Now the initial Schadenfreude has worn off, I’m going to admit to being a little bit saddened at yesterday’s events with Brown.
I’m not saddened because he has shown himself to have scant regard for anyone else’s opinions, or because he has revealed, once again, his bullying blaming nature, or that this shambolic, graceless spectre has brought the name of our once great country and its highest office into disrepute, for the umpteenth time. This is all old news.
Whilst watching the news reports last night, a few seconds of footage I had not seen previously really stuck with me. It was the footage of poor old Gillian Duffy’s reaction as she was played Brown’s comments as he was driven away. There was a proud woman who looked like she’d been kicked in the stomach, I have little doubt that had she not had a TV camera in her face, she would have shed a tear.
It’s very easy to be a worldly cynic sat behind a keyboard throwing bricks at the politicians, and on the odd occasion when a blogger scores a hit, there is much rejoicing, and rightly so. The politicians are used to this, being the attacker and the attacked is their stock in trade. Mrs. Duffy’s position is entirely different.
I don’t want to sound patronising about Mrs. Duffy, nor do I wish to make assumptions about her and her character, but this is what I saw when I looked at her. I saw a long time, loyal supporter of the party. A supporter who over the course of her life has seen the party she supports change beyond recognition, a supporter who was given the opportunity to raise genuine concerns over the policies and performance of HER party.
Before the comments were made it was obvious Brown did not want to talk to her. In part he displayed an insincerity which did him no credit at all, ‘Working with children is SO important, isn’t it?’ Yes, Gordon, I think she knows that. However, despite some remaining concerns the pair shook hands, and as far as she was concerned, the deal was done. The media handlers must have been shouting ‘Win!’ The story would have been that Brown was fronted up by a supporter with concerns and won them round, job’s a good-un.
Of course Brown wasn’t aware his comments were being broadcast, and of course pretty much every other politician has got into their car after being leapt upon in such a fashion and made uncharitable comments about the MOP who has accosted them. But, and it’s a big but here, how many of them would have had the lack of self awareness to realise that the situation went well, that they’d re-assured their support, had scored a goal in the right net, not in their own? How many of them having realised the win would have then lambasted the MOP as they drove off? The comments would have been along the lines of ‘that went well’, ‘we’ve got a vote there’, ‘that’ll look good on the news this evening.’ Only Brown could see a disaster in the victory, in the same way that only Brown sees a victory in the defeat. No other leader of a political party would have so mis-judged that situation.
Furthermore, no other political leader would have been caught so off-guard by a TV camera in a radio studio, and no other leader would have dragged the world’s media and half the town around to the poor woman’s house.
This is not some politician, spin doctor or campaigner, nor is this woman some attention hungry celebrity or media whore, and she found herself under siege for the whole day and night because of some ridiculous comment that need never have been made. Of course Brown thought what he said, like some paranoid and corrupt dictator, he sees plots and smears everywhere, because that is the way he does business. It’s been his MO for the last decade, to have people dismissed with the old nazi-racist-bigot line if they disagree with, or it would seem even question, his decisions.
His ridiculous smile after the almost hour long apology only served to compound the crime, heaping insincerity upon insult, injury and blame.
I suspect that Mrs. Duffy was brought up by her Labour supporting parents to treat people in positions of authority with respect, and to accord people like MPs all the deference that these MPs believed they were due. I suspect that to her, the Prime Minister is someone she would have had a great deal of respect and admiration for. One can only imagine how the adrenaline was roaring through her veins as she spoke with and pressed the flesh of the man she had been brought up to venerate.
It must have made the hurt and distress of hearing his totally unwarranted comments even worse.
I would hope Brown does feel mortified about his performance yesterday, but I doubt his regret is really about Gillian Duffy’s feelings being hurt, it is the fact that he was caught out.
This isn’t about party allegiance, ideology or policy, it is about an individual displaying his contempt for his own supporters, his dismissal of anything which isn’t his idea, and why he is not fit to hold any office.
And Mrs. Duffy, irrespective of her political allegiances did not ask to have the world’s media camped out on her doorstep and did not deserve to have her pride trampled under foot. She deserved a good deal better than what she got, and she stands as an example of millions of British who find themselves bewildered and hurt at the treatment which has been meted out to them by this Prime Monster and his cabal.