What’s the “master of the dark political arts” up to?
Why are the pundits and politicians taking at face value the stories that the Tories’ Australian campaign guru, Lytton Crosby (above) has allegedly told Michael Howard that the Tories cannot win?
Given that the 48-year-old who was brought to the UK by the Tory leader last autumn has been described as a â€œmaster of the dark political artsâ€ and â€œthe Australian Karl Rove,â€ surely the wise course is to treat everything that is said about him with a huge pinch of salt.
Could it be that Crosby, who streered the Australian Prime Minister John Howard to four successive victories, has worked out that the best strategy for the Tories is not to be seen as a potential election winner?
Crosby, it should be recalled, was the strategist behind the remarkable campaign in 1996 when the Australian Liberal party pulled off a surprise victory in the General Election there by all but conceding that the party had no chance of beating the Government of the then Labour Prime Minister, Paul Keating.
Instead the Crosby campaign urged the voters to “send Keating a message”. The voters did, Keating was defeated, and John Howard became Prime Minister.
Is it possible that Crosby has discovered that there is so much residual hostility to the Tories that he has to squash the very idea that the party could return to power? Take away that threat and voters will probe Labour and Blair more bringing the “trust issue” to the top of the agenda.
Might we be hearing from the Tories in April that the electors should “send a message to Tony Blair”. Does this sound too devious? Yes. But that by all accounts is how Crosby operates.
Latest IG Index spread prices: LAB 358-365: CON 183-190: LDs 71-75
Latest Spreadfair prices: LAB 358-359: CON 186-190: LDs 72.4-73.5.
The moves on both markets have been from Labour to the Lib Dems.