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Brown's 'bigot' blunder

Michael Crick | 15:42 UK time, Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Gordon Brown's unguarded comments about Gillian Duffy in Rochdale may well go down as the moment when Labour was condemned to Opposition. Labour could now be heading for for third place, and its worst defeat since 1918.

Mr Brown's comments are dreadful on several levels.

First, of course, they will anger the many millions of voters, many of them Labour, who are also worried about immigration. Many of these people are not racists. They suggest that the PM doesn't understand their concerns, let alone share them.

Second, they reveal the darker side of Gordon Brown, and confirm what many of his critics have long said. He doesn't like criticism, and tried to avoid it. He expects his staff to keep critics well away from him. Tony Blair, in contrast, often went out of his way to confront critics - the so-called masochism strategy.

Third, they show that Labour's claims since the weekend that Mr Brown was now meeting "real people" are pretty bogus. It's clear from his comments, and criticism of his long-standing aide Sue Nye, that Mr Brown still expected to be presented on the campaign only with loyal Labour voters. We now know the party was hoodwinking us.


  • Comment number 1.


    Oh Michael, let me remind you what politics comprises:


    I for one have always known that ALL PARTIES hoodwink - and worse. Parties have no soul. That is why I am moved to repeat: SPOILPARTYGAMES.

  • Comment number 2.

    Your three points are spot on and need to be broadcast.

    Keep up the good work on the doorsteps.

  • Comment number 3.


    Three killing points from Mr Crick.

    Now who promised transparency and honesty in politics when he became PM?

    Just shows that the election process exposes things politicians try to keep hidden. Mr Brown of course was not lected Labour Leader nor PM- and it shows..

  • Comment number 4.

    But you knew that and there were nothing but the smallest hints, references to those members of the public asking questions being placed by Labour press officers, people being asked to remove their labour badges before being interviewed as members of the public, cafes full of supporters and bussed in crowds in railway stations, nearly always on a blog and not as part of the report. Why did you let him away with it for so long and what are you going to do for the next 8 days? If campaigns are to mean anything we need more honesty from our press, not conivance.

  • Comment number 5.

    its consistent with the actions over the years.

    as for immigration unlimited immigration is just an extremist policy as no immigration. to keep name calling anyone who talks about it will just drive up the bnp vote?

    the london assembly has a bnp member. so its possible.

    gordon is probably exhausted after 12 years in govt. it wouldn't be kind to elect him as mistakes would come through the tiredness.

    as for fairness. wouldn't it be 'fair' if every party had a turn at government. or does fairness have limits?

  • Comment number 6.

    As an outspoken and plain spoken individual myself I can understand why Brown would call someone a bigot. We all have bees in our bonnet in one way or another.

    What is missing is the justification for that view. If you make a mistake, apologise. Brown has apologised so let's all move on.

    It is rather funny though; Brown has trashed the economy and Blair wrecked the constitution but that's OK. Its when they tell the people what they think that the trouble starts.

    The British are very strange.

  • Comment number 7.

    I blame Sue

  • Comment number 8.

    With New Labour it is racist to express concern about mass immigration and the problems it is creating - or making worse.

    e.g. Will millions upon millions more immigrants (and offspring) make the problems, like housing and congestion, better or worse.

  • Comment number 9.


    It transpires that Brown is 'Bigot' personified. How's this:

    "One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

    Clearly PARTY politicians are ALL bigots. Perhaps we should

  • Comment number 10.

    I thought Gordon Brown has handled himself reasonably well in all of this.
    I don't think it's surprising that he said what he said in the car or that he schmoozed with Mrs Duffy in front of the cameras.

    Where were his minders and how did he find himself back in the car with the microphone still on?

  • Comment number 11.

    I think Gordon Brown made a ill-considered comment but he is only human , was probably having a very hectic day and has apologised- he could have said a lot worse. Why do the media wish to focus on this instead of the issues? I believe that people will see through the media hype.

  • Comment number 12.

    I read somewhere that Ms. Nye was not the villainess of this terrible miscarriage of hype.

    Maybe the BBC could try and locate the next in line fingered for subjecting Mr. Brown to such cruel exposure.

    Assuming he is still around to be found.

    If not, I am sure Mrs. Brown will be able to get Lord Hutton to get an enquiry going. I am sure he is easily found in the phone book.

    'Oh, the humanity!'

    That involved a gas bag going down in flames too.

  • Comment number 13.

    Tony Blair was a great man who will be sorely missed.


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