Lynton Crosby – the Australian campaigning expert said to be behind the attacks on LAB over the NHS pic.twitter.com/SmOznwaHeP
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) July 16, 2013
Is his Oz template right for Britain?
Whatever you might think of him the great contribution Oz campaigning “guru” Lynton Crosby has made to the current political scene has been to give the Tory party and particularly its MPs their confidence back. That is no mean feat.
In recent weeks he is said to have been the brains behind the strategy of putting Labour on the spot over the spot over its custodianship of the country between 1997 and 2010.
This latest move on the NHS is a case in point and the headlines in this morning’s traditional Tory papers like the Mail will be very reassuring to CON MPs at the start of the parliamentary recess.
But the Crosby approach has two big dangers. First, as we are seeing over the cigarette packaging issue questions about his clients he has become the story which should not happen. There’s going to be no let up on this and not just from Labour.
- This Tweet from CON Totnes MP, Sarah Wollaston, should worry the partyâ€™s “Crosby can do no wrong” brigade
Doctors are tired of being lectured on reducing avoidable early deaths by politicians who take away the public health tools to achieve it
— Sarah Wollaston MP (@drwollastonmp) July 16, 2013
We don’t need to rehearse the oodles of polling about how doctors are perceived in comparison with politicians or even worse paid political operatives like Mr Crosby.
Secondly the Crosby decision to focus on the NHS brings into question the issue of whether someone used to the primary colours approach of politics down-under fully appreciates the sensitivities of the area in which he has moved the Tories into.
It is often said that NHS is the nearest thing we have to a religion in the UK. This is something that people believe in and being seen to be making it into a political football could have a price, particularly for a party which still has to convince that it is a fully signed-up believer.
As Labour demonstrated so often during the Blair years the claim that the NHS is not safe in CON hands resonates.