Gordon Brown calls a Labour voter “some bigoted woman”
This Election has been characterised by a distinct lack of direct interaction between voters and the politicians. It’s hard to remember John Major with much fondness, but his “soapbox” tour of the country in the 1992 election was possibly the last attempt by a major politician to actually confront the people head on in person. It paid off too – with the Tories returned to power in the teeth of an economic recession of the kind that routinely spells death for any ruling party.
Gordon Brown’s handlers – mindful of the accusation that everything has been stage-managed in this debate to date – obviously decided to put Brown into direct contact with the electorate. And… well. The results speak for themselves.
Caught in off-guard moment by a microphone he should have switched off, Brown played right into the hands of those who have tried to portray him as desperately out of touch with public opinion, and even contemptuous of the public in general.
He was unfortunate to be caught in such a way (and few politicians can’t have said worse things about the public) but his remarks that she was ‘bigoted’ on the basis that she dare raise the subject of immigration will work to confirm a suspicion that Labour believe that concern over immigration is rooted in racism.
Little wonder, perhaps, that it is in Labour’s heartlands that the BNP is at its strongest.