Notepad on Life

April 30, 2010

Don’t let Brown’s real shame hide behind semantics

Filed under: politics,TV — - @ 12:57 pm
Tags: , ,

If Gordon Brown had called Gillian Duffy “a f***ing bitch” when he returned hurriedly to the haven of his car on Wednesday, the focus on semantics following his “bigoted woman” gaffe might have been justified.

But he didn’t, which is why I think too many of the UK media initially missed the real story when they gleefully discovered their beleaguered Prime Minister had forgotten being wired for sound when he vented, following an impromptu mauling at the hands of Rochdale voter Ms Duffy while on the campaign trail.

She, it must be said, had had the appalling temerity to confront a leading politician with – gasp – unscripted questions on just about every hot potato going in the run-up to next Thursday’s General Election.

Health, education, welfare and immigration, she’d cut dazzlingly to the chase on every one, as cameras happily whirred and Mr Brown reached for the sickly smile and puke-making condescension they teach you at Politician High.

This, clearly, is a woman in the classic tradition of Lancastrian grand dames, who I’m sure takes no nonsense from anyone and has therefore probably been called somewhat worse things in her time than “bigoted”.

No, if you want to hear the real scandal in this illuminating cameo, it’s the words Brown utters before he goes for the b-word that I believe seal his fate.

There’s a link at the end of this report to a full transcript of the conversation the Prime Minster has with Duffy, leading into his comments to an aide once he finally escapes her:

“GB: That was a disaster.

Aide: Why what did she say?

GB: Well just… They should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that?

Aide: I don’t know I didn’t see her

GB: That’s Sue I think. It’s just ridiculous

Aide: They’re pictures … I’m not sure they’ll go with that one will they?

GB: They will go with it

Aide: What did she say?

GB: Oh everything. She was just a sort of bigoted woman that said she used to be Labour …. ridiculous.”

Now try and marry that up with what went before: the patronising platitudes (“a good family”) the “good to see you all”.

Try and equate it with the well-worn line about politicians wanting a dialogue with the electorate; wanting to get in touch with our concerns.

Can’t be done, can it?

The moment Brown thinks he’s safely out of earshot in his car, the pretence collapses like a wall of bricks onto a greenhouse.

Gillian Duffy, despite speaking for so many around the nation, is no longer a person in Gordon Brown’s eyes. She is merely a pawn in his game and his sole interest is the threat she poses to his chances of victory. What she had to say is suddenly nothing alongside what she might do.

We’ve long suspected that this is how so many of our elected representatives view us, of course but to have the belief so clinically vindictated is no less disgusting for that.

Forget Brown’s accusation of bigotry. Think instead of his hypocrisy, his deceit, his shallowness and his chronic insincerity.

And shed few tears if next Thursday consigns him to the political scrapheap.


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