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Tuesday, July 23, 2013 

The Crosby mystery.

There are a number of explanations as to why it's taken so long for either David Cameron or Lynton Crosby to deny they so much as discussed plain cigarette packaging.  The most obvious is that neither were certain that they hadn't, although this still doesn't explain why it took so damn long for them to long back through the minutes of their meetings and rack their aides' brains to be sure that they hadn't.  Another is that they didn't do just that precisely because it would encourage Labour and the likes of the Graun to dig deeper and keep asking about what other interests Crosby has and whether they had been discussed.  Notice that Crosby doesn't today deny talking with Cameron about either alcohol pricing or private companies working within the NHS, both of which he is also linked to through his lobbying firm.  Seeing as the lack of candour up to now has meant it's happened anyway makes that difficult to believe.

Alternatively, it could be that they in fact did talk about it, and it's fallen to Crosby to say they didn't so as to protect the prime minister.  Considering the widespread belief among the press that Crosby was responsible for persuading Cameron to focus on all that guff about hard work and aspiration in the Queen's speech, dropping out the bits on fags and booze, it would be bizarre if it wasn't even mentioned.  This isn't to say that Crosby's conflict of interest had anything to do with Cameron's change of heart, but this doesn't alter the fact that getting in advisers with previous having already lost one in unfortunate circumstances simply isn't very clever.  Nor is going weeks without adequately answering an exceptionally simple question.

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