Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Matter of Opinion

So Gordon Brown thought that a woman he spoke to in Rochdale was 'bigoted'. Well, he's entitled to his opinion. As are we all, as the press keeps telling us. However, despite their apparent enthusiasm for allowing people to air their opinions, no matter how ill-informed and offensive they might be, the media is suddenly shocked that a politician, the Prime Minister at that, actually has an opinion about a member of the public. Even more bizarrely, they seem taken aback by the fact that whilst he was polite to her in public, he expressed a different opinion in private, (or when he thought he was in private). What a two-faced lying bastard! Well, not really. We all do the same sort of thing on a daily basis. I spend a lot of time dealing with some of the most ignorant and obnoxious members of the public it is possible to encounter. But all the time I'm dealing with them, I smile sweetly and remain polite, occasionally even nodding slightly, as if in agreement. Of course, all the time I'm actually thinking "You are a moron", or worse. And when they've gone, I frequently discuss them in less than complimentary terms with colleagues. Don't try to deny that you've done something similar. Probably frequently.

So, what did the media expect Brown to do? Actually say to this old biddy's face: "You are an ignorant bigot. Now fuck off"? Actually, I think he should have. Indeed, I think he should have punched her in the face while he was about it. Damn it, she probably is a bigot. People who bang on to politicians about immigration generally are. Oh, I know, I've heard the old refrain about how you can't have a sensible discussion about immigration because as soon as you mention the word you are branded a racist. Well, that's probably because the only people obsessed with the subject are racists. Besides, the old crone in question seemed to be confusing migrant workers from Eastern Europe with illegal immigrants. Two completely different things. Unless you are a bigot, of course. Still, the damage is done now. Brown's faux pas let the Tory press off the hook and allowed them to divert attention away from actual policy discussions for another day. Frankly, I think that as Brown clearly has nothing to lose now, he should just take his new attitude into tonight's televised leaders' debate. He should just punch Cameron out and knee Clegg in the groin. Perhaps he already has. I'm not actually watching the debate. The reality is that the media don't really want to hear policy discussions, so Brown might as well go all out and try and win this debate by two falls and a submission - it's clear he could easily take the other two with one hand tied behind his back. Mind you,even if he leaves Cameron a bleeding heap, begging for mercy, the Daily Mail will still hail Dave as the victor.

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