Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Brown and the Bigot
If Obama is the real-life continuation of the West Wing, Gordon Brown is determined to be the same for The Thick of It! You couldn't make it up, and Armando Ianucci must be gnashing his teeth that he didn't think of a scene like this for his notorious sitcom, but Gordon Brown, who has been kept safely away from voters as much as possible, has just had a nightmare afternoon following a meeting with a Labour voting pensioner who wanted to raise issues with him. With his radio mike still attached, he gets into his car after the encounter and describes the meeting as a 'disaster', going on to say that the voter - Mrs. Gillian Duffy - was a 'bigoted' woman. The BBC website carries the video footage of his initial encounter with her, where he was polite and interested, then the footage and sound of him letting off steam in the car, then there is him being confronted with the replaying of his comments on the Jeremy Vine Show. He is having a thoroughly wretched time, and I have some sympathy for the fact that his private conversation was unchivalrously relayed to the whole world. He has subsequently been back to Rochdale and spent 40 minutes at Mrs. Duffy's house, apologising. Poor Mrs. Duffy has been inadvertantly in the eye of a real media storm - a further video shows her being pursued and questioned intensively by the assembled media hordes.