Lynton Crosby has popped up in the UK again. Online, anyway, with a Q&A on Tory blog ConservativeHome.com where he revisits last year’s Conservative campaign.

It’s
a very different Tory Party now, with young leader David Cameron
pinching New Labour’s clothes and pitching at Liberal Democrat voters.
Life at Conservative Central Office mightn’t be quite be as described
in The Spectator‘s Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody,
but does Cameron appreciate accusations of dog whistle politics over
immigration at the 2005 poll being revived, in an era where their
leader seems more concerned with global warming photo-ops on glaciers?

Tory insiders tell Crikey that the Conservatives remain very grateful
for Crosby’s contribution to their internal operations and discipline.

His
involvement in the British campaign, however, was controversial. It was
controversial because Labour made it that way and because internal Tory
divisions let it become controversial – but it still remains a negative
for the party.

With David Cameron rising in the polls and
growing doubt over just how long Tony Blair can continue – plus doubt
about how his heir apparent, Chancellor Gordon Brown, might perform
against the new Tory leader at a poll – will Crosby’s reappearance be welcome?

And
it mightn’t just be Tory noses that are put out of joint. Crosby has a
blunt message for Australia. His response to the question “Why are the
Liberals are out of power in every Australian state?” is fair – but
full and frank:

Poor quality candidates, lack of professionalism, a failure
to engage people on the issues that matter, tired and ineffective MPs
who are insufficiently hungry to win and lack of clear definition as to
what state Liberals believe in. Nationally people know what John
Howard’s government stands for – enterprise, economic stability,
national security, reward for effort, support for those in need whilst
encouraging the majority to take responsibility for themselves and
their families. State Liberals don’t have that clarity.

Peter Fray

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