…………the only way Conservatives could win without the North is by staging a coup

          • Colonel Mustard

            I think the misperception you are valiantly attempting to correct is precisely the one that has got us here.

    • Koakona

      Please name the last Conservative PM to take anything on Tyneside except Tynemouth?

      • Hexhamgeezer

        On the banks of the Tyne here we have a Tory MP (Guy Opperman) although it is not industrial Tyneside but more huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ country.

        He’s a very good local MP but will (I’m betting) lose the seat because of the insipid and anaemic nature of cameroonian soft left consensus politics – you know, the stuff that the Spec says we have no other option but to support. The only thing that will save him is if the proposed boundary changes don’t occur and the Beeb’s soft peddling on Millibean fails.

        An anti-EU platform is guaranteed to get enough extra votes to get back in.

        • Koakona

          Ah Hexham, I do love getting the train out there, such a nice quiet place for a pint and some food. However here in industrial Tyneside I see people walking about in pyjamas, I assume they are on benefits and as such will not be voting Tory. They have no aspiration nor will to work just the will to sponge and breed for yet more sponging.

          • Hexhamgeezer

            I know the Blaydon consititency really well and it’s been interesting to ,see how things have changed since the 70s. It is still solid Labour but not quite as monolithic as was, as there was (is?) now the occasional LibDem councillor. The Thatcher years destroyed the bedrock of the economy which made voting Tory even less likely. Most people with a bit of energy moved (often abroad) which does nothing for the gene pool, locality or political plurality.

            The pajama phenomenon is a bit of a laff – I call it Kyle Style, popping out for tabs and tickets (lottery) and no point in dressing up for it.

            • Koakona

              It is not funny when you live among it, I could live with the Africans not wearing shoes in shopping centers silly foreigners and all that but people queuing for 4 cans of fosters or a small bottle of vodka in fluffy pajama bottoms and a hoody is soul destroying when it is your home.

              • Hexhamgeezer

                Indeedy…………….. I left while I had some soul still intact.

  • @PhilKean1

    Is this the miracle worker

    – who will be expected to turn water into wine, a Lada into a Bentley or a burger into a fillet-mignon?

    Or will he be expected to work with what he finds, and convince the electorate that what they see now, and don’t like, is what they should vote for in 2015?

    The mind boggles !

    • TomTom

      2015 might be quite a turbulent time the way the Middle East and Asia are cooking and no doubt tumbrils will be reappearing in France by then….

  • Chris

    This man’s been a disaster for the conservatives. He can take no credit for Boris’s victory in London. Boris won because Ken Livingstone was so awful. As for general elections, if anyone in the conservatives thinks that hinting to the electorate that you’re really a racist like them, then all I can say is enjoy a nice few years in opposition.

    • Vulture

      I think you would be rather surprised, Chris, at the number of those who hold attitudes that you would regard as ‘Waycist’.

      More people are worried about this country being turned into a cesspit by mass immigration than are about offending the Guardian consensus. which you represent.

      No, its not the fact that Crosby wins elections that is surprising about this choice its the utter cynicism of a flabby-faced metropolitan liberal like Dave choosing a man so out of sympathy with his own position. Fopr Cameron ius interested only in clinging to power no matter what.

      For once that idiot Oborne has it right : choosing Crosby looks deeply inauthentic.
      It is a mark of how desperate Dave is, and it certainly won’t save him from the electoral oblivion that his own stupidity and incompetence will bring in 2015.

    • Boudicca_Icenii

      With the prospect of 100,000 Rumanians and Bulgarians turning up here before the 2015 General Election, I suspect a vast majority of the British people support the idea of closing the borders. It isn’t racist to want mass immigration curtailed and immigrants to be made to adapt to the British culture, instead of encouraged to retain their own in ethnic ghettos.

    • Fergus Pickering

      What is a racist, Chris. Is wishing there were fewer muslims in the world and much fewer over here racist? Is being anti EU racist. After all, they are foreigners, aren’t they? What is your unracist view?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Yes, Chris, define racist. If one wants one’s politicians to prioritise the people of their own country over those of foreign countries, even when they arrive unbidden here, is that racist? If so then 99% of the world is indeed racist. To prove that this assessment is unsound I invite you to move to China, start publicly bleating about how unfairly you are treated there as an expatriate, expect every official document to be translated for your benefit into English and then attempt to join the Peoples Congress with an agenda to introduce British law. Alternatively you might undertake church building in Saudi Arabia.

      And if one’s politicians perversely decide, time and time again, to prioritise the needs of those of foreign countries, especially those who have moved here illegally or who seek “asylum”, over their own people, and the clamour of minorities over the needs of the majority, is that then not racist? And are the credentials of not being racist more important than the reality or the truth?

      Please explain to me how the rules work, Chris and how the preservation of the national identity and the national good have somehow become racist.

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