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April 19, 2014



Whatever...but what counts is having intelligent election strategists on board and just listening to him for a minute or two he was able to capture the Conservative's weakness, elitist, exclusive,remote from the UK mainstream and any economic growth going to the few. If he can help counter the barrage of hate/smears which will emerge from these Eton boys, their oligarchy friends and their large ugly press it will help somewhat. Labour needs a narrative with one-nation appeal & which will capture the 'squeezed middle'. Never forget the Tory's Ausie adviser takes no prisoners & excels in division, scapegoats and nasty propaganda.

Phil Beesley

Was this job opportunity advertised anywhere? Maybe it is not a job but a consulting contract (ie business services) of the type that should go to tender?

Whether the person or organisation who made the deal acted by the rules is a minor quibble to me. Few people qualify for this particular task so we should expect some sloppiness. But rules about employment/consultancy practice are useful because they make us look at our prejudices. We are taught to disregard the attribute "ability to fit in" if it is an excuse to ignore the need for change.

If your party lost the previous general election because (amongst many other criticisms) it had a disconnected leader, and if your party has a new leader who is perceived to be disconnected, would you employ a chap from the West Wing as your principal advisor?

I find it weird that intelligent people who grew up watching US political drama fail to understand that it is fiction, and even were it true they live in a different country.


Why is he disconnected? He helped Obama win America twice appealing to a diverse electorate.
How is Ed is disconnected his Party has been ahead of the Tories for 24 months. Latest prediction is 44 seats majority - OK not big but not disconnected either.

Phil Beesley

@leslie48: "Why is he disconnected? He helped Obama win America twice appealing to a diverse electorate."

I am not a crude nationalist but I doubt that David Axelrod has time to determine Englishness, to comprehend the British Isles and our distinctions.

I believe that I could have a happy, but disagreeing, pint if introduced to Ed Miliband. I don't think that Ed has the common touch but he certainly isn't daft or unpleasant. And I reckon that we would get on because we have the same sort of geeky concerns.

Yes, Ed and his advisors are disconnected. They are not alone. Their likewise in other parties are equally clueless. None of them has worked out how to explain our mess or an extrication in plain words. Ed's special advisor is especially disconnected; it is impossible to deny that he is a merkin.


Being a professional election adviser seems to have become a well paid job you can do in any country in an age of Globalisation and triangulation.

Has any one pointed out the irony of a Australian right wing adviser, Crosby, running what will be a xenophobic campaign around immigration etc It would be funny except he will be slagging of the foreigners when he is one himself.

It is an interesting question as to how far this sort of electoral method works. Are not elections mainly decided by deeper underlying social changes and issues? Kerry achiever a swing towards the Democrats in several US states when he ran for President in 2004. Obama did the same but got more credit. Yet the swing to kerry helped lay the ground for Obama. And it was the ability to exploit issues important to voters that did this. And thus help achieve a Democratic win in 2008. These professional campaigners are just riding the wave.


While I not deny local campaigning, electioneering & policies are equally vital what 'post-modernity elections' are also about are the media and the dominant narrative / discourse which is communicated to those voters especially unlike us "the don't knows". How the media messages are managed and reacted to will be critical in 2015 because the right will fight like cats to try and win their first election since 1992.Recall that was where Labour's lead fell away in the last few days and the Tory party won their 4th victory in a row and it was the Sun that did it some say.

derrida derider

Keith, Crosby had much of his Australian success running precisely "a xenophobic campaign around immigration etc". He's just sticking to what he knows.

Don't underestimate the enemy, by the way - the harsh fact is that most people are natural xenophobes, and he will have a sympathetic media that is happy to exploit those natural tendencies to sell more papers. This WILL be ugly.


leslie48: "Why is he disconnected? He helped Obama win America twice appealing to a diverse electorate."

The USA, from a UK viewpoint, ranges from Tory to somewhere right of the (whatever the skinhead party is called). He's got to adapt to a country where the norms are quite different, and to do it quickly. That's not easy.


It will be interesting to see how he does.

The irony is that he may just, as an outsider, bring the courage to change the Labour party's focus away from the Daily Mail, which the desperately need...

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