How Boris won London by not being Boris

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, May 6th, 2008 - 12 comments
Categories: election 2008, International, john key - Tags: ,

Tory candidate Boris Johnson has triumphed in the mayoral race for London in a campaign masterminded by the Australian political tactician Lynton Crosby.

The Sydney Morning Herald has the story:

Brought in at the end of last year, the mysterious Crosby – “you know I don’t do interviews”, he responded to an email from the Herald – … targeted [money] carefully and strategically, while two highly experienced public relations specialists were drafted to vet Johnson’s interviews and to keep him on message.

One insider noted in a Sunday newspaper: “Lynton stopped Boris being Boris and it worked.”

Crosby’s fingerprints are all over the National and Key’s reinvention of themselves here in New Zealand – from McGehan Close to the more recent broadband announcement.

As a Tory insider stated to the SMH commenting on the huge swing achieved by Johnson, “the key had been strategy, and attention to what people were saying on the streets: “People are really feeling the pinch here,” he wrote. “We’re not quite as affluent as people think.”

Crosby kept Boris on a tight leash and targeted ‘cost of living’ issues.

Sound familiar?

The strategy and tactics are there for the world to see. Labour and Clark must know what’s coming, they’d do well to give a counter-strategy some thought.

12 comments on “How Boris won London by not being Boris”

  1. Surely you see the start of implementation of a counter strategy in the Government’s decision to delay bringing the transport sector into its emissions trading scheme until 2011 and veto regional councils using the regional fuel tax policy tool its currently introducing?

  2. Joker 2

    So let me make sure I have this right. Addressing cost of living issues when the electorate is struggling to make ends meet is a bad thing?

    Obviously we should just concentrate on Nationalising stuff.

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    Joker, they’re not really addressing cost of living issues, they’re just trying to create dissatisfaction. As you know, it’s not like Boris or Key actually have solutions.

  4. rjs131 4

    Maybe the people of London didnt think it was appropriate for their mayor and city to be preoccupied with close relations with South American despots like Chavez? or is that a good thing?

  5. big bruv 5


    “they’re not really addressing cost of living issues”

    Do tell me what dear corrupt leader is doing to address the cost of living issues then.

  6. Tane 6

    bruv, I’m guessing you’ve seen the latest Labour Cost Index figures?

    Wages up at record rate

    Not as high as I’d like, but our wages are rising faster than the cost of living.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Addressing cost of living issues when the electorate is struggling to make ends meet is a bad thing?

    Ask Ruth Richardson.

    I’m glad the tories are shifting to the centre and abandoning the dogmatic, faith based, supply side nonsense that they’ve been running with in the recent past.

    I’m not convinced about their sincerity though. They need some more mea culpa’s about what was wrong with their old policies and why they’ve changed their minds. The simple fact is that there are the same old faces, all singing a new tune. If they have all had a chnage of heart, I’d like them to explain it more because the uniformity of that change in so many individuals makes me think it’s just a political ploy.

    That, Joker, is the subtext I got from AYB’s post.

  8. Phil 8

    Yes, it must be that Boris has subverted democracy!

    His victory couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the widspread disatisfaction with ‘Red Ken’, and the fact he hasn’t done a single useful thing to solve one of Londons biggest problems; innner city traffic congestion

  9. all_your_base 9

    “Even his opponents admitted that Livingstone, who had served two four-year terms as mayor, ran a strong campaign, and he is credited with making some gutsy decisions such as introducing a congestion tax in central London. Only a few months ago, he was seen as nigh on unbeatable.”

  10. randal 10

    John Maynard Keynes’ greatest crime was to let the plebs know that an economy can operate at any equilibrium and the tories know that and like to have a grovelling class to kiss their bums but they want to hide that fact by pretending that they care…

  11. Phil 11

    I suspect you could count on one hand the number of London drivers who can honestly say they think traffic has improved since the introduction of the congestion tax.

  12. all_your_base 12

    First, I’m not sure I’d agree that it was all just about “traffic”. Second, my understanding is that Boris campaigned on what was effectively tinkering with the scheme.

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