John McTernan – Tie that spin doctor down
In this country, you can be forgiven if the name John McTernan rings no bells. The British press never really focused on him during his time as a spin doctor for Harriet Harman and adviser to Tony Blair and others, there being so many other Labour spin doctors cluttering up Westminster. But in Australia, where he is the Political Secretary to the Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, a week seldom goes by without some political hack or other running a John McTernan story, as if the sound of someone spinning in a Scottish accent is as strange to Australian ears as a didgeridoo is to ours.
Today’s Herald Sun is very excited about a remark he made to a radio journalist during what he thought was a private conversation in the chairman’s box at a rugby league match. “You might even want me to do a regular spot on your show next year if we lose the election,” he reportedly said. This is interpreted as hard evidence that even Julia Gillard’s advisers are resigned to defeat. An alternative explanation is that McTernan was joking.
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