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Political mastermind from Kadina
AS United Kingdom Prime Minis-
ter David Cameron ramps up his
attempts to be re-elected, it will be
former Kadina resident Lynton
Crosby managing his campaign.
Mr Crosby is a political strate-
gist who specialises in running
campaigns and has an impressive
track record, including helping for-
mer Australian Prime Minister
John Howard to successive victo-
Most recently, Mr Crosby has
been behind back-to-back victo-
ries for London mayor Boris John-
This has led to the United King-
dom's Conservative Party, the
Tories, appointing him to help
keep it in government.
He is often dubbed "The Wizard
of Oz" and has been described as "a
master of the dark arts of politics".
He has worked for parties and
politicians from New Zealand to
Iraq to Africa and has also been
called the greatest campaign man-
ager in the world.
Mr Crosby doesn't get much
time to return to Yorke Peninsula,
although he owns property on the
Copper Coast and still has a sister,
Robyn Hewett, in the area.
"I was born in '56 and grew up
on a farm near Alford, and then in
1960 my family kept the farm but
moved into a house Mum and Dad
built in Kadina," he recalled.
"I played tennis and hockey ---
we had quite a strong hockey asso-
ciation then and the Kadina high
school team won the country
championships two or three times;
I was also in the scouts.
"Mum and Dad had shops in
Graves Street, one next door to
Robertson's and one down the
other end, as well as a beach house
in Moonta Bay."
Mr Crosby studied economics at
Adelaide University, at which point
he joined the Liberal Party; before
long, he became state president.
After a handful of jobs, he was
appointed director of the Queens-
land Liberal Party in 1991.
In 1994, he moved to Canberra
and became deputy federal direc-
tor, graduating to federal director
three years later.
"I worked very closely with John
Howard and was his campaign
director in 1998 and 2001," Mr
"He was an outstanding prime
minister and as time has gone by
his qualities and the contributions
of his government to the country
have been realised more closely."
Mr Crosby started Crosby Tex-
tor with fellow strategist Mark Tex-
tor in 2002 and has proven to be an
The business offers research,
strategy and campaign direction in
politics, as well as for commercial
operations, and now has offices in
Sydney, London and Milan.
The Tories became Crosby Tex-
tor clients in the months leading
up to the 2005 election but lost to
Tony Blair's Labour government.
London mayor Boris Johnson
then utilised Crosby Textor for his
victorious campaigns in 2008 and
During that time, the Tories
ascended to government led by Mr
Cameron and has now become a
Crosby Textor client again.
"We have developed a good rela-
tionship with the Tories over the
years and they were pleased with
the mayoral election result," Mr
"Last time we got involved with
the Tories in September 2004 we
had only a matter of months; this
time, we have more time and you
need all the time you can get.
"Our job is to help develop a
campaign plan and implement it.
"The message matters most ---
knowing what you want to say and
making it relevant to the audience,
and then working out how to get
people to hear it and understand it.
"It is a mixture of public rela-
tions, advertising, planning, lobby-
ing and more, deploying different
tools to implement the strategy."
Although the Conservative
Party is behind Labour in the latest
opinion polls, Mr Crosby believes
it can win the next election, slated
for May 2015.
"It will be a tough fight, but it's
always a tough fight," he said.
Mr Crosby doesn't plan on
hanging up his election fighting
gloves any time soon.
"Elections are increasingly
demanding, especially with the
internet causing the speed of the
news cycle to intensify," he said.
"Now it is a much more intense
environment and a 24-hour busi-
ness, which is demanding.
"I can't do it forever but I have
no plans for retirement at this
CAMPAIGN TRAIL... Lynton Crosby, formerly of Kadina, has
helped a range of people from former Australian Prime Minister
John Howard to London mayor Boris Johnson win elections, and is
now working for United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron.
matters most ---
knowing what you
want to say and
making it relevant to
the audience, and
then working out how
to get people to hear
it and understand it...
It is a mixture of
lobbying and more,
tools to implement
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