Sunday, November 25, 2012

 

Cameron's Hiring of Crosby an Act of Desperation

David Cameron's enlistment of the Aussie Lynton Crosby, poached from Boris Johnson's successful mayoral campaign,looks shrewd at one level for three reasons. Firstly, Crosby did well to rein in his unguided missile of a mayoral candidate, to eschew a 'multicultural' appeal to a mixed race London in favour of outer suburban white Tories and thereby overcome a formidable Labour candidate in a city which actually is predominantly Labour. Secondly, the 2010 campaign by the Tories, was a bit of a turkey as Michael Ashcroft,not to mention the serried ranks of the party's right-wing, are not afraid of saying and repeatedly at that.

Crosby is said to prefer traditional themes and aiming at the core vote; he had no time at all for Steve Hilton and all that Big Society nonsense. Thirdly, Crosby is an Aussie and, as cricketer-lovers know, they hate losing more than anything else in the world. Against the odds, he won four successive elections for the Australian Liberal-National prime minister, John Howard.in 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2004
So, is it a pat on the back for Dave?

Only time will tell, of course. But there is a downside to the decision. Firstly he will mightily piss-off his eminence gris, campaign mastermind, strategist in chief and  close friend George Osborne. Secondly, Crosby master-minded Michael Howard's campaign in 2005 and, you might recall, did not do too well against an unpopular government wracked by a mega-split between PM and Chancellor. His 'dog whistle' line of 'are you thinking what we are thinking?' aimed at anti-immigration sentiment, I personally thought devilishly clever but it flew like the proverbial lead balloon.  Cameron is clearly rattled as the economy refuses to heal with any robustness and the vision of victory is overlaid by the smirking visage of Nigel Farage. 

You could quite justifiably see Crosby's contract as an act of desperartion. The Tories have been aching to win the overall majority they think they should have won in May 2010 but they are aware off the long-standing poll lead Labour enjoy, the dirty work of spending cuts still to be done and the massive threat posed by UKIP on their right flank. This is a sign Dave is going for the no hold barred approach of abandoning the detoxification he engineered quite bravely after 2005 and going for the visceral themes of demonising Labour and its leader, stressing law and order plus hinting broadly at withdrawal from Europe. And, of course, getting really tough on immigration, however loudly  business might complain.  


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