Tony Abbott has a surprisingly nuanced view on Islamic militancy

Guildhall, City of London, March 2015 by DncnH

Some of you may still remember Tony Abbott, the Australian prime minister who was turfed out by his old buddy Malcolm Turnbull in a brutal political coup back in September.

At the end of October, and presumably with a lighter schedule, Abbott spoke at the Second Annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture at the Guildhall in the City of London, the seat of the shady body that runs the capital’s financial borough.

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Ed Miliband’s spin doctor soon to be working for City of London

Bob Roberts on Daily Politics, May 2015

One of the spin doctors employed by Ed Miliband, who spectacularly lost the general election in May, is to head up comms for the borough in both a commercial and political capacity.

Bob Roberts, formerly of Press Association and the Daily Mirror, was part of Labour’s team of three spin doctors who helped craft Miliband’s attacks on “predatory capitalism”, alienating many businesses across Britain.

He is also part of the same group that failed to establish Labour as an economically credible party with the electorate, which political scientists have highlighted as one of the two main factors that contributed to the party’s defeat.

The other reason, Miliband’s poor credibility as leader, was not even accepted by Roberts in the wake of the defeat, with the spin doctor telling the BBC’s Daily Politics that he did not accept voters did not trust the Labour leader:

“In the end, a lot of people thought Ed had a decent campaign. Ed came across as exactly who he was, a decent man for ideas and principle.”

Instead Roberts laid the defeat at the feet of the Scottish National Party, which demolished Labour in Scotland:

“There was a social and political revolution in Scotland which neither Ed Miliband or the Labour Party could do anything about. It swept us away north and affected us south.”

But at a Hansard Society event early in September, John Curtice of Strathclyde University specifically played down the importance of prospective deal between the SNP and Labour in moving votes, despite its centrality to later Tory campaigning.

Roberts said he was “delighted” to take on the role in the City, which will begin on November 2nd.

John Barradell, chief executive and town clerk of the City, said: “My colleagues and I are looking forward to working with Bob, who will bring a wealth of experience to this role.”

At least someone’s making a buck after Labour’s meltdown…

Image Credit – Bob Roberts on Daily Politics, May 2015