OK, you all know what this post is going to be about, but I'll tell you anyway. Thinking he was off-mike, Gordon called a (former) Labour voter a bigot. Why? Because she disagreed with him on a range of subjects, including immigration.
Yes, it's insulting. Yes, we are in the midst of the media frenzy that is a General Election campaign. But remember; the guy is fighting for his job. He is under huge stress. He is being harangued everywhere he goes, either by the ordinary people that he (until recently) wanted to meet or by the media who want a pound of flesh every ten minutes. So he uttered an intemperate word when he thought he was in private. So what? Why does this matter a jot? Wouldn't we all?
It matters, though. It matters hugely, because we have been harbouring suspicions about the man for a long time. We heard that he had a tendency to throw Nokias around the room when things weren't going his way - this was denied. We heard he grabbed a typist and pulled her out of her chair because she wasn't getting it right - this was denied. We heard about him thumping a car seat but this was played down. We heard about the bullying helpline, and this was laughed off and the anti-bullying charity was discredited. We heard about Damian McBride and the smeargate scandal, but were told that Gordon had nothing to do about it. We heard about the backroom political threats that stopped anyone standing against him for PM, but these were dismissed.
And so on, and so on. We kept hearing them - story after story that told of a deeply unpleasant person, focused entirely on the greasy pole and his position at the top of it, a person psychologically unfit for the job of Prime Minister. All were denied, dismissed, swept aside for lack of evidence.
Then we heard today's tape. His voice. On tape. No doubt; no wriggle room. She raised valid questions of him, he smiled and reassured her. He smiled and waved. He smiled and got in the car. Then, without any hesitation, he flipped. The real Brown came out from behind the mask. The nasty Brown. The Brown who throws Nokias, the Brown who bullies people. The Brown who calls her a bigot. We listened, and all the older stories sprang to life, they all came out of the woodwork.
And to think, we believed "In The Thick of It" was a cleverly written satire. Suddenly, it feels like Armando Iannucci just had some really good listening equipment and a copy typist.