Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Why Today Was Important

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.

Today mattered.


  1. Why go back? Who's idea was that? Just reeks of panic. If he's just stuck to the line like Clegg or Cameron would have done.
    "I apologise. It was wrong..a wrong word to use. I didn't agree with Mrs OldLabour but I respected her opinions. But she thinks X and I think Y. My job is to ask her to listen to X. i hope she realised that i didn't mean how it came across...blah blah.

    But no. A screeching set of wheels and a handbrake turn straight into the oncoming media traffic.

    It could only have been more cringeworthy if Gordon had stood on her doorstep with a white cake box saying "I just baked this for you.."

  2. Oh yes, it matters - for ALL of the reasons you outline. Our suspicions are confirmed - the question now is, do we REALLY want an insincere bully as PM?

    And more - Mandy (who else?) jumped to Gordon's defence. But, oh dear, his choice of words was not the best: “He (Brown) said something he did not believe." Phew, that's a relief......beacuse we all want a PM that says things he doesn't believe. Don't we???

  3. It matters deeply. In particular to anyone who has been a victim of bullying.
    He isn't fit to hold ANY position of power, let alone be our PM.
    Little wonder so many of our civil liberties have been eroded by this Government.
    No longer surprised at the plods bullying tactics either. They do their masters bidding. :(

  4. Great post. BQ is spot on too. I mean how stupid are the Labour organisers to keep the story running all day? Can't wait for Newsnight :-)

  5. Agreeing whole heartedly with the above....

    But Gordon's gaff reveals something more insidious than simply a character flaw. Today, Brown demonstrated in the clearest fashion possible the utter contempt he holds for the ordinary folk of this country, even towards those who have voted for his party their entire lives.

    If this man is returned to power with a mandate then God help us all.

  6. Yes, the use of the old fashioned word 'bigot' is most revealing. It is such an ugly word, only frequented by hardened politicians who have learnt to bulldoze objections out of the way. It illustrates a mind set of arrogance and irritation. 'He HAS to go' to coin an odious GB phrase.

  7. Jesus said, "Have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." Mt 10.26

    Actually, I felt slightly sorry for him. If everything I said was suddenly broadcast, I wonder where I'd be, and I expect that if the same occurred to the other two there might have been a similar scandal. The issue was that she was expressing concerns of many, many Labour voters, who now think Brown thinks they are bigots.

    Labour have already lost supporters through this kind of contempt for people who disagree with them over some issues - traditional Labour voters like Catholics for a start. There will be Muslims who will have deserted Labour for obvious reasons. Now the white working classes will be thinking again. Exactly who are Labour standing for?

    Let's hope they don't all defect to Lib Dems - they sneer more than anyone.

  8. Excellent post, spot on.

  9. You’ve got it all wrong. It was all a misunderstanding. Gordon said so himself so it must be true.

  10. If he has nothing to hid he has nothing to fear. Hahahhahahahhahaahahha from a man proud to give us the right to request CCTV.

    Joseph K.

  11. Quite so, Mr. P.

    But, to be honest, I would happily overlook all of the PM's character faults if Labour's track record over the past 13 years was a model of wise and prudent government, with respect for freedom and decency.

    The reason it matters is that in terms of votes cast next week, it will cost the Labour Party dearly - and, if I am correct, will benefit the LibDems hugely.

  12. Great post.
    Ultimately IMO it won't cost Labour anything. If your stupid enough to want to vote for the party that has started wars, flogged off the family silver cheap and trampled all over your civil liberties for 13years. Then I submit your probably too stupid to realise that being called a bigot isn't complimentary.

    Bliar has supporters like pensioner Walter Wolfgang charged under the terrorism laws, Prescott punches people (so did Kinnock) and Brown slanders grannies. What a bunch. Yet idiots still vote for them. Amazing.

  13. "Let's hope they don't all defect to Lib Dems

    How's this for a jolly scenario?

    They do defect to the Lib Dems. As a result, the election produces a hung parliament. The Lib Dems would rather not work with the Tories, so a coalition with Labour is formed. Clegg uses his bargaining position (LibDems come first in terms of votes cast) to become PM.

    And then they take office, have to make tough decisions, and Mervyn King's prophecy comes to pass.

  14. Funny you should say that Mr Brown. I was listening to R4 just now, awaiting tonight's cabaret, and I thought just that.

    I dread to think what will have happened to our cherished freedoms by the time of the next election if the Tories don't win, but it does seem that if they fail this time, they will be in power for a very long time after the next election.

    Indeed, given that the Conservatives are still hindered by the economic memories of Margaret Thatcher, it might do them irreparable harm to win next week.