In his first interview since the election, Lynton Crosby tells Alice Thomson what he has enjoyed about living in Britain and running Michael Howard’s campaignHe is the Wizard of Oz. During the election campaign he used to stand behind the curtains at press conferences directing operations. He never talked to journalists and no one ever saw him on television but everyone assumed that the Tories’ Australian campaign manager, Lynton Crosby, was pulling all the levers.
Like many of my countrymen, I find the cantankerous figure of Charles Clarke somewhat alarming. In fact, I think on balance I would rather live next door to David Boag. It would certainly be more entertaining. Boag, a 28-year-old warehouseman from Dechmont, West Lothian, is a man of unusual habits. He likes to watch the film An American Werewolf in London, after which he spends some time howling.
The Kyrgyz-Uzbek border
To people in Central Asia, home to some of the most oppressive regimes in the world, President Bush’s inaugural speech in January was important. ‘When you stand for liberty, we will stand with you,’ said Bush, and his words sounded very promising. Thirteen years after the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship, no country in Central Asia has yet held elections which could be described as even remotely free or fair.
Looking back at the 1960s and 1970s, when I grew up in Germany, one of the most striking things was that everyone talked about work and money. The country was infuriatingly materialistic. The old West Germany felt more like an economy than a country. It used to have a proper currency, the Deutschmark, but it lacked a proper political capital. At a time when the British believed in incomes policies, capital controls and state ownership, Germany was as laissez-faire an economy as you could find anywhere in Europe.